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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Notes on terra sig - part 1

I've been looking at all my various notes on all the variations of terra sig. I thought I could put it all together and maybe make sense of it all.

Up to this point, I've just been trying to see what kind of results I could get without a whole lot of trouble, gram scales, deflocculants, and measuring specific gravities. I think I did pretty well, I even surprised myself a bit on my first tries I suppose. But comparing notes, and sitting down and doing a bit of calculation and comparison, I probably could have done a bit better.

This first time, I used about 2 pounds of dry clay to a gallon of water. From what I'm looking at, that's probably way too much water to start. It made the slip easier to mix, but was probably overkill and all that water has to be evaporated back off. The trend I'm seeing is something more like a little less than 1 cup water for every 100 g dry clay. What I used was 16 cups to 1000 g, it should have been about 10 c.

And do yourself a favor, use dry clay, it will mix a lot easier. I busted up some scrap throwing clay in a heavy bag with a big hammer. Don't do it in the open, because 1) you REALLY don't want to breath that fine dust, and 2) that fine dust is actually what you're after, so don't waste it.
If your clay is still moist, just use a sur-form tool or cheese grater and shred it into a bucket and let it dry. Then add it slowly, a little at a time, to the water, then let it sit for 20-30 minutes or so. then use the power tool of your choice to give it a good mix. I used a paint mixer attachment on a drill.

Next time - Deflocculants, settling, and siphoning.

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