• My Guide: Carving Clay – An Endless Ceramic Technique

My Guide: Carving Clay – An Endless Ceramic Technique

It was during my Art and Design Diploma in 2002-2003, I undertook a self-directed module which I chose to focus on the medium I have always adored, which is clay. I created 3 designs of ceramics with the theme of natural form of lichen. This lichen is a simple, yet intricate layered form that gave me an abstract ‘starting point’, as such. It was during my photography module in this course that I photographed lichen attached to fallen trees as my subject matter.

During this time, I created a set of 3 vases created by removing/ carving clay from a large, hand thrown lump of clay. This resulted in a set of mottled vases that looked like a natural form, yet having the impression of a traditional vase. Each piece was glazed and decorated with dry pieces of clay to resemble the natural forms of lichen, texture in wood and natural forms (e.g. gemstone geodes as shown below):

The set is shown below:

During this module, I created a test piece to see how tall and thin I could build a pot. It wasn’t even remotely a success, but a big learning curve and taught me that you need to have balance in pottery and sculpture. I always learn from every piece I make in every medium. Below is this test piece:

I have shown below some tools that I have used since I first handled and fell in love with clay. These carving tools are easy to find and widely available in craft shops or on places such as eBay:

The other technique you can use is the way you would create your design with tools on lino tile for printing:

Another thought is the technique used in wood carving, which is an excellent foundation for clay carving:

Here is the idea that you can make use of all manner of things useful during working with all types of clay. I myself use: knives, forks, spoons, straws, brushes, cocktail sticks and so many other everyday items, which are perfect for clay.

This blog is a tiny look, that scratches the surface of what you can do with clay. Below is an amazing Pinterest board you can follow where you can watch tutorial videos about this subject:

Pottery: Decorating, Sgraffito and Carving at http://pin.it/kVuxZYH

#clay #claydesigns #claycarving #linoprinting #howtouseclay #claydecorating #claysgraffito #claycarving #troika #carnpottery #victoriaalbertmuseum #laurahelliott #artanddesignaccess #accesscourse #accessdiploma #accessartdesigndiploma

All artworks & designs displayed are © Copyright by Laura H Elliott BA (Hons), Dip.

Buy my work online @ http://www.lhe-art.co.uk

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