Monday, September 21, 2009

Ceramic bell handbuilding video, Part 2 of 5, Adding texture, by Barbara Dunshee

This video snippet is a continuation of my ceramic bell making lesson. In this "Part 2" I add texture before rolling into a cone. Next Tuesday I'll post the stretching and shaping video.
The outer bell shaping lesson can already be seen on this blog in my still photos bell lesson if you can't wait for the video bits!

Enjoy this one and stay tuned for the rest!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ceramic bell shaping video, Part 3 fo 5, by Barbara Dunshee

Hi, it's Tuesday again so I get to share another piece of a video with you. This video is the continuation of the Part 1 and Part 2 (in which I make the cone shapes). In this one I stretch and shape the cone into the bell shape. Again, the whole lesson is visible as a still photos bell shaping lesson.

Enjoy this video and stay tuned for the rest!

Ceramic bell making video, Part 1 of 5, by Barbara Dunshee

Here's the VIDEO version of my ceramic bell hand building lesson. This video snippet is about building the cone shape only, prior to stretching into a bell shape.
Enjoy this one and stay tuned for the rest!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ceramic bell handbuilding.

My first foray into a short lesson using still images in a blog setting. If something is confusing or you're dying to see more images of a particular step let me know. This lesson is only through the greenware (unfired) stage of the bell shape itself.

100 bells!
I do like the sound given by ceramic bells, so am creating some delicate ringers for the holiday season.
The bell I'm demonstrating below is without texture, but you can add texture right before cutting out the circle in step 1 or just before you roll it into a cone, just after step 7, though that will distort your dimensions.

The clay I'm using is Seattle Pottery Supply's cone 6 Porcelain called CKK6.

Step 1: Use a rolling pin to flatten approx 1/4 lb. blob of clay to 1/8" thick. I'm rolling onto porous and flexible canvas.

Step 2: Using a 4-1/2" lid as your template, cut out circle using a needle tool.

Step 3:
Fold circle in half, crease the seam, and gently tear in half. Store one of the halves under plastic while you work with just one at a time.

Step 4: With rolling pin, flatten about a 1/4" of the straight edge.

Step 5: Brush slip along one half of that top edge. I use a toothbrush to simultaneously roughen the edge for better grip.

Step 6: Form 1/2 circle into a cone shape, tucking the slipped edge underneath the other edge as it comes around.

Step 7: Gently pinch the overlapping edges together to close the circle

Step 8: Flatten the top point of your cone shape by squishing the point with your fingertip.

Step 9: Using balls of varying sizes (exact sizes not important, but you can see the sizes I use here) on sticks we're going to shape the bell. You can also keep the basic cone shape you have here and skip to step 13.

Step 10: insert smallest ball into cone, "swish" it around the inside to start to stretch the "shoulder" of the bell.

Step 11: Move onto the next bigger ball, insert and stretch to shape the belly of the bell.

Step 12: Move onto the last and biggest ball. This ball helps to finish off the "hem" of the bell's "skirt". I tuck the clay hem very gently around the midsection of the ball. I don't want to lock the ball into the clay.

Step 13: Using a needle tool, drill a hole in the flattened top of the bell. Don't make it too tiny as you'll need to thread a string through that hole when you go to add the clapper and ribbon handle (next lesson! stay tuned for that).

Step 14: Set it aside to dry until it's ready to fire.