I try and attend at least two courses a year at the moment to challenge myself and drive me forward with my ideas and creativity. Its also great to work along side other people, very different to working at home on my own. I’m extremely lucky to have the Sculpture Lounge Studios so close to where i live. http://sculptureloungestudios.com

There are some amazing sculptors and artists residing there.

On a four day course in 2018 i created my baby orang-utan using clay. My idea was to have it as a wall-hung piece with the illusion of the baby orang-utan hanging  from rope attached to the wall.

Here’s some photos of the beginning stages of the build, props of anything i can find are used to support the walls of the piece so they don’t start to collapse, kiln bricks in this instance and older discarded pieces of clay. Pieces of plastic bags are used to keep the clay damp in areas where i have to stop it from drying out before the next bit it is attached to it – for example where the hands will go on this orang-utan.


Then it’s left to dry out fully before its first firing. When the first firing is done i’m left with a white, rather flat looking sculpture that needs bringing to life with colour!

Below are the photos of the colouring process for this one, the first one shows the manganese copper oxide stage which gets washed all over to get into the crooks and crannies to show the texture and give the piece some depth. In this instance it looks bit severe but lots of it gets sponged off before the next stage. Its messy and rather toxic stuff!

Then when as much of the oxide has been removed as is required it’s time to add colour……..

Obvious colours for an orang-utan – oranges and browns, and in this case a light flesh pink colour and some mustard/okra to highlight some of the hair. Whatever gets added it will change after second firing so an exciting and daunting stage. A helping hand with a heat gun to make sure colours are drying and the clay isn’t getting too wet can be useful, especially if time is limited which it always ends up being on a course.

I added a clear gloss glaze to parts of the face, hands and feet and then when its dry enough it heads off for its second firing…..exciting.

I love the end result and it has been very popular with potential customers…. 🙂


What animal would you have?


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