Experimentation with materials on dry white clay pieces

  • Now that my clay pieces are dry, I have took half of them to experiment with a range of materials, I don’t just want to use one material on each but I want to combine numerous materials to see the differentiation between them.
  • To begin with I used a flat facial piece and used acrylic black paint and painted over it to see how it would look with just paint on it’s own. I didn’t really like it with the paint and felt it looked too bold, I prefer more the appearance of it being more lifeless and drained than just bold and organic. Anorexia is a disorder that makes the person physically ill, it sucks the life out of the person and I feel white and pale colours would psychologically work well to represent it.
  • As I didn’t like the black I then tried going over with white acrylic and again didn’t like the result though I feel it looked better than the black, I tried using dabbing motions to see what effect it would have rather than just gliding the paint on but it didn’t really make a difference and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing.
  • I then took a 3D skull like piece and painted with white acrylic, I painted it as I thought it would make materials stick to it more so the idea was to use it as a base coat to then drip black ink onto it.
  • So for this as it’s messy I probably should’ve primed my hands so that it wouldn’t stain my hands but obviously I didn’t think on… I done this over the sink to make it easier to clean up and used the black ink and dripped it onto the piece to create drips, through this I learnt that ink really soaks quickly into dry clay and rather than the colour black makes it more of a greyish colour but you can see texture within it, leaving some darkened areas. So if I was to do the same thing on a more textured piece, it would be interesting to see the contrast and details within it.
  • I then waited for this to dry and plugged in the glue gun and wanted to use the glue to then slot in some wire in the eyes – using copper wire and steel wire. I really liked this effect and could see it working well as bars (prisoner bars) on the sculptures cut out stomach, to show how the disorder is empty and shows restriction of eating.


  • I then did the same process with the ink but this time using red to see what effect that would give:


  • I feel like looking at this it’s a bit too much and it’s very grotesque to look at and gives off a horrifying feeling, the red makes it look like dried blood. Reminds me of the artist Olivier de Sagazan’s work which also has this really sickening, twisted, distorted appearance to it:
  • Often using the colours white, black and red, he usually predominantly uses white then has contrast of a black and vivid, bright red. With the red being so intense it makes the artwork that much more horrifying and makes you feel disturbed.
  • I then glued the eye sockets again using glue gun and applied pieces of broken glass which again had a nice effect but feel it looked too pretty to involve for my possible final outcomes, though I’ve left the glass in a jar of red and black ink overnight to see if it’ll stain it to then later experiment with.
  • I then poured on PVA glue on top of the piece to create drips to then again put ink on the top to see if it gave it a different effect, hoping it would be more bold rather than just drying into the clay.

I was intrigued by how it would look if I was to blow onto it when mixed with the ink, thought it might give it a marbled effect which to my luck it did, was really fascinating to look at and was happy with appearance of it but again didn’t really see it working that well for my final pieces though I wanted to wait till it was dry to possibly peel some off. (please don’t laugh at my head during the process of this)

  •  The glue was still wet so I sprinkled the glass shards on the top of the head then again put ink on top as an attempt to dye the glass and to my surprise it actually worked and I prefer them being black, though I didn’t like how the piece was pretty much all black but I knew now dyeing the shards of glass is now an element I could use possibly.
  • Actually beginning to like the appearance of  it more as I go on and feel my knowledge of materials and what combinations work best, now that it’s dried a bit I really like the effect on the side of the face, the combination of PVA glue, the two inks looks effective and I love how little bubbles have shown on it. It looks as if the two inks are melting into one another, very gross but satisfying to watch the process of it from start to finish.
  • I also peeled off areas as mentioned before I wanted to do, on the head it didn’t turn out well but on one of the eye sockets where there was hardened glue I ripped it off which then left a area of dried clay which contrasted against all the other colours going off in the background, making it appear broken down and decrepit. I liked this effect it gave on the eye socket but overall if it was to be on a final piece it would be pretty risky as you never know how it will rip off, possibly ripping more clay off than what I’d like. 31772976_1923217891024419_6233345814039625728_n.jpg
  • Now this is where things started to get really interesting, at this point I knew to go no further with it as you can see above it’s beginning to just look like a massive mess, so my last stage was to dip it into wax and I had no clue how this would effect it but I feel the wax really brought this to attention.
  • For the wax you place the wax beads into the wax heater, leaving it for about 15 mins till it’s fully melted, be careful when using as it is boiling hot! Make sure also to put paper down for easy clean up, for this process I used a dipping technique and a spoon to make drips onto the piece which gave off a cool effect.
  • I was mostly amazed with how the dry clay appeared with the wax had turned out, it gave it a really grim, slimy appearance, it was interesting to see what colour it turns to. I think it could work really well towards my final piece but this is when the clay hasn’t been fired, I think it did this as the wax was that hot it melted away some of the surface, therefore making the clay moist but wax dries fast so it then giving it that dark beige colour.
  • As I really liked the wax with the clay I then used some more pieces with just the wax and materials over the wax to see what effects they could give:
  • So I dunked in wax then used the spoon to see if  I could create bigger drips going down the face, to make it appear as if it’s melting. The drips give it a a creepy appearance and I associate it with horror and reminds of the film House of Wax – 1953 and 2015.
  • So another one I dipped I then dripped ink onto it and it didn’t take well to it to begin with some slides right off but if you angled it and waited for it to dry slightly it would stick more to the wax, wasn’t that impressed with the result.
  • For this experiment below, I soaked the dry clay with water and watered down with acrylic paint and applied it to the clay piece and rubbed into the clay and it gave it a off grey appearance with some areas blackened. This had a good appearance and made it appear old and rough.
  • I then poured red ink over the piece and with the water it made it go a fuchsia pink which I don’t think suited but wasn’t expecting it turn out like that. As the clay was quite damp I then used some wire to carve into to then apply ink into it again to see if it goes into the cracks, using cross hatching and then dunked in the wax to all the materials and clay dry fully and stick.
  • Overall was interesting to view and I did love using wax but again just didn’t appeal to me, I was mostly interested in how it looked when used with dry clay when not fired but I also had to take in mind health and safety as for it was to break the dust of the clay is dangerous.
  • I then used another piece and used the same process but this time leaving it neon pink and then waited for it to dry and used spray paint to see the effect it has on that surface, I really loved the appearance of it and it contrasts and definitely catches your eye. I love how within the black spray you can give it a direction but you still have that unpredictable bursts of texture though I loved this outcome again I feel it’s just too contrasting and bright for a disorder that appears corpse-like and emancipated.

  • I then went back to one of my previous pieces and combined the glue gun with the dried clay, didn’t really like the appearance but it did make the figure more stable as before it was very fragile and though I don’t like the appearance here I did like it when I used it in the thigh gap as it created a web-like look.
  • I don’t really want to use the material but like the idea of possibly having wire go into the through gap and possibly creating some type of pattern to create a more stylistic approach.

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