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Meet my new collection - EARTH PEOPLE!

Good morning,
I trust you're well. Here is a little update of where I am at and what I am creating right now. Sculpting has been my lifeline lately. I find it to be a great focus and it offers some good private space to be in. A bonus is that I am creating some pretty incredible things - in my mind at least.
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On the 26th of November 2020 I made my first of this collection - Tree Man. He was crude, raw and completely adorable. At this time I had no armature (like a prop - I'll show you more shortly), so as you can see I had to tie him up to a brick so he would stay upright.
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Tree Man - with my first primitive armature / prop.

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Tree Man was extremely popular as he sat in a local gallery window. While I was on duty I saw him stop many people in their tracks - then he found his forever home.

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Then, last week, I was inspired to make another, however this time I was armed with some potential new techniques I had learned at an online ceramics conference.

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Meet my next piece in this collection, the 'Old man of the Mountain.'

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This guy is adorable. Since this picture I have enlarged his base to ensure good support. The difference between this one, and the original Tree Man is that I made time for extra detail - especially around the base / feet.

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I wanted to get the base / feet / legs right because I knew that as soon as they were assembled it would be a hard spot to get to again.

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I essentially build these figures in three parts. The base / feet / legs - then I let that firm up. Then I make the torso - let that firm up. And then I make the head - and let that firm up. Depending on the temperature around me, it could be 1-3hrs of waiting. Then they get assembled, and I add all of the extra fine details.

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Stage one - make the base / feet / legs. Skewers, knitting needles and chop sticks make wonderful stabilisers to keep the soft clay from slumping!

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Once this guy was made I felt he was sad, waiting for his long-lost love, his partner who was nowhere to be found. So I had to make her - the 'Old lady of the Mountain'.

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The 'Old lady of the Mountain' came to life. It seemed she had long left the mountain and was hanging out in the gardens in the nearby valley.

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You can also see in the above photo my new, home made armature. I am finding this tool fantastic when making these figures. It helps keep them stable and upright while the clay is still quite soft. Once the clay is firmer and it can stand well on its own, I carefully remove it and repair the hole in her back with a circle of clay.

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 A partial view of her hair.

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Her hair is made into a flower, as are her hands. She was born into form very directly, which was loads of fun to play with.

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Then, the latest EARTH PEOPLE figure to be made is this one below. She is currently untitled. She has a strong affinity with exotic flowers - this is what I felt strongly when I was making her and bringing her character to life.

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Currently untitled - Earth People figure.

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These latest three currently sit safely around my home slowly drying. If clay dries too fast it can crack as it shrinks. There is still a long way to go before these latest creations are finished.

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Once they are completely air-dried - which will take a few weeks, then then can go into the kiln for their first of two firings - called the Bisque firing. Here all of the chemical water is burned out as the kiln travels up to about 1000*C.

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The clay is still porous enough to accept the glaze and the clay is firmer than before - as air dried clay (also called Greenware) is the most brittle stage of the process.

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When these are bisque fired I can then apply underglaze decoration, colours and glaze. Then back into the kiln it goes for it's final firing. As these are stoneware pieces, they will high-fire in my electric kiln to about 1260*C. Fingers crossed - after this stage they will be in one piece and complete.

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The biggest obstacle I can possibly see with these figures is to work out how to glaze and decorate their finer details. If the glaze is too thick it will cover up all of the detail I spent hours creating. So I will need to select my decoration carefully and thoughtfully.

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Stay tuned... we'll see how it goes in a few weeks.

Keep an eye out on my 'EARTH PEOPLE' Collection here.

Or, stay tuned on my Facebook page.
Thank you for connecting,
All my LOVE,
Lee-Anne Peters
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=== If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting me via this website, or on Patreon at www.patreon.com/templeofbalance ===

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1 comment

  • Your " Inner Child’s " Imagination Is coming thru loudly and Beautifully ☆☆☆☆☆

    Carolyn Eime

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