Because there are variables beyond my control (clays, papers, water, mixing errors and etc) always pre test fire what you have before a big project. No guarantee can be offered that 'alternative" commercial paperclays now on the market will meet the all the performance advantages of my high performance trademark P'Clay® brand only available from licensed manufacturers/distributors.
Dry Storage and Recycle
health, safety, clean up, storage, precautions
are warranted by each separate manufacturer and certified non toxic through Duke University the same certification used by ACMI certified art materials to be safe for home and school use. Preservatives are added to the commercial blends to extend shelf life and these have also been tested as above. P'Clays should be used as soon as possible after purchase.
P'Clay should arrive with a normal appearance. When not "fresh" if stored hot and humid climates "over time" in some base clays there a chance of mold growth . Usually this shows as dark streaks on the sides of the moist block that can be scraped off the surface. If within a week of purchase your P'Clay shows signs of age, you should get a discount on its price, or have it exchanged for some fresher batch.
As with all art materials, those with skin allergies and/or sensitivity to mold should test first and use at your own risk. You may insist on only the freshest possible batch used within days of purchase to reduce risk. You may want to wear gloves. The mold growth only occurs in some but not all recipes. When P'Clays dry out the conditions for mold growth are less favorable and a kiln fire further destroys any trace. Bleach is not used in any trademarked product.
Firing in Kilns: About Fumes and Timing
The sulphuric and other burnout fumes from any clay firing should be ventilated, paper or not. Paper fiber exits the clay body (451F/253C), similar to like wax burnoff before cone 032 can measure. The process finishes in the first several hours of an 8 hour fire going to bisque 1000 or higher. The combustion smoke and moisture exiting does not hurt the electric wire kiln elements in a dark slow heating kiln (451F/253C). Indeed the sum amount of paper in a kiln of paperclay adds up to less than the handfuls of raw crumpled paper sometimes used as temporary stuffing support in handbuilt structures. Learn more>>>>>>>
Be Aware of Risks of Home Batch Preparing
1. MIX AT YOUR OWN RISK It is completely impossible and unreasonable for me to ensure your safety 100%. So many factors are beyond my control. Especially the age and condition of the tools in use, the type of water, and the type of paper you start with, whether your prepared the pulp from scratch, or tried a shortcut with a different brand of toilet tissue, etc.
2. Avoid Airborne Dusts of Dry Clay or Fiber Clouds Wear a breathing mask, and keep all materials wet during mixing.
3. Protect your Eyes from Splashes: Wear goggles.
4. Electricity: When using power tools do not stand in any puddles of water.
5. Protect your Hands If you are prone to skin reactions and rashes wear latex, vinyl, or other gloves. If you are recyling your own paper, It would not be unusual for traces of bleach residue in some recipes of scrap paper to react with the mix water, for one example. For this reason I do not recommend adding even a teaspoon of bleach to the pulp water. If you have allergy to bleach do not add any.
6. Don't add any bleach for a preservative, no need to age paperclay: My experience and preference is for absolutely fresh made batches. Ageing is not needed for well balanced recipes of paperclay. Bleach is a toxic material that could be used with utmost care only if you know you are not sensitive to it. Some add a few drops of dish soap to the home blend- test always for your situation.
7. TroubleShooting: If your p'slip is starting to smell, the remedy is to dry it out in thin tile like bread slices or sheets. This should immediately stop the smell. Store slices in dry state for years. When you are ready to work with it again, just re constitute the dry slices in water. I have kept wet bags for years far past the smelly stage and they still work but they look ugly. The discoloration and smell will also be sanitized by the firing process.
5. Beware "Recycled" Fiber Fluff in Bags from the Builder Supply!...do not mix the store bought bags of recycled cellulose building insulation because this fiber has been treated with TOXIC flame retarding chemicals (like boric acid etc) which "smolder and smoke" for far longer time in the kiln the kiln are very unhealthy for any one in the vicinity to breathe no matter how good your kiln ventilation system is. NOt only that, preservatives are sometimes added. Learn more about hazards and composition of common building materials .