Friday, December 6, 2013

Clay (3D Project)

This piece depicts a picture of the symbol for the Protoss race in the online PC game Starcraft II. I played as Protoss for almost a year and won over hundreds of games with it, so it forever holds a special place in my heart. The medium I used for this piece is clay and I based the 3D object off of a slab or tile. Clay is an earthy material that is made up of very small and fine particles of minerals (rocks, essentially). Clay is great for making tile pieces like mine. To create my tile piece, I cut out a piece of clay and wedged it. I wedged the clay by pounding it against a surface and kneading it with my hands in order to get all of the air bubbles out. Having no air bubbles is important for the process of firing or baking of the clay, where clays are slowly heated up to a very high temperature of about 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature gets rid of any water in the clay, making it stronger and harder, but still be able to be glazed. If there are air bubbles in the clay when it is fired, the air inside will expand tremendously and crack or explode the piece. The oven/furnace used for firing the clay is called a kiln. When I had to attach two separate pieces of clay together after two of the left corners of the piece broke off, I had to use a method called score and slip. I used a tool to "score" both pieces of clay, making marks in them and making their connecting surfaces rough. Then I took "slip", clay with high water content ("watery clay") and applied it to the surfaces. Slip acts as an adhesive when the two pieces of clay are joined together. I then used clay tool to carve out pieces of clay and raise certain parts of the piece. My piece was then fired, where afterwards I painted it the colors of the actual symbol of the Protoss race, yellow and blue with a black background. After the paint dried I applied a layer of glaze on it to protect it and give my piece a shiny look. The piece was then fired a second time to melt the glaze and turn into the amazing piece that I have now. I had a blast making this piece and was so proud of how it turned out!

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