The casts have to dry out completely before being fired. Here is the first "bone dry" Darcy. All the casts are hollow, but at this point they feel deceptively hard. They aren't. I was sanding the bottom of her hooves to make sure she was perfectly level and that back right one popped right on off. I'm hoping it fires okay!
And this is a claybody custom in the "leather hard" stage. She's had all her pieces put together and has been out of the mold in my wet box for a few days. This is the point where I can really work with her and not worry about denting or deforming her. She's firm, but very easy to whittle away on. Notice the dark color of her vs. the above bone dry shots of the other mare. This is how much moisture content is in the slip! I'm not quite finished with the cleaning on this piece, but just about.
I have to tell you just how much FUN it is to customize the clay! It's so completely different, and yet the same. You really have to have a soft touch, but once you get the feel for the medium it's amazing! Wrinkles are a breeze and come out SO nice!
I'm really curious to see how this earthenware slip I bought fires. I had planned on buying the same stuff Karen G. uses but after months of waiting and bugging them, the supplier still hadn't made any so I had to look elsewhere. I've got a suspicion that this slip won't fire as "white" as the one I wanted. That's not a big deal for the initial few as it means they just won't have white markings as the white in china is made from wiping off the glaze to expose the bisque underneath.
I've got a "fire day" with Karen on the 8th as the wonderful woman that she is is going to walk me through the firing process since this will be my first time (EVER) firing a kiln. First time molding and first time slip casting were successes so I'm hoping for a trifecta! Wish me luck. :)