Perhaps I should have called this post something else, like My Egyptian Paste Results, My Egyptain Paste Experiment, because this is me trying out Mitsy’s tutorial from back in April, entitled How to Make Egyptian Paste? By the way, Mitsy, of ArtMind, posts a wealth of tutorials and how to’s on her blog. I imagine her workspace divided into two sections: her studio on one side and a laboratory for experimentation, its documentation and its diffusion to everyone who wants to try new processes and media on the other!
I love ceramics and all things Egyptian, especially the lovely turquoise objects made from a self-glazing low-fire clay body. You know, the beads, small dishes and shabti dolls you see in museums. So here’s how it went for me:
I prepared some dishes I had made by putting a coat of bat wash on the inside bottom so that my objects wouldn’t stick.
I then prepared my first recipe: It’s Sylvia Hyman’s recipe, and it’s the first one Mitsy tries in her tutorial too. She has listed all the ingredients and amounts in her post. I was able to get everything from my ceramic supplier. The copper Carbonate was very expensive and only sold in large quantities, and Mitsy was nice enough to send me a small amount in the mail. Don’t forget to wear a mask, goggles and gloves since breathing in these ingredients is TOXIC.
12 gm kaolin (China Clay)
2 gm bentonite
6 gm Natriumbicarbonate
2-3 gm copper carbonate
This second recipe was easier to work with, kept its shape better but dried out faster, so I had to work faster.
I fired to 980°C.
The beads on the wire were completely stuck to the metal. I can’t get them off. But I do love the color and the way the glaze pooled at the bottom.
All of the objects made with the first recipe turned out the same blue.
I really enjoyed working with Egyptain paste from start to finish, and when I make more I think I’ll go with the second recipe, and stick to 3 gm copper carbonate. If I want to make beads, I’ll have to get the stilts with metal points for firing. The beads would have been pretty enough to use in a necklace!