Thursday, 26 February 2015

Keraflex experiments

I have been wanting to experiment with Keraflex ever since I heard about it when I first studying ceramics a couple of years ago. It is super thin ceramic that comes in flat sheets (0.5mm or 1mm thick) very much like paper. It is held together with a binding agent which makes it flexible when soaked in water and it provides the opportunity to make ceramic  products which are extremely thin and light.

Recently I have been playing with it. Experimenting with stitching to hold it together to create different sorts of forms.

Stitched keraflex (white bottom left corner)
Above are some samples to see what happens when the form is held together using thread before being fired in the kiln. In this image there are also stitched cardboard and copper samples where I am experimenting with form.

Most of the stitched pieces broke during the firing. But the shards were equally beautiful and intresting shapes, so I attached them to one of my gate like structures. I anticipate that this could be a brooch. 

Despite being really thin, the material is quite strong when fired to cone 10. 

Paper marquette of necklace idea

I also experimented with making cone shapes. With the intention of making a necklace similar to the paper version above.

Keraflex cones before firing
Keraflex cones after firing with gold lustre
I like the white porcelain combined with the gold lustre. But to get gold lustre to work, they need to be glazed with clear first (fired to cone 6). In the pieces above, I glaze only the bits that are now gold, so there is also the contrast between matt porcelain and shinny gold.

I have moved on from the original cone idea, and I am enjoying working with the shards. So I am thinking that these will be broken and reassembled along the same lines as the brooch idea.

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