Ceramics

Notes About Ordering Ceramic Sculptures

Owning a ceramic sculpture is a very special thing.

Bronze Resins all come out of conventional moulds and are made as near identical as dammit, but every ceramic sculpture I make by hand is unique. I create my sculptures in two different ways, one off originals and sculptures from press moulds, which are more affordable, however these will also vary as the sculpture is constructed from several different parts and each one has had its own individual journey to creation. The processes used to colour the sculptures and also the firing will also be different for each piece.

I’ve made this page to help you understand the choices and to make ordering a sculpture as a rewarding experience as possible. If I’ve left anything out just send me an email and we can have a chat about your purchase.

clay dog sculpture

I love clay! I use many different types for my work and they all have different properties, colours and textures. The type of clay I choose depends on the type of animal I am going to make, it’s colouring and size.

I use several techniques to help me make the sculptures. Smallish animals sitting down or lying are fairly straight forward and comparatively easy to make, large standing animals, or animals with no legs on the ground, diving otters for example, are more difficult. I have a sculpture frame made by my husband which allows me to make things I would find impossible without it. I also sometimes use newspaper to help to support the sculpture from inside. Once the sculpting is finished the piece Is either allowed to dry completely or I colour it with slips,(liquid clay with colouring).It then waits in the kiln shed until absolutely dry and I have enough to fill my electric kiln for the first firing up to 1,000 degrees C. When the work has had this first firing it is strong enough to handle, becomes porous and will accept glazes and oxides easily, I also sometimes use underglaze colours depending on what I have made. The final stage is the glaze firing in the gas kiln. Gas firings in my kiln always vary slightly depending on how much is in the kiln and how I fire it, the position of a sculpture in the kiln can also make a difference, I have a glaze that is lovely when fired at the bottom of the kiln, but is a rather horrible dirty matt grey when fired at the top. A gas kiln, unlike an electric kiln uses up the oxygen inside it (reduction firing), so the clays develop a warm colour that you don’t get from an electric kiln. the firing process especially is part art, part science and a lot of magic, I never quite know how the firing has gone until I can open the door about eighteen hours after I have turned off the gas, I don’t think I will ever get used to the mix of expectation and apprehension while I wait, as even after many years of doing this I occasionally get a bad firing. A really good firing is what I live for!

Individuality

I’ve been creating ceramics for all of my adult life.

I can almost guarantee to reproduce something very similar to the photos on this web site, but it will not be identical, nor would I want it to be, it will have a little something of its own about it, something that makes it unique. For instance, your ‘Hare washing its feet’ will be YOUR ‘Hare washing its feet’.

If you would like your sculpture to be as close to the sample piece photographed, then that is what I will aim for. If, however, you would like something similar, then that is just as possible. I can rearrange the ears on a hare, turn the head on a dog or tweak the tail on a cat. Maybe you’d like  a dog with colouring more like your own pet. Just let me know and we can talk about what is and isn’t possible within the range of a particular piece. If you are interested in a sculpture that looks more like your pet, please look at the commissions page.

clay dog sculpture

Ordering

clay dog sculpture

Because it takes quite some time for me to make my work, and also because I have a large kiln to fill, it may be a while before before the sculpture you want will be ready to send.

If you want a sculpture as a present, please let my know in plenty of time.