Wedge about 800g of clay, take half of it and wrap other half in plastic/polythene. Pat it into a ball about the size of a tennis ball.
Place the ball of clay on a whirler. Make a hole in the middle with your thumb
and support the outside with your fingers. start pinching using even pressure making
sure the clay is kept to the same thickness. Use a wooden rounded rib to smooth and compress the inside.
Put the rest of clay through an extruder or roll out coils about a quarter of an inch thick.
Cover the coils with plastic to keep them moist. Start adding a coil at a time and join by pressing clay inside with a downward strokes using your thumb with gentle pressure. Do the the same on the outside carry on adding coils and work your way up turning the whirler as you go. Don’t press too hard or there will be weak spots. Build up the clay until it can cover a half of a ballon placed inside.
Blow the balloon to the right size then place it inside the pot.
Carry on coiling up to about three quarters of the balloon. You can only press joins together on
Use a rib to pull up the clay evenly from the bottom, in a criss cross motion to keep the clay
strong compressing and turning the whirler as you go. Add more coils if necessary and cover the balloon completely. Leave to stiffen for a while and pop balloon using a pin tool. If you don’t pop the balloon as the clay shrinks it will crack.
When the clay is leatherhard; place pot on the whirler (spin) and using a pin, cut a line into clay three quarters of the way up and remove top. I used a ball tip tool to make the dots and a ribbon tool to carve to carve a pattern below them.
Cover pattern with coloured slip. The slip needs to be moist but not runny. Leave to dry.
Scrape off the slip carefully in small scraping motion. Don’t scrape too deep or you will scrape the pattern away. Don’t worry too much about sharpening the inlay pattern because you can sand it once it has been bisque fired. I use a diamond pad sanding block.
Bisque fire and glaze with a suitable glaze for the clay used.
The slip needs to be as a paste; If it’s too wet then as it dries it shrinks back and won’t be level with the surface. If you kept adding wet slip to build up, it could become very messy and may distort your piece.
Scraping off the slip; This needs to be done at the right stage. If you start scraping and it starts to drag then wait longer until with gentle scraping action it reveals a clear pattern. For final scrape bend the metal rib to shape of pot and do long gentle scrapes to take off any scratches.
Smudges; Try not to touch the pattern after you have scraped off the slip as it will smudge. You can lightly sand after bisque firing to sharpen image and get rid of any smudged areas.
BALLOON PROJECT : ARTISTS
Balloons were used to make paper mache projects round shapes could be made then cut it in half. This would be a base for making numerous projects.
Good for supporting clay
Quick way of building up the clay
Lots of ideas can be formed from a basic round shape.