Nov 2, 2011

Handbuilding Clay - Works in Progress

This is a before and after of a simple sculpture of a girl holding a bird on her hand. I wanted there to be a feeling of movement in this sculpture, and it's illustrated by the sweep of the girl's hair and her dress. She's also standing slightly leaning into the wind. These all add to the feeling of movement and that there is the presence of wind.

In the finished sculpture, the combination of glazed and unglazed areas make a nice contrast to the layered glazes. I also used iron oxide on the hair. Iron oxide is a great way to color unglazed clay and when used thickly it becomes almost metallic in appearance. 

In the following photos, you'll see a Santa sculpture I made recently. The first photo is when the santa is pretty well modeled. I use the same series of steps as I did in a previous post on making a Gnome.
In this pic, Santa is done, except for his face and hat.

Here is a side view of Santa. You can see the little squiggle of clay on the lower left that will be part of his moustache.
 The finished Santa! Don't mind my dried up, wrinkly fingers. They do look pretty bad, don't they? The clay really dries them out.

Here is the Santa all finished and fired. Of course, I bisqued him first, but what ismynew neat trick is applying a layer of white slip over the brown clay for white areas like the beard and white fur of the outfit. This means less glazing and less of white underglaze, which never really works that well for me. I think he came out great!

 The next photos are of the gnome I posted previously. Here is a photo of the finished wet clay.

 This is the gnome when he was fired. I left his face unglazed. This sculpture was fired in a hotter part of the kiln and there is a lot of melting in the blue of his jacket. Normally, I'd be pretty unhappy with my glazes getting too hot, but it works here because it just adds to the vintage feel of this piece. I'm really happy with this little figure.

The following pics are of sculptures I have drying on my rack right now. I've been making a lot of my hedgehogs and they are taking me in directions I never thought of. Here are two musicians:

 Here is a little pigtailed hedgehog girl with a cup of cocoa. At least I hope it is- I hate to think she's drinking coffee at her age.

A screech owl spirit guide:
 A warrior ferret:

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