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Andy Clift's Specialized Techniques
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Hanging Clay Apparatus

While building many of the sculptures in Graduate School I used a pulley system that has enabled me to build downward instead of starting with an established base and building upwards from that base. This hanging apparatus has opened up many possibilities for my work.

In this picture I am working on my latest piece. I built a box out of clay that is reinforced by many interior slabs of clay. On top of this hanging box I build organic forms that are made from very wet slabs.

The holes that look like bird house entrances are cut out so you can look inside the box. You need to thread the steel rod through the loops in the rope. This is what holds the box up. To get a furthur understand of the hanging apparatus check out the diagram below.


Diagram of Structure of Hanging Apparatus

 

I doubt this building technique can work with any old clay body. That's why I suggest using the Kyanite Sculpture Clay Body. This clay body was originally developed by a man called Stoney, since the development it has evovled from graduate student to graduate student at the University of Delaware. There are many similar recipes out there but none work as well as the one I am sharing with you. It has incredible plasticity and sheer strength before and after firing.

This is a picture of the same piece, it is about half done. As you can see I have completed the top first. This is the best method I could come up with to defeat gravity.

 


The Kyanite Sculpture Clay Body

 Ball Clay  10 lbs
 Goldart  4 lbs
 Fireclay  27 lbs
 Sagger  10 lbs
 F-4 Feldspar  7 lbs
 Wollastonite  5 lbs
 Kyanite  35 lbs 35-100 mesh
 Total 100lbs
 Also Add to your desire:  
 Nylon Fiber  large hand full
 Paper pulp 1-2 gl.bucket of paper-pulp w/water

Bisque to cone 03, although you can fire as high as cone 1.


 Casting Slabs

Pouring Slabs

Wow! Here I am trans mutated, pouring kyanite slip onto a plaster slab.

To even further improve the plasticity and strength of this clay body, make it into a slip and pour onto plaster to make your slabs. If this sounds like a pain, you are mistaken. You will no longer need a clay mixer to make your clay. All you need is a drill, a mixing bit, a plastic garbage can, and a defloculant. I use Alcosperse as my defloculant. The only part that is a bit of a pain is setting up the system. Once your set, it is easy and efficient as ever.

 

 

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