Monday, April 27, 2015

Learning to Sculpt

I don't sculpt.  I should say, I've never tried to sculpt before.  A few weeks ago I decided I would start teaching myself.  My cousin had been posting photos of her new pet hedgehog so I figured that was a good place to start.
My first two stoneware hedgies
These were my first two tries.  Not so great but not so bad as to make me quit trying right then and there (my complaining would suggest otherwise).  I took some advice from friends and kept going.
Silly stoneware hedgehog with tiny body
I don't know what happened here.  He came out with a big head and almost no body.  Ok, let's try some more.  
Two stoneware frogs and a hedgehog
This little guy made me happy.  His head to body ratio was better and I changed the shape of his mouth (also based on feedback from friends).  After I made a couple of hedgehogs I played around and made those little frog heads.  

Start of a stoneware cat face 
After the hedgehogs and frogs, I decided to try a cat face.  I made little silly-looking cat face charms a few years ago but decided it was time to up my game.  I rolled out a base and then attached two balls of clay for ears and began shaping them.

Cat face before eyes
I kept adding and taking away clay, adding more and taking some away.  Eventually I was left with a face with no eyes.  I couldn't decide how to make them.
Cat faces with two different types of eyes
Originally I made faces with the eyes on the left.  They didn't look right to me so I got more feedback and then made a change to one of them.  I carved out the eye area and then rolled two little balls and pressed them in.  I left the other one as-is just so I could see how the finished pieces would look.
Some of the finished test pieces with oxide and glaze
After all the pieces were sponged, bisque-fired, stained and glazed, I glaze-fired them and these were the end results.  I'm happy with the hedgehogs and frogs but the cat faces need some further adjustments.  

I started working on some more last week.  Here's a little hedgehog in porcelain.  I want to test a specific glaze on him.
Porcelain hedgehog
So my goal this week is to make some more in stoneware with the necessary adjustments and hopefully have a batch of them ready sometime next week.  It's been a fun (and at times frustrating) process trying to teach myself something as simple as these little animals.  I'm excited though to see what else I'll be able to create as I gain more experience.

Happy Beading!


  1. they turned out great!!!!! julia is going to die for the frogs!!!!

  2. They're great Diana and they look fantastic glazed! Looking forward to seeing more :)

  3. Wow, you did great! You are inspiring me now to try playing with polymer more.....instead of just cutting out things. That's why I like this site. You don't just post your "great" stuff, you give us a chance to see your process.....try and try again. It's really helpful.

  4. I especially love the Hedgies but they are all cute! You go girl!


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