1. Innovation in Paperclay Ceramic Arts, Ph.D

  2. Researchers of paperclay compounds (cellulose fiber and ceramic materials) now have a peer reviewed formal commentary of 10,000 words plus extensive research appendices, timelines, color portfolio of artworks, charts, and diagrams.

  3. Digital PDF ISBN 978-0-9825736-8-6 PhD. 130 pp 54MB  $10.00  $10.00

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Innovation in Paperclay Ceramic Arts

Inside properly prepared paperclay slip there is nano scale 3D interior architectural network of nano scale cellulose fiber. This interior structure can be created, managed and regulated by engineers, designers and artists. There is a nano scale interaction between organic (plant sources of cellulose fibers-natural polymers) and inorganic (colloidal scale minerals in ceramic material in clay and glaze compounds- in fluid, solid and fired form.

Manufacture/design advantages include, but are not limited to, wet/dry assembly, lamination, less drying time, and fuel saving single fire and/or faster firing/cooling time. The compound can be adapted to streamline manufacture methods. Castings can be removed sooner. Strong green strength means less loss in transport.

The final ceramic can be porous, vitreous, or both porous and vitreous, depending on how the compound is fired, the base clay/pulps used, and the ratio of pulp to clay used. The look and feel will be indistinguishable from a traditional ceramic to the naked eye, Lighter fired weight is a possibility.

Entry points most practical for research ahead in sustainable materials compounding and manufacture, nano-porous ceramic, medicine, applied design and industrial application are noted.

The extended non-linear approach to ceramic art and design opened paths to innovation that opened the way to forms not possible to create with traditional ceramic methods. Research history and background of paperclay methods featured in Gault’s book: The New Ceramics: Paperclay Art and Practice, are given.


The significance and influence of Gaults published and exhibited work is traced in context of developments in the field of paperclay ceramics both from aesthetic and technical view. Developments in art and materials science collaboration with late Dr. David Kingery and others are explained in brief. Gaults search and discovery process over 40 plus years is noted with a portfolio of artworks included.

The history and background context include Gaults 20 years of trial to isolate and identify universal principles governing interaction between clays and pulp and to discover that there was an optimum ratio of pulp to clay that allowed approximated 89% of old ceramic methods to be changed. A paradigm that permits a non-linear approach to integrated art and design was born and has now been tested by artists worldwide and opens a way to sustainable materials involving reclaim and natural polymers once believed far beyond reach.

The innovation and the principle behind it- allowed anyone- even beginners- to convert local clay body/ with local recyled or virgin pulp to paperclay and to advantages like wet to dry assembly, saving time and money in drying, assembly, firing and glaze described in authors US process patent issued in 1998.

Worldwide spread and 25 more years subsequent spin off and contribution would establish the field.

The principle behind Gaults vision of 3D interior architectural network of nano scale cellulose fiber and how/why/when it can be managed and regulated is illustrated and explained. Some entry points for research ahead in sustainable materials, nano-porous ceramic, medicine, applied design and industrial application are offered.

The thesis was submitted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D degree in England, UK. Requirements included formal "viva voce" oral examination and defense of the contribution to knowledge. The LIbrary of Art and Design at the National Center for Ceramics and Glass, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, England, UK has a leather bound printed copy.