Saturday, August 5, 2017

Making Baskets/Bowls

I need a basket or a bowl of a proper size for the base of my ReaperCon piece. I have a couple of pre-made resin bowls, but they're too big. So today I worked on trying to make my own out of green stuff. I want a relatively small bowl or basket with a wide top that would be suitable for collecting change if you were a street performer.

I started with three balls of green stuff of different sizes. In the end I want a small bowl, but sometimes it's easier to start large.

I don't know how proper sculptors do this sort of thing, but I do sort of remember how to shape a bowl out of clay from art classes years and years ago. So I started by leaving one of the balls on the working area and trying to widen it out and form it into a bowl shape. Alternately, I know you can do it by starting with a flat bottom and building up coils in the shape you want. I tried both.

Neither was very successful. Trying to hollow out the shape on the tray left me a very rectangular profile and left a lot of texture on the bottom where the tools poked into the putty. The coils were better from a shape perspective (and more fun), but much harder to control. The coils also need to be kinda smushed together to make it look like a single item without weird gaps in the side.

I moved on to experimenting with shaping the bowl with the putty in my hand rather than on the work surface, and I think I had to most success with that. Here's what I was doing.

I started with a small ball of putty.

I used a conical clay shaper tool like this:

To start hollowing out the shape, I just stuck it into the ball of putty and worked it around in a circular motion.

I did this until I had a decent sized hole in the middle. Then I switched to a wider tool to continue making the shape I want. The wider tool also helped keep from leaving alot of marks in the bottom.

Once I had it about the size I wanted, I put it down on my work surface to make the bottom flat.

Then I used a wide, flat tool to square off the top edge by just lightly pressing the tool down across the whole top at once.

And that was that.These are all of my various attempts, with the ones made by the method I just detailed in the front.

I think one or two of those might be good enough for my use. I'll look closer tomorrow after they've had a chance to cure.

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