Building big

This term, my main goal is to build much bigger than I have been. My larger pieces in unit 2 were the most successful and had the most impact. How big can I go? Is there a specific size that works best? How far can I push my material?

There are many risks in building larger with clay - see the image below.

Building process:

As I was building, I created quite a dramatic overhang in one area of the vessel. I spoke to James to help see what was the best thing to do in this situation to ensure it survives through the kiln.

Deciding how to finish the piece and final wet vessel:

360º video of the finished vessel:

Key learning/takeaway points from this piece:

  • Build SLOWLY. Allowing each section to get close to leather-hard before I continue building meant I didn't have any collapsing during the building process. It took about a week to complete but it's worth it in comparison to having to spend the time making it again.

  • If I want to make dramatic overhangs, build in low-fire clay.

  • If I do create dramatic overhangs in a high-fire clay, add coils of reinforcement to prevent slumping as much as possible.

  • Allow sections to dry at similar rates - don't add soft wet clay onto leather-hard as it won't join properly. The dryer clay has already shrunk slightly so the wet clay will crack off. Spray areas to join with a little water to help softer clay stick.

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