White clay and heads – facial expressions and 3D perspective

  • So I made 15 flat headed faces to look at facial expressions and more 3D heads to look at it from all perspectives, looking at the eye socket shapes, jawlines and so on.
  • I decided to work with white clay as I have in previous years and for my FMP last year I experimented with all clays that being white, red and raku. Through this experience for doing the figure I know white clays consistency works best for this process as it’s best to get detail with and personally overall find it easiest to with work with. The red clay is a bit too ‘ wet ‘ though it does have a nice consistency but the colour isn’t suited to my overall work as in my survey people said they associated the colour white, black and grey the most with the disorder anorexia. Raku clay is better for bigger sculptures and you can’t get much detail with it as it’s very blocky and the texture of it is really gritty.
  • Overall there is 35 pieces, 15 more flat pieces and 20 3D head pieces.
  • For the process of this the materials I used were:
  1. White clay cloth
  2. White clay
  • For this process I used only my hands, I didn’t want these to be perfected pieces but just a variation of experimentation’s of shapes within a face, focusing more for a skull, skeleton-like appearance again suiting to my feedback of my survey and my illustrations throughout.
  • The plan for this was to have numerous pieces to experiment with, half being to experiment with dry and half to be fired to later experiment with oxides and glazes and so on.
  • The flatter faces were easier to make and it was as simple as poking holes for eyes and manipulating the shape to provoke an expression/emotion. As for the more 3D full head pieces I used the method of creating it like you would a pinch pot, which I reference my log book from the last project we had when making IKEA bowls/dishes. This made it so that it wasn’t thicker than my thumb and this allowing it be fired (hollow) otherwise would explode in kiln.


  • These are some examples of the flatter faces showing different facial expressions, through doing this I have now come to the decision that I want no expression and just a nose and eye sockets, I have said throughout how I feel this is best suited as it shows the figure to be more mysterious and the lack of emotion the disorder itself has. Though I’m glad I tried with the clay itself as it’s gave me ideas for how I could possibly display/position the eyes and so on to make it appear more sinister, though I feel I am mostly like the idea of the final figure being quite empty and as if it’s just drained from everything.


  • The third one in this being my favourite of the flatter pieces, I just love the shape of the face and the menacing grin it has, working quickly which I usually find really difficult has opened my mind to more dynamic fast moving pieces. It allows you to get multiple ideas out all at once as sometimes when making a piece you overthink it, it’t good to make then reflect and compare and contrast the good and bad.
  • I like the idea of around the holes of eye sockets the being around it more sticking out so it appears more skull-like, I like the idea of making my piece quite characterised the same way Tim Burton does with his animated pieces within his movies.
  • This shows the method of it beginning with the pinch pit method, which is getting a small ball of clay and using your thumbs and finger tips and making it more rounded to give the skull shape, pulling inwards.
  • Through this process my main focus was the eye sockets and the jaw line, I especially like the middle piece for the cracked broken effect in the eye sockets I pushed through the clay from the back rather than the front.
  • Really enjoyed this process of this and when sculpting my 2 final pieces as I’ve got to do 2 in case one is to break, I’ll use these to reference the structure as well as my previous research throughout my book, my idea is to after experimentation to pick my 3 favourites to refer/reflect back to.31682405_1923043657708509_2850407088109125632_n.jpg
  • I used method were I would have holes just for the eyes but in some only pressed lightly to see if I could possibly paint the shadows in the areas rather than it just being hallow, I also like the idea of using these in a dark room and using a light source to see how the the light can be caste on it to see the shadows within the the variations of the shapes and see which has the biggest/dramatic impact to have an understanding of how the lighting could be lit on them when being being presented at final stages.

Overall the process of this experimentation I enjoyed and feel it’ll be great to later use numerous materials such as:

  • Ink
  • PVA glue
  • Glue gun
  • plaster
  • Wire
  • Chards of glass
  • Chards of mirror
  • Wax
  • Oxides
  • Glazes

and so on…

My main concern at the time being is my time management and trying to evaluate how long it’ll take to make two final pieces as after this week I will only have 2 weeks left and that includes how I will present them. I feel through my book I have a rough idea of how I want them to be and how I want them to viewed but I really want at least half of this week to experiment further materials to know for certain what will look best.

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