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Large Clay Figures

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#1 DMCosta


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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:53 PM

Hi All,


I am making medium-large sized (at least two foot tall) self-portrait clay figures with my high school ceramic students. We are about 60% complete thus far in the construction. We have hands, feet, and heads mostly left to construct and assemble. This project is difficult and has a lot of issues that can arise. My questions are these: 


Does anyone have any experience in making larger sized figured? If so, any recommendations?


How about clay hands and shoes/feet? How can they get constructed? I saw a good youtube demo on hand constuction but not a whole lot on feet or shoes. 


Any tips for drying and bisque- firing these sculptures? I think getting these sculptures into the kiln when bone dry is going to be tough. We are using cone 06 low fire clay.



Advice is greatly appreciated!



#2 neilestrick


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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:57 PM

If you're loading them into a top-loading kiln, it may be easier to unstack the kiln rings, set the piece on the kiln floor, then re-stack the rings, assuming you're comfortable with taking apart your kiln.


Dry slowly. Don't rush it. Hollow, mostly closed forms will still have a lot of moisture inside when they look dry on the outside. When you fire them, do a long preheat, like 12 hours or more, to make sure everything is totally dried out. It would be a shame to blow up something with that much work in it.

Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC


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