Students will use draped slab and slab method to create a relief sculpture by adding a coil and slab decoration. Students will exhibit craftsmanship in handling clay.
Students will study facial features and form them in clay.
Make sketch of idea for relief portrait.
1. Roll slab of clay between guide
sticks. Slabs should be 3/8" thick. Cut slab to desired shape for
sculpture base. Maximum size of base 9"x 14" (23 x 35.5 cm) -- most should be no
larger than 9"x12" (23 x 30.5 cm) .
2. Press a slab of clay into face mold. Force a little extra clay into nose and chin. Put newspaper inside face for support -- un-mold. (Note: the molds for the face were made by pressing plastic mask forms into plaster. I had one mold for each table)
3. Position face onto base -- cut out extra clay behind face. Secure face to base shape by scoring and applying slip.
4. Add border design to base -- carve, incise, or stamp additional textures to border. Add on relief coils, slab decorations as desired.
5. Add features to face. Make a self-portrait if desired (see examples). Study proportions of the face. The eyes should be the same width as the nose. The inside corners of the eyes should line up with the crease of the nostrils. The corners of the mouth will line up with the center (pupils) of the eye. Add thin coils for eyelids and lips. Press in iris and pupils. Make slight impression under nose for filtrim.
6. Add additional relief elements to express your mood or feeling (jewelry, hair, plants, animals, textures). Remember to score and slip both surfaces.
7. Underglaze and glaze after bisque firing. You may choose a bronze patina - or aluminum (silver) patina
Student work in progress (Below). Students rolled out a slab of clay and draped it over plastic face molds. It is recommended to use a separator between the mold and clay. Plastic wrap works well or paper toweling. In previous years, Woody has had the students make their own plaster face masks using gauze strips. These molds were then used to form the face. See examples on his school site (Archive). A co-worker of mine had the students use the plastic face molds and press clay to the inside of the mold (using a plastic wrap separator) - then supported the clay with newspaper.