Finally ready for the fire.
To create these figures I started with a twisted wire skeleton and covered it with ribbon cut from a medium weight wool/acrylic sweater. I then coated the wool fabric liberally with paper clay slip. Once this layer had dried I applied ribbons of wool fabrics soaked in the clay slip – wound onto the legs and arms, shaping as I went.
Paper Clay Slip – Add 5–15% paper pulp to the stoneware clay slip mixing it thoroughly with a drill mixer. I soaked shredded loo paper in water, with a capful of bleach, over night and then pour the lot through a colander, pressing out the excess water before adding to the clay slip.
Next, I used stoneware paper clay to form the torso – making a smooth surface to contrast with the wool texture on the legs and arms. Once I had the shape I wanted I left the figures to dry slowly to prevent the clay from cracking.
I have a large steel drum and also several metres of ceramic fabric to insulate from the outside. A local joinery has lots of sawdust and there is plenty of wood in the shed.
Plan to cover with figures in organic material such as banana skin and may wrap in aluminium foil before placing in the drum kiln.
- Hardwoods- Black/dark grey
- Drift wood – Blue/greys, aqua shades, grey/black
- Seaweed roots – Brown, rust, beige
- Kelp – Yellow, orange
- Table salt – Orange, yellows
- Sea salt – salmon pink, orange, yellow
- Copper carbonate – green, black, maroon
- Ferric chloride – iron reds, yellow, orange
You can place colourants in the bedding, around each piece, on top of each piece, or even throw it at the pieces during the firing. Each can result in different effects in the coloration. When you bury the colourants, it will add color late in the firing. If you place in around or on the piece it will colour in the middle of the firing. When you throw it in you can get instant colouring much like a star burst pattern.
- Copper Carbonate – greens, blues, maroons, reds
- Copper Sulfate – greens, blues, maroons, reds
- Cobalt Carbonate – blues
- Ferric Chloride – reds, yellows, oranges
- Steel wool- blues, greys, pinks
- Banana peel- greens, grays
- Copper wire – red, black, blue, green, whites depending on wire
- Sawdust- black, grey, blue-grey,
- Cow pies – blacks, yellows, greens, greys, browns
- Bacon Grease – brown/greens
- Sodium Chloride- Orange, yellows, salmon, peach, gold
- Coffee Grounds – browns, greens, blues
- Leaves – brown/greens
- Grass – brown/greens
- Miracle Grow fertiliser
- Red Iron Oxide – browns, maroons, rust
Colourants I will use:
- Copper sulphate
- Copper wire
- Ferris oxide – rusty tub
- Banana skins
- Table salt
- Leaves from perennials -robinia, laurel
- Hard woods
Before placing the figures in the drum I will put them in the kitchen oven and to heat to a good temperature – hoping to prevent stress fractures.
Firing day is Tuesday 26th February!