Clay from Art Camp Claudia McGill: Puffy-Headed Figure

This creature emerged from the Art Camp Claudia McGill and is now finished. Take a look. Here it is, in the wet clay stage:

Figurine 8-16 pre-bisque small

The figurine on the kiln shelf after bisque firing:

Clay in kiln 3 8-16 small

When it came time to glaze the creature, first I painted its face area solid black with Velvet underglaze, and then washed it off, leaving it in the depressed areas. I then gave it a variety of colored patterns all over its body. I overdid it, and the patterns got too fussy. Annoyed, I went to the sink with the idea of washing it off and starting over (after all that painting, you bet I was annoyed, but it just didn’t look right to me). I washed part of it off and liked the result, so I stopped right there.

Then I wrenched its arm off and felt even better about things. I thought the arm was just too diminutive for the body – the colors seemed to accent that for me, where it had looked all right up to now, in the unpainted stages. I left the white clay showing where the arm had been – now that looked fine to me!

So – here’s the result.


24 thoughts on “Clay from Art Camp Claudia McGill: Puffy-Headed Figure

  1. Art by Norunn

    looks great! when you struggle a bit, you are more likely to end up with a better result. Because you put more work into it you also get more layers that makes it more interesting. That is my experience any way.

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes. I really like it. When I removed the arm, I meant to color in the white spot left but decided not to (it would be easy to do so if I later decided I wanted it colored after all, just another firing, so not a hard decision!) and I loved how it came out. The word “ghost” is just right for that, the visual memory of the arm, all that’s left.

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you, what a great compliment. I really like making patterns like these and always thought they were “too easy”, maybe just filler, but now I’m creating clay pieces specifically for being decorated this way, and enjoying every second of it.

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes, I think the same thing, working out a problem in a piece often leads to a breakthrough in thinking and seeing things differently and so getting a result you couldn’t have predicted. I really like that. It happens to me in clay a lot, I’m not always tha skilled in handling it, and so I need to recover from mistakes a lot. The mistakes turning out to be successes is sort of a theme, I just need to know when to – go with it!

  5. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you, I think of her as a she, as well! As far as the arm is concerned, the worst part is getting from the greenware (dried clay) stage to through the first firing. They are very fragile in that dried mud stage and I have whacked off plenty of arms, legs, and heads, not to mention chimneys, eyes, and tower turrets…Once I saw her painted, the arm looked superfluous and interfered with all the color, so – I removed it before I gave it any more though and luckily, she seemed to like it. Thanks for looking, we appreciate it!

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you! I like this person/creature, and I was not sure how it would go in the earlier stages. You put a lot of time in with each creation when you do clay, there are so many stages, you just have to have faith.

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