Here are three of my recent greenware animals, with the goat being the newest. My friend Cathy gave me a sample of a clay she likes which is called “Steve’s White” from Alpha Ceramics in Sacramento. She says it has very little grog (whatever that is!). I used it for both the goat and the wolf. It’s a low fire clay. (By the way, the bear is from “Speckled Brown,” a stoneware from www..clay-king.com, a clay which I like very much.)
It was interesting to work with the Steve’s White and compare it to the only other low-fire clay I’ve used which is a Laguna white clay. I found that Steve’s White was wonderful to sculpt with. It molds smoothly with my fingers or my wood tools I can get good detail. And when I scratched the fur detail there were hardly any annoying little blobs accumulating at the sides of the scratches. On the other hand, when I rolled out the slab for the cloak and then bent it, it cracked a lot – which I didn’t like.
As for the piece, I made a squirrel shaman recently which is larger, so I wanted to try something small. In the back of my mind as I create these pieces I wonder if they could be the basis of a “product line” that would be good in my Etsy shop. In any case, they’re quite fun to make.
In preparation for making the goat’s cloak, I made two texture plates from polymer clay using leaves I collected from my property for the designs. Although I thought the impressions in the polymer were pretty good, they didn’t seem to transfer well to this clay, and once I bent the clay the cracking was so bad that I lost the design anyway. So, for this one, I ended up just using wire spirals to make the impressions, punctuated by little clusters of dots from the end of a brush.
Too bad the process takes so long with the drying time. I’m anxious to see what he’ll look like glazed.