Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Clay Valentines

This week I've made clay valentines for the kids in my playgroup. For this project I chose a low-fire, white clay that is mixed with paper fibers. When it fires, the paper burns out. This results in a strong clay that is lighter in weight than regular clay. I used paper clay because I wanted something lightweight and strong that is less likely to break when getting banged around by kids.

After rolling the clay to 1/4" high, I cut out heart patterns with cookie cutters. I then poked a hole in the top corner with a straw and wrote their names in the hearts with a wooden clay tool.
For this particular project I don't have a lot of time so I will glaze them as greenware and then fire them. Greenware is unbaked, dry clay. Normally I do a bisque fire - which is a greenware firing without glaze and at a higher temperature. The bisque firing is not really necessary, but I usually do it so that I can keep the bisqueware around until I need it, and then do a separate glaze firing. Greenware is very fragile and I don't like to leave it lying around the studio. I glazed the valentines in reds and pinks. They were a big hit at the playgroup.

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