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Pottery Articles write an article

Pictures and step by step building an amazing clay sculpture.

Posted by Graham Hay on November 27, 2010

Ancient Tribe 
This sculpture, by Graham Hay, was inspired by drawings of old buildings around inner-city Perth. This a copy of one of more than 20 ceramic and art journal articles he has written. See his website for more articles.
MATERIALS 1 bag earthenware paperclay. Pencil, ruler and large sheet of paper. Rolling pin or plastic pipe for rolling out sheets of paperclay. Sponge. Sharp craft or kitchen knife. Thick art paintbrush. Plastic ice-cream container. 3 building bricks. A board at least 60 cm (24in) square for moving the clay parts about Kiln for firing, which is at least 60cm (24in) high inside (if it is not, reduce the scale of the work accordingly)
Construction will require two days, about a week apart, to allow the paperclay parts to completely dry before 'gluing' the work together. The first day is for collecting the materials required and making the parts out of paperclay. The second day is to 'glue' the parts together before firing. Paperclay dries to a material which is much stronger than conventional dry clay, therefore it is extremely important that you make sure the parts have exactly the right shape and texture before putting them out to dry in the sun.
Day 1 : Construction: Making the Pillars
Roll out a ¾ cm-thick slab of paperclay at least 60cm x 40cm from which to cut the tower legs or pillars. If you are joining two slabs of soft paperclay then coat both surfaces with a slip made from paperclay. Cut five rectangles measuring 54 cm x 6 cm. (One of these is a spare just in case of an accident.) These are slightly thicker than the original artwork to give greater strength. Cut a 1/2 cm-deep crease (no more than half way through) down the length of each of these slabs. Turn each of them over and bend each one away from the crease to create an 'L' end profile on each pillar. Use the ruler to remove any finger indentations.
Drape the paperclay pillars over a brick (as illustrated) to ensure they dry in the arranged twisted shape. Along their length they should each be twisted a quarter turn (90 degrees) and have a gradual bend from the table surface up to the brick top. Use small pieces of soft paperclay to support them, keeping them in the correct position and preventing them from...

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