IB Visual Arts students participated in a one day workshop in creating a table lamp from Paper-Porcelain with TASIS Art teacher and ceramics artist Simona Bellini. The workshop was a complete experience as students prepared the porcelain material and created the lamp forms from their own designs.
Despite the heavy snow on the day of the workshop, ten students plus Mr. Mark Aeschliman, working under the supervision of Ms. Bellini, created the paper-porcelain in the ceramics studio, mixing clean toilet paper in hot water to create a pulp mixture which was then added to a porcelain mix (1:3) and then blended together. The clay mixture was then stretched out and left to dry on plaster tablets and allowed to dry to a workable consistency.
After lunch, the students returned to the studio and began to work their paper-porcelain material, further rolling the clay to the proper thickness and then beginning to impress their design ideas into the soft material. The paper porcelain sheets retain a great strength after firing, but are thin enough that the light from a small lightbulb will pass through, creating a beautiful glow.
The students used various stamps – letters, designs, lace doilies, leaves – to press their design into the porcelain sheet. The sheet was then wrapped around the form which was to be the basis of the lamps’ shape. The base piece was joined to the form and the finished piece was left to dry, and then be fired. After the firing, the electrical lamp is added to complete the piece.
View a gallery of images from the workshop taken by TASIS Photography teacher, Frank Long. These images can also be viewed in the Porcelain workshop gallery on TASIS SmugMug.