Clay from Art Camp Claudia McGill – Ladies and Cat

More Art Camp Claudia McGill results. Here are some figurines – two ladies and a cat. The ladies are in the wet-clay stage; I don’t seem to have a photo of the cat.

Wait! Yes, I do.

Clay kitty small 8-16

Here are the figurines, waiting to be unloaded from the kiln.

And here are the lady figurines in final form. Now, the one with her arms at her sides, that’s a form I’ve made many times before. The one with her arms flung out, I’ve never made one like that, and I like it. As far as glazing them, I did them the same way as the figurine in the previous post, including the flung-out arms one getting a partial washoff due to excessively fussy dress decoration.

I’m not thrilled with the way their faces came out – they look ghoulish, with the stark white clay and black details – I think this style of face works better with the softer tones of the stoneware clay I have used in the past. Still, I like them. They know who they are.

The cat got a simple styling – I painted it black all over with Velvet underglaze and then washed it off, leaving the details. Enough said. Cats always know who they are.



16 thoughts on “Clay from Art Camp Claudia McGill – Ladies and Cat

  1. Sabine Waldmann-Brun

    Claudia, I just love your ladies! Especially because they are the opposite of “in style”, focused on the USUAL “beauty-aspects”, but have character, color, and, yes, indeed, beauty!!!!!

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I have been making lady figurines for a long time now and they always have looked like this from the first. I liked their substantiality and hoped to give each one a personality. Plus, I just like making them! I love what you said about them, that’s what I think – they know who they are!

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. Each piece teaches me something. This white clay is very stark with any color, and I’ll have to figure things out to avoid the harsh look in the future, but on the other hand, it is such a nice clay for presenting colors, it has a lot of other uses. Always something!

  4. Laura (PA Pict)

    These are all wonderful! I totally love them all. They are so characterful and the way you’ve chosen to decorate them is perfect. I love that the cat is more spare in the decoration, definitely like a self-assured cat.

  5. Art by Norunn

    Nice work again Claudia! I have very little experience in working with clay, but following your work sure makes me want to try again. I remember the excitement in finding out how the final result turned out. I guess with time you will have more experience/control….
    I love the decoration on the dresses, the washing of the colors adds more depth to the figure and makes it more interesting for the eye. I might have tried to use a warm brown for the faces to soften the expression.

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you! You raise so many good points. I started doing clay as a hobby and that’s really still what it is, though I sell at a few shows each year. Results are always unpredictable for me although as time has passed I have gotten more able to see how things will turn out. Still, I think it’s the nature of clay to surprise! I like your idea about the face. I may try to revise the coloring – since these are not glazed, I can continue to add more underglaze and re-fire them. I have started using low-fire clay instead of the medium-fire I was using, and it takes getting used to. I do like this white clay for the brilliance it lends to the colors, and since I am doing more color on my work now, I’ll keep using it, but I still have things to learn. Well, that’s why I like it, it’s always an adventure to see what emerges from the kiln.

  7. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. This white clay is challenging in a way I did not understand until I tried it – usually I have needed to punch things up but this clay really accentuates the bright colors and gives a lot of contrast. This is what I have been wanting and now, it’s a matter of learning to use it best. Glad you like the cat, I was going to do more, but, he looked right as he was. That’s always the question – when have I taken things far enough!

  8. Claudia McGill Post author

    Here’s what I think worked for me. One was the fact that I would get a feeling of unease if I were going too far. Sort of like I’d gone into an unfamiliar neighborhood and was looking for landmarks, uncertainly. Time to stop cue #1! And the second one was that I know my tendency is to overdo or overwork or over-color or whatever. And to stop and take a breath, let some time pass, if I’ve been working on something a while, to see if I get the “unfamiliar neighborhood” feeling, or if I am tired or maybe getting aimless. Many ruined projects have helped me!

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