I’m getting closer to starting the big pyramid, but I’ve been testing clays and methods first. I plan to build the thing upside down inside an MDF form lined with plastic. I’ve been doing this small scale, and the technique is basically packing chunks/handfulls of clay firmly against the walls building upwards. I’m hoping this will be more structurally sound that using giant slabs because the whole thing is one big mesh of smaller pieces without any real seams. We’ll see.
I was originally thinking something that fires white or off white, but I’m opening up to the grey part of the spectrum. No color though, that just too much. I want the think to look sturdy and well made, but also a bit weathered and stony. I’ve tried VC’s 04 white sculpture recipe, as well as Chris’ and Geoff’s clays which are both low fire talc sculpture bodies. I’m wary of the low fire stuff for two reasons. First, I do want the thing to be strong. I’m thinking of this thing as a monument that’s meant to withstand the ages. I can’t have it crumbling in some major historical event. Second is that I’d like to not use any glaze/wash/other and just let the clay be the surface. It’s been my experience that the 04 range even when fired to maturity is still kind of bisque-y. It’s meant to have surface applied to it. But, I haven’t fired these tests yet, so I’ll withhold judgment until I do so.
Where I think I’m honing in is in the cone 6 sculpture body zone. I started with Val’s white 6 recipe and varied from there. As you can see, I’ve reduced grolleg and replaced with other things, including studio stoneware premix in variant 4. Grog, molochite, and a bit of paper pulp will all be my friends in this venture. Here are those recipes: