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Refractory clay: primitive design


Fireclay is a special, very coarse-grained material whose strength allows the creation of even large objects or sculptures.

Its particular grain gives new possibilities for experimentation, even at the less experienced, who is still able to limit damage, such as spinning or Breakage in baking, while always paying close attention to bubbles or air pockets During processing.

The process is the same as that for processing the Red or white clay, more common. The result in this case is an artifact with a more or less smooth surface, according to the taste and needs of the achieves, but never as smooth as with other clays, always because of the particularly coarse grain that is the characteristic main of this material.

This is done by making a solid form, which should be hollowed out later, unless it is particularly small, or cut into two or more parts, hollowed out, and then reattached with slip of the same material.

The creative work of artisan Donatella Fogante, made with refractory clay.

Refractory clay artifacts are. can also be made by the method of puff pastry or spiral. In this case, the object is constructed already empty, which makes it possible to have no threads in the pieced part, where the operation is not perfectly performed.

The firing temperature offireclay can rise up to 1500° C, but even 900° C are sufficient. The higher temperatures return a result that has a consistency similar to that of stone, but on the other hand it is more difficult to find ovens that reach such temperatures.

In the design and drawing preparation of the object to be obtained one must already take into account a withdrawal of the 10% or so during drying, and by an additional maximum of 5% during baking.

Overall, the clay refractory gives the opportunity to create an artistic and design work in way faster than other types of clay: it is a material with a greater stability, and needs to less time and less caution during the drying phase.

La extraordinary versatility of this clay and its physical characteristics, which give it that so primitive and earthy appearance, lend themselves perfectly to the creation of artifacts of design, aesthetically pure and essential.

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