I realized that we were really due for a sculpture post here on CAD, so today I am featuring the work of Christie Brown. This post doesn’t only pertain to sculpture though. Christie’s techniques could easily be adapted for functional work.
In today’s post, an excerpt from Ceramics and the Human Figure, Edith Garcia explains how Christie makes her molds from Styrofoam models and then press molds and assembles her work. Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
A Lightweight Sculpt-able Material for Press Mold Prototypes
by Christie Brown
This was excerpted from Ceramics and the Human Figure, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!
After she has finalized her clay sections she creates her multi-piece molds by placing shims around the edges of each piece — this allows her to create two-part molds for each section. After the creation of the plaster molds on the clay-covered Styrofoam, she is then able to remove the clay/Styrofoam core and allow the plaster sections to dry.
Within a few days, Brown can roll out clay slabs then pressmold them into the dry plaster sections.
After allowing the clay to become leatherhard, she is able to assemble her pieces.
Brown covers the Styrofoam core with a fine clay and places it on plinths to raise it slightly above the table.
The clay-covered leg is sectioned off with the use of metal shims to create an outer edge for the plaster mold.
The sculpture is painted with a white vitreous engobe and placed in a kiln in sections and fired to 1000 degrees celsius. Then it is painted with colored englobes, oxides and dribbles of clear glaze, then refired to 1180 degrees celsius
In the completion of her works, she fires them to Cone 04 and finishes the surface with the application of watercolor-like underglazes. In this way, she is able to create surfaces that have a subtle yet beautifully-layered, transparent quality.