Elephants on the brain

I have had elephants on the brain since I came back from Thailand.

I wanted to make some elephant salt cellars that were sculptural.

I made this one and quickly realized that it was too much work to be able to sell for a reasonable price, so I am keeping it for myself. I’m sorry to show you things that are not available for sale but I thought you might like to see the process anyway.

elephant salt pig.JPG

Isn’t he cute?!!!!

Here are the various steps that are used to create the elephant from a lump of clay. I think it took me 2-3 hours. Maybe with practice, I could get the amount of time it took down but for now this is it.

Granted the first one always takes longer but even so it was going to be too much.

As you can see i started with a lump of clay and mad an estimation with it to the proportions of the head to the body.

Then, I used another lump of cly and attached the full head to the body (slip and score). From there, I used a plastic spoon to scoop out the area that I wanted to leave open to hold the salt.

Again using my best judgement to decide on the appropriate with and length for the trunk, I attached and curled back toward the head for extra stability. It was at this point that I also attached the ears.

I carved a little where feet and legs would go, details of the trunk and eyes and used stamps ti create the pretty pattern on the body.

Lastly, I used slip trailing to add a few more details to create even more interest. A very important thing that I also did at this point was to poke a hole with a needle tool into the bottom of the form. Very thick items like this need an escape valve for extra moisture and air.

Once dried, it was off to the kiln for the firt bisque fire. After that I decorated it with Amaco Velvet underglazes and blue celadon. Any questions? Feel free to leave in the comments section and I will be happy to answer!