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A Whole New Thing!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Back in November, I posted about Suzanne and her beautiful pottery - and she has started teaching me how to make things with clay!

When we were talking about it, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to make first - but I thought it would be neat to make something to go outside, like on the porch or in the garden.

A few weeks ago, Suzanne showed me one of her pieces that had gotten broken during her last move - it was a really pretty snake (if you can imagine a pretty snake). It made me think of a cast iron snake that my great-grandmother, MawMaw Fossett, kept on her porch. I don't know if it was something connected with folklore, but it was always on the porch. He wasn't a scary snake, just an old heavy black snake - maybe cast iron - not even very big.

I decided that I would make a snake too...a pretty, happy one, though...maybe just snake-y looking enough so that if I put him around the eggplants in the garden this summer, it might make our squirrels think twice (the last time we planted eggplants, the squirrels (or something) ate every single one of them and we didn't even get one! I don't mind them taking some of everything, but it's not nice when they take it all!).

This is a 25lb. bag of terra cotta. I used a teensy portion to make the shape...


Suzanne helped me with the beginning part. At first, I was thinking that the clay would be like Sculpey in that you need to condition it in your hands to get it ready to work with - but it's exactly the opposite - you want to be careful to *not* overwork the clay. Here's the beginning shape:


I made him into an 'S' shape:


Then he needed texture, so I took a piece of coral and it made these really neat scale shapes. I didn't want the scales to be uniform or even all over, just here and there:


Here's his face - I gave him some little tiny catfish whiskers just for fun so he doesn't look completely serious:
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Right now he's drying, and I plan to glaze him with Duncan glaze in Spanish Moss. I can't wait until he's completely dry and ready to be put in the kiln! I'll post more pictures once he's all done.

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