Monday, April 4, 2011

New terracotta clay bust in progress

 I have been swamped with designing the layout and illustrations for my newest book for Operation Outreach USA. Love illustrating for them, but wishing there were more hours in the day. Also got word that my other book, Nana's Silly Goats has been printed and is currently being shipped to the states. Nancy said it's gorgeous and I must say the color proofs we reviewed earlier looked great so I'm really looking forward to seeing them. I'll be posting some of the art on my website soon.

Currently I'm working on a new bust of an African American woman. This is sculpted in Chestnut. It's clay left over from my class with Andi Mascarenas and so was a bit stiff to work with as it's rather old. But I couldn't stand to waste the clay, so while it was quite hard, I soaked it well and let it marinate for a couple of days, then wedged it a bit to work the hard bits into the mushy bits.

This was actually started nearly 8 weeks ago and shelved when deadlines hit. When I got back to her, it had gone well past the leather hard stage, so was a challenge to get working again. I had a heck of a time cutting her in half to hollow out! Once I finally got her hollowed and put back together, I worked in her shoulders and started her scarf. These are some early photos and I should have newer ones up in the next day or two showing the progress.

Still not sure what I think of Chestnut. It's a rather stiff and very coarse clay. You can really see the grit and grog. Sometimes I like the earthiness of if it, but other times I find it distracting. I'll probably compare it with some other clays after firing. The plus-sized woman that I sculpted earlier using his clay fired nicely. It comes out a very, very dark brown color, which is interesting.


  1. Nice to be able to manipulate clay to get a soft roundness, even if course. I work in wood and am beginning to think something malleable would be heaven! Love what you do.

  2. Thanks, Robin. I really like your whimsy- especially the tractor ;-). Clay is very forgiving, it's nice to have the option to put on in addition to taking off!