?? I’ve been sharing progresses
of these two sculpture over the past several weeks both on my the blog and on Facebook. During last week I was working on the coloring part and they went into the kiln for the second time
They came out of the kiln today. I expected the outcome to be worse. They both need to fire again to get color accuracy and details but I’m pleased for this as the work I did on them was almost a blind work as all the slips looked the same color when wet!! That’s Terrible ? so I was guessing the markings and amounts without really knowing what I was doing. Not at all bad, but now I have better sight for a new layer of color!
Generally talking, large pieces are technically very challenging. The high temperature does affect the clay and it reduces size and melts A LOT. The heavy weight when is unbalanced can create distortions. I had that fear about the sitting puppy as his head is way too heavy but I was able to balance the weight distribution and it didn’t move from it’s original place. As for the standing dog, it had to be fired with supports as the pose is complex in itself, having one leg up, and all the way to the front by the position of the head. That was already a challenge to sculpt! I was proud and happy that the piece survived all the processes of sculpting, drying and firing twice!! I broke one leg while it was drying but I was able to fix it without problems! I’m really pleased for having accomplished that much with this experiment with ceramic. But there was still another challenge and it had to do with the weight that the fourth leg is NOT supporting! The supports during drying and firing helped to keep in balance, but during the high temperature the weight did it’s part and the clay melted on it’s heaviest point, which is, of course, at the front! Right where the leg is in the air!! ? this was predictable and could have been worked out better by pulling the other leg a bit more to the center to help balance the weight of the head, which is far forward and creates even more weight and unbalance when we think all the stress the materials will go through!! So…. everything which could go wrong was considered and I already knew it and nothing unexpected happened and I’m very very happy for it! I will have to sort my plan be to help the standing dog to stand and it will need to be placed on a base. I have a wood in mind ?
Let’s see!! I’m now full into working out their color! They must be ready for the exhibition in September. Wish me luck ?