Which side is the front?
While in raw state, one side of the tape looks glossier than the other. After firing both sides almost have an identical look. Therefore, it doesn't care which side you use as front side.
What are the advantages of Keraflex® porcelain tape compared to "normal" porcelain?
Usual porcelain is rather brittle while processing. It dries quickly and is prone to deformation, even during the drying phase. It's extremely difficult to roll out a plate of 0.5 mm or 1 mm thickness.
Keraflex® porcelain tape is already dry and very thin. It contains organic binder causing it to be flexible and workable for a long time.
How to start?
The best way to start is to make a model with 1 mm thick carton first. Individual parts can be glued together to see how pieces emerge and if the results will fit your intention. If you know exactly what you want to build you can start with cutting the high-quality Keraflex® material according to the carton sample and put it together with garnish slurry. It's advisable to perform test firings of small pieces of 5 x 5 cm to 10 x 10 cm. Results depend on firing temperature and, primarily, geometry of your pieces. As we know, the best start is done with exercise of stamping, cutting, weaving, grinding and similar with flat pieces. If these pieces bring satisfying results, the next step should be processing pipes, small bowls, pyramids or similar shapes of various sizes. You will see which combinations and shapes work best after a few attempts.
Can the tape be bent?
Bending the tape at a 90° angle causes the dry tape to break up. If you want your pieces to have 90° edges you better cut it and glue them together using the slurry.
Why should I moisten the tape?
Moistened tape is much more flexible. Wet 0.5 mm tape becomes almost like silk and allows creating beautiful organic shapes. 1 mm tape is way steadier.
Just moist the tape with a sponge, hold it under running water for a short-time or put it in a water bath for a few minutes. The water film makes the tape soft and flexible.
Using this method allows you to do basketwork or origami bending.
What happens if the material has been bent one way and is bent to the other afterwards?
Ceramists are familiar with the phenomenon of memory of ceramic bodies what means that a piece turned once will turn to that direction while burning or drying no matter if it has been bend to another direction afterwards. Therefore, we recommend to bend Keraflex® porcelain tape only one time, namely to the desired direction.
What's the garnish slurry for?
The slurry consists of porcelain and binder. It allows you to glue individual parts together. The best way to apply it to the junctions is by using a brush. It dries relatively fast, so better be quick. Even though the connection looks a bit unstable after applying the slurry, it's pretty stable after firing. Wet tapes can be connected with the slurry, too.
A beautiful interaction of light and shadow is the result if you apply some small pieces of tape to a 0.5 mm basis tape. This is caused by the thicker parts of the tape being less translucent than the basis tape after firing.
Jewellery pieces are often folded or rolled after moistening. It's suggestive here to glue the endings together with some slurry. Fixing the piece with braces or other tools is often very useful.
Slurry can also be used for decoration. Fine lines or areas of different thicknesses can be applied with a brush. These will be visible as darker areas after firing. Also, colouring the slurry is a possibility to create coloured elements.
How much slurry will I need?
The slurry is meant to be used very sparing all in all. For gluing you only have to apply a small amount of slurry at the edges. If you want to connect larger areas it is useful to have the slurry a bit watered.
What is the maximum size of pieces I want to create?
Maximum size depends on several parameters. The most influence has the geometry. The more stable and less filigree the pieces are the bigger they can be. The higher the firing temperature the bigger is the translucency and the bigger is the risk to deformation. The bigger the pieces the higher becomes the risk of warping and the tension while firing.
How can I decorate Keraflex®?
There are a lot of different possibilities, here are some examples:
- Painting of raw tape with slurry (coloured)
- Painting of fired tape with luster or metallic salt solution
- Painting of raw tape with metallic salt solution
- Painting of fired tape with underglaze colour, glazing with transparent glaze and firing again at low temperatures (1050°C)
- Glazing of raw tape
- Garnishing of tape pieces
- Application of decals onto fired tape
When is there a higher risk of deformation during firing?
Tridimensional or big objects, whide cut parts and pieces with overhanging endings tend to deformation. This can be prevented by an adequate form assistance (please notice shrinking of Keraflex® porcelain tape).
What should I do if the tape won't get translucent enough?
In this case it is advised to increase the firing temperature by 10 – 20°C.
How should I store the tape?
Keraflex® should be stored air tight in its original packaging. Please avoid direct solar irridation or temperature above 50°C.