How To Make a Hedgehog

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.

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