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Ann E.

Clay Branches For A Nest

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I am trying to make a nest out of clay branches. I have been dipping the branches in slip but when fired the branches burn out and the clay comes out in about half inch cylinders, which are beautiful but would have to be glued back together to make a branch. This would be almost an impossible task and not give me the look I want to create a fairly large nest that one could sit in. Can anyone help me with the technical aspects of this as I am an elementary art teacher and taking a ceramics class with J.J. McCrackin and this is my project for her? I will acknowledge your help and write and article if I ever figure this out!

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My first thought as I read your post re; creating clay branches was paper clay as well. I hear that if your paper clay dries out that you would be able to add a wet piece to the bone dry piece without scoring and slip and it would still stick. This way you could add on to the nest if need be. That reminds me...I have a bucket of porcelain paper clay that I made in the basement - there are recipes online, it's not overly difficult. It's also available to purchase ready made.

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The paper clay is a good idea ... I have recipes and techniques for making it on my site.

www.ccpottery.com

 

You can get the bark from trees and roll the pieces over it to get the texture right or ..

cover the bark with several layers of liquid latex ( letting it dry between coatings) ...

this will create a flexible, correct patterned mold.

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Hi! Dip newspaper into well-mixed slip and cover the branches, then fire. I've done this before, and it worked. I applied about 3 layers of newspaper and tried to have it going different directions with each layer, like you do for paper mache.

I am trying to make a nest out of clay branches. I have been dipping the branches in slip but when fired the branches burn out and the clay comes out in about half inch cylinders, which are beautiful but would have to be glued back together to make a branch. This would be almost an impossible task and not give me the look I want to create a fairly large nest that one could sit in. Can anyone help me with the technical aspects of this as I am an elementary art teacher and taking a ceramics class with J.J. McCrackin and this is my project for her? I will acknowledge your help and write and article if I ever figure this out!

 

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I am trying to make a nest out of clay branches. I have been dipping the branches in slip but when fired the branches burn out and the clay comes out in about half inch cylinders, which are beautiful but would have to be glued back together to make a branch. This would be almost an impossible task and not give me the look I want to create a fairly large nest that one could sit in. Can anyone help me with the technical aspects of this as I am an elementary art teacher and taking a ceramics class with J.J. McCrackin and this is my project for her? I will acknowledge your help and write and article if I ever figure this out!

 

 

 

I know it was a few years ago but I was just wondering if you ever made the nest and how it turned out?

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The work of Deborah Horell comes to mind. She had an article in Ceramics Monthly, and taught at Alfred summer school in 1982. She made about four molds then slip cast the pieces. You could make some two-piece plaster molds from the branches and then just press the clay in.

Too complicated?

TJR

She had an actual nest that she drew images on.

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