Thursday, July 9, 2015

Clay Panther Sculpture Demo p. 5 - Firing the Sculpture

firing a clay sculpture, firing clay animal sculptures, clay firing techniques
When placing the sculpture in the kiln, you need to leave at least 1 inch between the sculpture and the elements. In this case, the sculpture is too large; the head is an inch away from the side, but the back leg is not. When this happens, just leave the element that is too close to the sculpture off. The bottom element is the one that is too close, so I left the bottom element off and started firing with the second element.

When loading the kiln, I prefer to have the largest artworks on the bottom of the kiln, loading it with smaller artworks as I go up. I also leave a lot of room in between each artwork; that way if something breaks, it won't hit another sculpture. Also, if more than one sculpture breaks it is more obvious which piece goes to which artwork.

firing clay sculptures, firing ceramic sculptures, clay firing techniques
When adding shelves, be sure that you can still easily place the cone in the cone support. Once you get the artworks placed and the kiln and cone ready, begin firing your sculptures. The picture to the left shows two horse sculpture, including the bridled horse sculpture "Blaze" from my Small Horse Sculpture - No Armature Demo. 

After letting the kiln cool down overnight, you can start removing artworks. Inspect each piece for damage, but with any luck it will be a successful firing.

firing ceramic sculpture, ceramic firing techniques, clay kiln firing

The extra clay pieces beside the panther are the tail, which unfortunately broke off and shattered on the floor before firing. But, fortunately for this demo, there is now a section on Fixing a Broken Sculpture that contains information on fixing cracks, holes from the armature, and broken parts.

kiln firing clay sculptures, ceramic firing techniques, kiln firing

You can see the melted cone still in the support - it should have melted to a 90 degree angle, otherwise the kiln may have slightly over-fired (more than 90 degrees) or under-fired (less than 90 degrees).

Page 1 - Armature      |      Page 2 - Sculpting      |     Page 3 - Finishing Touches
Page 4 - Unfired      |     Page 5 - Firing      |     Page 6 - Build Base

About the Artist:

horse artist, equine artist, PSSM horse
Since starting my art business in 2004, I have been on a roller coaster ride that's taken me from art, to house flipping, to legal assistant, to horse trainer, and a full 180* back to my artworks.

I'm thankful to get back to my art, and also for the life experiences I've gained.

Things in life that matter the most!  Jen, husband Jared, and Jax

Thanks for reading, I hope you've enjoyed my website!  Feel free to comment, like, or subscribe!

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