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cbarnes

Need help with supporting sculptures for kiln fire

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cbarnes    2

I've been playing with making these Cats in various positions and I'm new to hand building.  I really like the thin neck to add character, however the head falls off during the firing process.  its hollow but still heavy compared to the neck.  I've tried firing the head separate from the body and gluing later but with shrinkage etc, it isn't a good fit.  any ideas?  I don't have a vent on my kiln so armatures are difficult.  I tried a wire the first time ,now realizing that was a bad move and it melted of course.   and I'm using clay with grog if that matters firing to cone 6

any advice appreciated, thank you

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Chilly    330

Not a cat-lover, but he is cute.

If you make a mould from the cat, and then slip-cast him. he will be a uniform thickness and that might improve the weight issue.

You say the head "falls off".  Does it actually break, or just slump?

If you make the two parts separate, you need the neck to be a long cone shape, and the hole in the head to be round so it fits on the cone.

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Min    783

Try sculpture clay, low fired clay? Do you have to fire them all the way to cone 6? Would low fire glazes or a cold finish be okay?

Edited by Min

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Doria    0

Hi

love the cat! Have you ever tried paperclay? You can low bisque fire your piece and then add on to it with paperclay slip so if the head falls off you can put it back on. If you want to know more google paperclay. I use it almost exclusively in my sculptural work now. Good luck, and let me know if you try it. It won't disappoint!

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cbarnes    2
On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 0:22 AM, Chilly said:

Not a cat-lover, but he is cute.

If you make a mould from the cat, and then slip-cast him. he will be a uniform thickness and that might improve the weight issue.

You say the head "falls off".  Does it actually break, or just slump?

If you make the two parts separate, you need the neck to be a long cone shape, and the hole in the head to be round so it fits on the cone.

I've thought about doing molds.  might be time to go for it.  the head actually breaks and falls off ruining the glaze.  I haven't tried the separate parts with the cone shape fitting into a hole in head, just tried it flat, i'll try that.  thank you!

 

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cbarnes    2
On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 9:05 AM, Min said:

Try sculpture clay, low fired clay? Do you have to fire them all the way to cone 6? Would low fire glazes or a cold finish be okay?

I just prefer cone six for durability after firing.  doesn't do me much good though if I cant get it past that stage.  thanks!

 

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cbarnes    2
22 hours ago, Doria said:

Hi

love the cat! Have you ever tried paperclay? You can low bisque fire your piece and then add on to it with paperclay slip so if the head falls off you can put it back on. If you want to know more google paperclay. I use it almost exclusively in my sculptural work now. Good luck, and let me know if you try it. It won't disappoint!

i'll check out paperclay.  I've heard that's fun to work with.  thank you!

 

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Chilly    330
1 minute ago, cbarnes said:

I just prefer cone six for durability after firing.  doesn't do me much good though if I cant get it past that stage.  thanks!

 

I've broken as many ^6 pots as ^06.  Outdoors is another matter, ^6 needed to get through a (UK) winter.

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Min    783

Just as an aside, smooth red earthenware is strong if it’s fired to its maturity. An interesting read from Pete Pinnell on his experiences with strength tests of different claybodies here.  Not talking bodies for outdoor use here, just strength.

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I would recommend 2 things - 1, use paper clay. It's ideal for sculpting and has a slower dry time so you can work more evenly on it. 

2, fire it sideways on furniture and prongs  but prop a piece under the thin neck to prevent it from warping. 

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Benzine    610

Between myself, and my students, I've dealt plenty with, this kind of problem.  I would suggest making some clay "waster" props/ supports/ columns.  Maybe three to four around the head, with the weight directed towards the body, or all the way to the kiln shelf.  I make the props, as I'm building, for support, that way they dry at the same rate as the sculpture itself.  The same with firing.  They will expand and contract, as the sculpture does.  

I will note, that I only do this for the bisque firing.  Once fired, I rarely have issues, with things coming apart.

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cbarnes    2
On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 10:13 AM, Benzine said:

Between myself, and my students, I've dealt plenty with, this kind of problem.  I would suggest making some clay "waster" props/ supports/ columns.  Maybe three to four around the head, with the weight directed towards the body, or all the way to the kiln shelf.  I make the props, as I'm building, for support, that way they dry at the same rate as the sculpture itself.  The same with firing.  They will expand and contract, as the sculpture does.  

I will note, that I only do this for the bisque firing.  Once fired, I rarely have issues, with things coming apart.

I will try this ... thank you!

 

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cbarnes    2
On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 8:41 AM, cbarnes said:

i'll check out paperclay.  I've heard that's fun to work with.  thank you!

 

bought some paper clay to try... I LOVE IT!!  thank you for the suggestion. this may be a whole new thing for me.

 

Edited by cbarnes

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