I went into this one thinking that I would do a simple bust as something fun after my Rainbow Dash sculpture. Boy was I wrong! She fought me every step of the way. Except when I started sculpting her hair. I guess she liked that. lol
Anyway. Nine days at 2-3 hours each day (4 hours on the last day). So about 24-ish hours of work.
I'm still on the fence about her having a more rounded horn versus a pointed one. Though the more I look at it the more I seem to like it. It seems to fit her adorable nature for some reason. (And is less likely to impale some one if it happens to fall lol)
She stands around 15"-16" and currently weighs about 20 lbs. The hair is what makes her so heavy. I couldn't hollow out the hair so I had to poke a bunch of holes in it as well as the neck piece and then smooth them out.
According to how the glazing turns out on the Luna/NMM tile will determine if I'll glaze this or paint it.
And I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some stuff. If you have any questions feel free to ask! ^^
MLP and Luna belong to Hasbro and Lauren Faust Art belongs to me
Do you have any tips for aspiring artists? I have 2 ceramics classes at my school (Enrolled in one, TA for the other) so I have a lot of time and have been dying to try something like this I'm curious as to what kind of clay you used to make it not, well crack, while remaining that thick during the fire. I don't quite understand what you mean when you said you poked a bunch of holes in the hair and smoothed out, but seriously fantastic!
The clay I like to use is called Orangestone. It is a high-fire stoneware clay (fires at temps 2200°F+). It's one of the strongest clays at my campus bookstore due to it's high grain content. But even with that clay I still run into problems with cracking. It doesn't really matter what clay you use (unless it's a really low-quality clay).
Cracking comes from many different things like the clay drying too fast, the clay being too thin, over working the clay, not scoring and slipping real well, etc. Clay has the tendency to shrink when it's fired which also causes cracks to form. I think every one of my pieces have had some cracks in it somewhere, mostly on the inside where I had hollowed them out. It's pretty much inevitable but there are some things you can do to prevent major problems.
1. If you have a large piece, allow it to dry evenly by loosely covering it with a plastic bag. Then every day or so flip the bag inside out. You don't want pieces of your sculpture/pottery to dry out before others. That's why it's good to let them dry slowly. It takes my bigger pieces about a week to completely dry. Smaller pieces (like my tiles for example) can be left out in the open and are usually dry in a day or two.
2. Make sure your piece is structurally sound. It's a good idea to have the clay thicker at the bottom for structural support. Also think about where and how certain parts are connected. If your connections are too thin or unsupported, there's a good chance they will crack and break off during the drying process or during firing.
3. When you connect two pieces of clay make sure you score and slip both sides of the connections real well. I just use a comb dipped in water and scratch the surface until it's real wet and mushy. That way the clay will have something to hold on to while it dries. If you don't then that connection will be very weak and may crack.
I'm sure there's some other things I missed but those are the three important things I've learned. I could also explain better if I could actually demonstrate what I'm talking about.
When I made the hair I made it too thick. Anything over a half-inch has the tendency to explode or crack when it's fired. Usually to remedy this you hollow out whatever's too thick, but I couldn't do that in this case. So what I had to do is take a needle tool and poke a bunch of holes in the hair and then smooth them out to hide them. That lets air circulate in the clay and will allow the it to bake evenly. I did the same thing with the clouds in my piece Of Loyalty.
Tips for aspiring artists? Never give up, never doubt yourself, never rush (art takes time), and most importantly have fun!
Thank you so much for the in-depth reply! Hopefully when I attempt something on the scale of your sculptures they will actually turn out ;D
I hadn't heard of poking holes into thick clay to keep it from cracking before, so I'll apply that if I have to.
I'm also glad to hear that a few cracks here and there are okay, so that I don't become overly concerned if minor ones arise. I've had a piece of mine have the bottom explode off *cough* but it was a learning experience haha.
I'm gonna have to show my teacher some of your progressions, so that I can coax him into letting me make ponies and that he'll believe me that it's possible. So I guess thanks for those constant updates on your works too!
You're welcome! And don't hesitate to ask me anything. I love answering questions and giving insight.
Remember to poke holes if it's thicker than 1/2 inch or if you're unsure poke holes anyway. Better to be safe than sorry. Also remember to make it to where air can travel freely throughout the piece. You don't want closed off pockets of air in your sculpture (like if you attached a hollow arm or horn to your sculpture without allowing the air in the arm/horn to escape). That's when the explosions happen in the kiln.
He doesn't think ponies are possible? That's silly. Anything's possible! You just gotta be creative and go for it!
And you're welcome on those updates! I just knew there was some people out there that would appreciate those!
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More