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March 2021 - Rabbit (Hare) Sculptures

Sitting Hare - Greenware stage

Both Hare sculptures were hand built using dark Cone 6 clay.  No maquettes for this project.  Watched a great "clay flick" video on the Ceramic Arts Network by Lisa Naples  called "Narrative Animal Sculpture" which got me started. 

I used many rabbit and hare pictures as reference.

1. The Sitting Hare sculpture was the first piece I made and he was made using 3 pinch pots ( one for the head and two for the main body. )  Clay legs and tail were added to the pinch pots.  Using dark clay for the initial sculpture, and then adding white slip over top.

2. The Running Hare sculpture was made with solid dark clay and built around two wooden props held in a solid clay base.  Legs , head , tail and arms were added to main body as separate pieces.  The entire sculpture was then texturized with added clay roughly placed.  Once the sculpture was  leather hard, the props were removed and the holes filled and the sculpture was then cut, hollowed out and  re- assembled and left to dry on a foam pad.

Surface Treatment / Glazing

1. The Sitting Hare was texturized at the soft leather hard stage using a serrated metal rib.  The ears were left smooth.  Then a very dry white stoneware slip ( Laguna B-mix slip) was applied with a wide brush to leave some of the dark clay exposed.  ( 3 coats applied )

Once bisque fired, it was given a stain wash using 50% Red iron Oxide and 50% Manganese Dioxcide.   Left the eyes without wash and used a clear glaze over top.

2. The Running Hare was texturized using soft dark clay (using the same clay as the rest of the sculpture.)  This was left to dry very slowing to avoid any cracking.  The ears were left smooth.

Once bisque fired, Black gold glaze was applied just to the eyes using a brush.  The rest of the body was given a wash of 50% iron oxide and 50% manganese dioxide .

Bisque Firing

Both rabbits were slow bisque fired in my Kiln Art electric kiln.  Cone 04 using the pre-programmed slow bisque firing cycle.  This was to avoid any cracking, as this cycle takes approx.  13 + hours and has a slow warm-up.

Final Firing

Fired both Hares to cone 6 in my electric kiln using the standard slow glaze schedule programmed into the Cone Art Kiln.  

Running Hare - Leather Hard stage
Materials Used

Both Hare sculptures were constructed using Plainsman 390 cone 6 clay.

The slip for the Sitting Hare was Laguna B-mix cone 5 clay , dried, powdered with a mallet and mixed with water into a thick slip the consistency of toothpaste.

Firing Materials

No additional firing materials were used.


Both Hares survived the glaze firing without any issues.  No cracks or breakages.... which was great as I didn't want my grandson Miles to be disappointed or have to wait another month.j


I liked the effect of using the white slip over the dark clay body for the Sitting Hare.  I think i will try different poses for the next sculpture and work on expressions.

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