Today, I am showing how I sculpt Angels, I had previously posted this a long time ago in another blog, but have many requests that I show how I make these .....so here we are.....
First, I get out a lump of porcelain clay, work it a bit to remove air bubbles and then roll it out with my roller.
The clay is cut with a small knife into a rectangle for the skirt. I then fold and gather the top edge around its self into a circle.
Sleeves for arms are made from cone shapes, and attached to the body with wet clay slip.
Then a circle of clay and another cone are added fto the top of the dress and neck. Wings are then shaped.
Then I get out the flesh colored clay and make feet, hands and a head. The feet are attached under the skirt…
Then the head is shaped… eye holes are made… eyeballs!
There now, isn’t she cute?, but she still needs details….
small roses are made from pink clay. Green leaves are added to the dress….
I decided she needed a little dove friend….
Now she is done being sculpted, she waits for about 2 weeks to throughly dry out, and is bisque fired in a kiln, hand glazed then re-fired to 2246 degrees, to a fine porcelain china. 14k gold will be applied to her halo.
Watch for upcoming photos
Another Day, down the road......Glazing
Ok, today the pieces that are in the kiln were glazed, including this little Angel.
First I open the kiln cautiously, in case of any explosions, It looks like a perfect bisque firing.
Ok, then I unload the kiln, while inspecting each piece for faults, cracks, then dip them in hot wax. If you don’t do this, when putting on the glaze, it makes it much harder to get the glaze off of the bottom of your piece. (If you ever have noticed on any porcelain piece you may own that anything that touches the kiln shelf must not have any glaze on it, and you can’t stilt porcelain, so the bottom rim of your porcelain china will not have any glaze on it.)
The work is then dipped into the clear glaze…
the wax is wiped clean and the work is placed back into the kiln to be fired to 2600 degrees.The firing will take about 12 hours, then the kiln must be completely cool before opening or hairline cracks will appear on the work. So sometime tomorrow I open the kiln an see what I get.
And Another day.......
Ok, the work is ready to have the gold applied, and this is how I do it. First of all the second glaze firing is done. The peices are unloaded and inspected for faults.
Here is our little angel again, after glazing, before gold, the gold is painted on, it is real gold in a liquid form that burns out in the next firing. Its called an overglaze, because it is put on top of existing glaze, which makes it shiny, and then fired again on.
The work also gets another overglaze, called mother of pearl which I add to the wings of angels and I also add it to my fantasy figurines, such as the mane and tail of the unicorn. It produces a lovely iridescent color.
As you can see from the photos, I try to do a lot of pieces at the same time, to conserve on my electric usage of the kiln. I also am very detail oriented, I enjoy adding all sorts of details to my work, from making sure the back of my designs are made just as good as the front, I add feet under the dresses, the back of wings and roses are mother of pearled.
The work is placed back in the kiln and low fired to 1156 degrees Fahrenheit.This firing takes only around 5 hours. After the kiln has cooled I get to see what I have made.