Looking back at the calendar and when I began posting, I am reminded that it has been over a month since I started working on sculpting this piece. My first images are from July 2nd. These last two weeks working have been both joyful and anguishing. In some ways like when you are reading a great novel, you can’t wait to get back to it. However, you know you will be sad when you finish and no longer have something to look forward to reading. Guess you can find another book, as I will probably begin a new sculpture.
Working I am constantly reminded of the of the importance of slow and even drying. Periods of rest, where I carefully wrap the piece in airtight plastic to slow dry and redistribute moisture. Every time I make a change or add clay I need to let the clay have a chance to get used to its new form at each phase. It is critical to work without having one part dry too quickly before the rest of the piece.
The changes above are subtle. I’m working on the details in the facial features and hair. I also added a bottom to the neck. I have kept the clay someplace between plastic and leather hard. In order to stand it needs to be firm, but wet enough to shape and sculpt.
Monday I will return to the studio and decide what is next. If I make no additional changes I will begin to let the piece dry slowly by loosely wrapping in plastic, then gradually removing the plastic. My concerns here are decreasing the potential for slumping or cracking when I finally fire.
Any comments, or suggestions are always welcome.
With delicate pieces I also use the “gradually removing the plastic” method for slow drying. I’ve also added very, very tiny droplets of water with a fine tip brush should part of one of my sculptures appear to be pulling away from another part during the drying process – for drying evenly. Your piece is coming along beautifully! I’ve been admiring your progress.
Thank you Mary. Clay work does require patience. Enjoy seeing your beautiful creative interpretations of animals.