Whimsical Clay Chair Sculpture

For the Austin Puns Festival, Connie McCreary of Dripping Springs, Texas, made "chocolate-covered chair-E's."

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These are Connie McCreary's clay "chocolate-covered chair-E’s" (pun intended).

Materials and Tools:

slab roller
canvas cloth
knife
paint brushes
credit card
paper
pencil
cardboard
scissors
water container
slip container
aprons
towel
needle tool
glue
bamboo skewer
make-up sponge
plastic spatula
textured ball
rolling pin
plastic garbage bags
plastic fudge box
sculpture clay
commercial glazes
electric kiln

Steps:

1. Draw designs in sketchbook. Make clay prototype. Experiment until you’re happy with the design.

2. Make a paper pattern from the finished clay form, like a dressmaker.

3. Cut clay pieces from block of commercial clay. Pound pieces together to make a slab. Roll slab to uniform thickness with slab roller. Smooth surface with a credit card.

4. Trace the paper pattern with a needle tool onto the clay and cut out the design with a knife.

5. Let slab dry to soft leather-hard stage.

6. Curve back and seat and score and slip to attach. Attach seat top to bottom and chair back to front. Let dry with foam supports to stiff leather-hard stage.

7. Assemble legs from cut patterns. Let joints set to even out water content from slab to joint. Attach back to seat and legs to bottom.

8. Poke holes in form to avoid explosions in kiln.

9. Sit chair upright and refine form with metal ribs and leather chamois in water. Let dry completely to bone-dry stage.

10. Fire to bisque stage.

11. Draw line for chocolate melt. Paint commercial glaze on chair and legs. Clean bottom of legs.

12. Fire again for glaze.

For the platter:

1. Texture leftover slab with Indonesian ball.

2. Cut oval shape with pattern from fudge box.

3. Roll coil with texture tool. Add coil to oval. Clean joint with brush.

4. Add coiled handles and let dry completely.

5. Fire to bisque.

6. Paint with glaze. Fire again to glaze on stilts.

7. Hand-grind any sharp edges.

For the E’s:

1. Cut out E’s from clay freehand. Let dry to leather-hard stage.

2. Clean edges with make-up sponge and fire to bisque.

3. Paint on glaze and fire again with stilts.

4. Hand-grind any sharp edges. Glue to platter/chair.

Website: www.fond-of-fire.com

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