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February 2021 Sculpting Workshop

Surface Treatment / Glazing

The Sculpture workshop was undertaken to learn the basics of creating a human head.  I wanted to incorporate those skills into other sculptural pieces in the future.

I used simple hand building techniques (mostly adding and subtracting clay from a general form) using earthenware clay at the Eversfield Ceramics studio.  

Step 1.Using some printed materials of standard head shapes and the general placement of features, I created a general shape of a head and neck in solid clay.   Then refined the features based on the pictures and proportions given in the materials. ( took a full day to get the head shape right, the eyes, nose and mouth.)   The cheeks and ears were especially tricky.

The eyes - were created by first making two large holes into the head.  Then creating two round balls of clay for eyes and placing them into the holes.   Coils of clay with tapers at each end were then placed around each eye and worked into the head, leaving the inside edge (edge touching the eye ball) alone.   Brows were added by using two more tapered coils of clay above each eye.  I used a wooden clay tool to inset the corners of each eye to give it more depth.

The nose -  a triangle lump of clay was worked into the general head shape and refined with a round wooden tool pushed into the triangle lump to give the nose nostrils.

The mouth -  I started by adding a strip of clay under the nose and then adding tapered coils for the top and bottom lips.  I used a wooden tool to cut into the centre of the lips.

Step 2. We had to choose someone from the workshop  to create a bust.  I took pictures from many angles. Then re-shaped the first general head into the subject by adding and removing bits of clay.   Sounds easy, but it took all day.

Step 3.  Once the final head was leather hard,  I cut in half and then hollowed out the solid head and then re- attached. I let dry slowly to avoid cracking.  (3 weeks)

The final head was smoothed with just my fingers.  Hair texture was added by using a simple pin tool and dragging over the surface of the hair.


I plan to use Manganese dioxide washes over the entire head.  Will update this post once the final glazing is completed. 

Bisque Firing

Will be bisque fired to cone 07 in David's gas kiln at Eversfield Ceramics.

Final Firing

Stay tuned.  Will add the final info on the final firing as it is completed.

Materials Used

Cone 010 earthenware clay - will update actual company info later.

Firing Materials

No additional firing materials were required.


Will add after the final firing.


Would like to continue to refine my skills in human sculpting.  Will undertake some other animals as well.  Will need to purchase some additional reference materials to assist me in my home studio.

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