So! I fulfilled a lifelong dream and made a bust of myself. After a play I made, in which we had 20kgs of terracotta sculpter’s clay left over, I thought I would put some to use! With absolutely zero understanding on what the process would entail, I got to work. My idea was to make me look a bit like an old philosopher.
What was I doing
So, lots of learning done in making this piece. I needed to hold it together while I was making it - the head was so heavy. So I made a wooden neck, shoulder, and chin base that it sat on. I also created the head shape with the help of a lot of plastic bags scrunched up and taped together. Obviously I couldn’t put those things in the kiln, however I hadn’t thought so far ahead!
Off with the Head
So, with the mentoring of Margaret Bray, I began to ready this pup for the heat. I chopped the head off carefully, removed the inner plastic and wood, and severely thinned down the walls of my sculpt to ensure an even drying in the kiln. I then put it back together, and waited for it to dry…………… Then into the kiln it went!! And it didn’t explode!!!!
After the first firing I grabbed some glazes from Bot Pots and it was fired a second time. It has a few minor cracks but considering the utter ignorance with which this clay was treated, I am amazingly lucky it turned out how it did. I am really happy with this piece. In real life it has a severe gaze and austere look that has a rather comical effect.