I wanted to make a ceramic hedgehog, but the question was how to make the spines. I suppose I could have rolled and attached each one individually, but I figured that would take forever. What I needed was a shortcut.
So I attached them in strips. Each strip began by rolling a clay snake then pressing it so the cross section was a tall narrow triangle. The short base would be the part that attached to the hedgie’s back. I laid the strip on one long edge and used a knife to cut “V” shapes into it all along the length. This formed squared pointed spikes. Then I attached the strip. After several such strips the back was covered in “spines.”
Each spike has a square cross section rather than a round one. But we’ll see how it looks when it’s glazed.
The tricky part was lifting it into the kiln without breaking any of the spines – they were quite brittle once the clay dried. But they were quite bend-y when the clay was wet. I considered putting it into the kiln to dry, but I figured the problems would be the same either way. In the end, I was able to lift the dry piece by the snout and lay it carefully into the kiln.