Sculpt a Shaker Pod
Nancy Briggs shows how to sculpt a shaker pod using clay fired beads.
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Materials and Tools:
red earthenware clay
white majolica glaze
various mason stains dissolved in water and frit 3134
clay carving tools
wood modeling tool
wooden paddle tool
container of water
fired clay beads
clay cutting wire
brush for applying slip
1. Cut a piece of clay from the block, shape it into a ball and center it on the potter's wheel.
2. Throw a small pot on the potter's wheel leaving an opening at the top.
3. Place small-fired clay balls into the clay pot (shaker pod).
4. Close the top of the form by shaping it into a point. This will be the bottom of the seedpod.
5. Separate the seedpod from the rest of the clay using a wood-modeling tool.
6. Cut the seedpod from the clay bottom with a cutting wire. Let it dry for a few hours.
7. Manipulate the top into a round shape using a paddle.
8. Crease the sides vertically with a wood-modeling tool to obtain the lobe shape.
9. Soften the sides by smoothing them with a wet sponge.
10. Roll a piece of clay in your hands and shape it into a stem. Score the top of the seedpod and attach the stem with a slip.
11. Pierce the pod with a needle tool to allow the air to escape during the firing process. Let the shaker pod dry.
12. Bisque-fire the shaker pod in the kiln. Let cool.
13. Dip the shaker pod form into a base of white majolica glaze.
14. Brush various shades of mason stains mixed with water on top of the white glaze. Blend the colors with your hand, much like pastel chalks are handled.
15. Fire the pod again in an electric pottery kiln to cone 04 and cool (8 hour fire, 12 hour cool).
Small, medium and large triangle clay shapes are used to cultivate this ceramic musk thistle flower.