Microcosm: Master Class in Porcelain Paperclay

with Shiyuan Xu

3-Day | December 15-17th, 2023 | 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.‎

In this three-day experimental workshop, students will explore the basic properties of
paperclay and gain general knowledge of this forgiving material. Shiyuan will start introducing
how to prepare porcelain paperclay, how to manage paperclay storage, trying out
colored clay and demonstrate a range of hand-building construction techniques such as
building with coils, slabs and slip trailing methods.

Shiyuan's art is motivated by scientific and microscopic occurrences ranging from single-celled organisms in the water to varied plant seeds on land, and eventually to the building blocks of all life forms.

Shiyuan's curiosity with these microbes' shapes, patterns, structures, and textures inspires her work. She reinterprets these visual aspects into sculptural forms, highlighting the unseen world's beauty and richness.

She hand-build structures with porcelain paperclay, and uses unconventional processes to apply glazes on the sculptural pieces. The exploration of materials and process allows her to push the boundaries of fragility and strength, simplicity and complexity, order and chaos. Meticulously, the thin skeletal lines are woven into a harmonious volume.

*Basic hand-building knowledge required
*All materials are included
*Conducted in English

Workshop Schedule

Day 1

Shiyuan’s slides about her work and introduction
· Paperclay explanation
· How to mix pulp/ prepare your own paperclay
· How to properly dry clay/ different stages /plaster board (clay needs to be dried to use · Coloring clay
· Slides (Contemporary approaches using Paperclay by other artists)
· Slip Trailing process

Day 2

· Demo: Building with slabs
· Demo: Dipping found object with paperclay slip · List of resource / Book reference
Day 3
· Demo: Building with coils
· Demo: Fixing with paperclay
· Demo: Finishing paperclay surface · Firing notes

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