Sculpture Media: Clay

Ceramic clay is very versatile and can be used in various ways. However, when creating a sculpture there are specific methods and techniques required to create the best work possible.  This method uses the hollowing technique, another helpful guide can be found here: How to Make Ceramic Sculptures.

  1. Pick out your design, gather your tools and materials: clay, water, various tools, and a kiln.
  2. Begin by shaping your clay into your desired shape, use your tools to create small details and the water to smooth out the surface, seams, and any cracks. *Create scores along both sides of the pieces you want to attach, also add drops of water to them before attaching, this makes the bonding stronger and more stable.
  3. After you are satisfied with the design, any areas thicker than 1/2 inch (or 1.3 cm), must be carved out. Start by cutting the sculpture in half, right between the target area for hollowing. Then proceed to carve out the clay using special carving tools, or any other appropriate tool(s). Afterwards, place the two pieces back together as they were originally by scoring and mending the seam using water.*The sculptures must be hollowed as otherwise there is a risk of the sculpture exploding in the kiln.
  4. Additionally, you may add small holes near the hollowed region to allow circulation, these can be sealed after cured in a kiln using air dry clay.
  5. The sculptures must be left out to dry for at least a week, to two weeks.
  6. They must now be fired in a kiln, the temperatures will vary according to the sculpture shape and size. This guide may help in the process of using a kiln.
  7. After removing them from the kiln, they are now ready to be decorated however you wish. They can be painted using acrylics, oils, or any other media, as well as glazed to seal and protect the masterpiece.

A great video that provides the procedure and a great tutorial, click here.

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