Egyptian Paste (aka Faience)

Experimenting in all facets of Egyptian paste, mixing clay, construction techniques, firing solutions, and finishing ie. cold working is in the scope of our discussion. Perhaps we will have time to get around to some practical uses of Egyptian paste, but mostly research into what works will with this media and what does not.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Tried-and-true Recipe


There are dozens of Egyptian paste recipes and where to start is not always apparent. Add to this the fact that you can buy premixed; however manufactures can change formulation without informing you and it’s rather dear. This recipe from an old ceramics monthly (Behrens) was chosen for a number of reasons. First is mixed by measures, so there’s no need for gram scale. Secondly, there is no clay in this formula; it’s mostly quartz, which is close to the composition of the archaeological finds. Third, there are very few ingredients and it’s inexpensive. And lastly, it can be modified easily. For those unfamiliar with studio, hygiene I am mentioning this: it is IMPERATIVE TO WEAR RESPIRATOR when measuring and mixing anything that contains free silica. The recipe is as follows:

16 parts, silica (325 to 400 mesh)
4 parts, bentonite .
2 parts, baking soda
this is the basic mix to this add one half part copper carbonate for turquoise color. I’ve tried a few other recipes but this one is tried-and-true; it is adequate for the time being.





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25 Comments:

Blogger Riorose said...

But why did you stop the blog, I wanted so much to learn about this. I could not find much information at all. thank you

2:31 AM  
Blogger anitra said...

In the five years this blog has been up it appears you're the only one who's ever read it. As you know, blogs were a lot of work.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Laura Smith-Hos said...

Well, sorry to say I found it too late! Are you still working in this technique?

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Laura Smith-Hos said...

If nothing else thanks for leaving it actively UP for me to find! I have been looking for a recipe and wanted to try it, I have a background in ceramics and currently work in metal clays...so all things paste/ clays are interesting for me...this one appeals for the historical significance and also the exotic factor of course. :-) I also have been loking for several hours already online for "recipes" so I could try it myself....and differnt info on where I could learn this MAYBE in a class....

11:53 PM  
Blogger anitra said...

Well there is news on the Egyptian paste front. As of two months ago, I reactivated this blog. There are six new postings since then and more to come. There are two people who are actually following the blog. I've been reporting on my last kiln experiments with the Egyptian paste. Videos have been posted to the blog! So go to the top of this page and click on --->Egyptian Paste (aka Faience)
e ya later,
--------Anitra

9:42 AM  
Blogger TexasMac said...

Keep it UP!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have another reader!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah another reader here too. Doing faience for a project.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another reader in New Zealand. Thanks for the blog - very informative. Just starting out with Egyptian paste.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Amos Herrera said...

It looks like its been years since anyone has written on this blog, but I wanted to thank you for sharing the information. Have you ever considered using this recipe as an engobe?

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am happy to have found this.
I am not a member of the site, and with many who aren't your blog may be reaching more than you think. >_^

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks very pretty but wondered where you can get the copper carbonate to make it? :)

9:15 AM  
Blogger sherif777 said...

Go on you do a good work

6:08 AM  
Blogger Paul Dean said...

I'd like to follow this blog but don't know how!

5:17 AM  
Blogger Porter said...

Very interesting. Thanks!

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found you thanks to Clay Club out of North Carolina... This is a great source, thanks for keeping it up & running.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much! I've been searching for how to make the Egyptian Faience beads, to match a 26th Dynasty Amulet of Sekhmet I've had for years. I wanted to be authentic, so I could match the greenish color.

8:11 PM  
Blogger artlindakanderson said...

Do you have a recommended firing temperature and time?

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another person from down under, interesting stuff, it would be intersting seeing the results of other people's research and items made, I have been interested in EP for many years and had a friend bring me some EP beads back from Iran, as she knew I was very interested, they were just beautiful, its getting the recipe and mixture just right, but very intersting results you have had. Cheers for the blog I liked it very much.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Acoustic59 said...

Hi, thanks for sharing your tests!
I have tried this formula and found the turquoise color fades a lot after a few months or year or so. Have you had this issue too, and if so, what addition to the mix would you suggest to stabilize it?

Thanks!

2:45 PM  
Blogger Hannah Nevill said...

does this need to be fired in a kiln or are you able to do it in a normal oven?

11:28 AM  
Blogger Barbara Hanselman - BHClaysmith said...

I have quite a collection of Faience recipes if anyone wants them... BHClaysmith@gmail.com

10:01 AM  
Blogger Helen Peake said...

Lovely clear and simple recipe ... and it works well. Many Thanks

5:06 AM  
Blogger Mithra said...

And yet another...Was watching PBS on Egyptian art and got interested inushabti.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Mithra said...

Would love them.

7:57 PM  

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