I just finished sculpting this “moon and stars” bear. The new thing I’m trying here is combining two different types of clay in the same piece. The bear is made from Speckled Brown stoneware from clay-king.com while the moon and starts are made from a white stoneware. The shrinkage rates are approximately the same and they fire at the same temperatures. I don’t think the difference in the shrinkage rates will be a problem on a piece this small (she’s about 7″ long) but we’ll see.
This bear is hollow. I began by sculpting the head from a solid piece (except for the ears and nose which are attached) and then I hollowed it out from the neck with a wire sculpting tool. Next I made the body from a rolled out sheet of clay, leaving an opening at the rear. I sculpted each of the legs from solid pieces then hollowed them out from the top and attached them to the body. To finish the assembly, I covered the hole at the rear, added the tail, and poked holes on the upper insides of each of the legs and on the bottom of the body to allow for air expansion. I then added more clay wherever I thought I needed it and fine-tuned the sculpting.
For texture, I covered the whole piece – except for the muzzle which I want to be relatively smooth – with slip and when it had dried slightly I tapped it all over with my fingertip to raise tiny peaks, like with frosting. I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to texture the fur with individual strokes.