manatee sculpt in progress

Another way to sculpt a large figurine without slicing it in half and hollowing it out is to use an armature. But, because I am not making castings with molds, my armature has to burn out in the kiln firing, otherwise the sculpture will crack through the armature. So, This time, I actually made a newspaper sculpt of a manatees’ form. The newspaper will totally burn out in the first firing of the clay body. You can see in the picture, that I rolled out the clay flat first with an ordinary rolling pin.

I then wrap the porcelain around the armature, making sire no area is larger than 1/3′ inch thick. I sart making the shapes, adding his flippers.

The details are added, using many photos of manatees for refernce.

yes, that is a black cat sitting behind the sculpt.

I have added air holes on his underside so he won’t blow up in the kiln, now he sits and dries out, waiting to be fired.

Explore posts in the same categories: Sculpting in clay, tutorials

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4 Comments on “manatee sculpt in progress”

  1. Hi Pamela

    Thanks for sharing these skill on your blog. Great manatee by the way. I often get asked about this type of technique from visitors to my site, but all my work is molded for production – so the original is not fired and I can’t give them first hand advice.

    I will point them to your great blog.

    Many thanks


  2. pampaws Says:

    Wow! Check out Peter Holland’s site from great info!

  3. I think it’s interesting the way the manatee has it’s flippers. I’ve tried animals, not too good at them I’m afraid. I do people.

  4. Anonymous Says:


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