Making Darjit from scratch.
Darjit is made from paper, clay and silica powder( the fine dust or waste product from mining operations). Any paper can be used – but it is best to
avoid brown paper bags and carboard boxes as they are harder to break
down if you want a smooth, sculpting medium.
The same is true of the clay. Darjit can be made with a variety of clay like
substances. If you have a particular clay in your area – try it out.
Soak the paper overnight at least, two –three days is best Approx 80% water to 20% paper, you can use newspapers, telephone books, glossy mags, junk mail, old office paper, shredded paper, old tax records.
If in doubt use less paper.
You need to get it right first time because it is difficult to add more paper later.
You can add more water any time.
Soaked paper is mixed/broken down with the drill and plaster mixing paddle.
Hold the drill with loose hands – but be careful it can be unwieldy.
Regularly untangle paper from the paddle.
Feel free to stop and start – settling helps break down the paper sludge.
Once paper is broken down into a pulp add clay
2 – 3 parts paper pulp
1 part clay*
*A good proportion for the “clay” component is 60% silica powder (mining
waste) and 40% clay. Too much clay will cause cracking from shrinkage, not
enough and you won’t get that wonderful buttery, clay like sculptability
Please note the clay particles help break down the paper and vice versa.
Once it has been mixed to a smooth consistency, pour out onto a draining
surface and leave overnight. A shade cloth is good – but any semi porous
material that holds in all the solid matter and lets the water drain through is good.
Darjit Making equipment
A large steel tank, 100-400 gallons, with rotary slasher or brush hog gearbox bolted in facing up from the bottom so the blade is in the tank. The driveshaft can be then driven by PTO on a tractor or welded to the axel of an old car or truck. It wants a drainage valve welded into the bottom of the tank, no smaller than 2inch, 3-4inch is better.
You can make smaller batches in a 50 gallon plastic barrel, or steel oil drum, the wheelie bins used for trash and recycling work great.
A plaster mixing drill and paddle are used to break down the paper and mix in the clay and silica, once again, it’s the RPM (rev’s per minute) that are important 300-800 RPM
It is best to soak the paper longer when using the drill method.