Monday, June 8, 2009

Clay Purse Under Construction

Here's a shot of a clay purse I started last week. Right now it stands about 14" tall. I rolled out the clay; drew the purse pattern shapes on paper and cut out the parts. It is just like sewing except that I join the seams with scoring and slip (very wet clay) and lots of pinching and smoothing. I reach inside and push out the clay until I am happy with the shape; then some stamping of the surface and reach inside to push it out some more; a bit of smoothing, re-stamping, pushing, until all feels and looks right. I cut some straps, add some texture and let them sit and stiffen up a bit before attaching, otherwise they'll just slump over. I cut some heart shapes (not in the photo but you can look down the page to see a finished purse), textured and added the holes so they can be stitched on after the final firing. I used the clay button holes to place holes on the straps so everything will match up when I'm ready to add the buttons. Oh, I also added four feet before piercing holes in the front where I will stitch on a fabric pocket.

I covered it all with a plastic dry cleaning bag for a few days to help the moisture in the clay to move evenly between joined parts which helps it dry without warping or cracking. I remove the plastic a few times each day and then finally take it off and allow the piece to dry completely before firing. This is my favorite stage when it is still dark; just slightly moist yet very firm. Must be why I like the oxide, naked clay finish ... gives it that similar look. In a couple weeks I'll be working on the fabric pocket!


  1. very cool Gina. All those pieces on the shelves in the background - are all of those finished pieces?

  2. Yes, those are finished pieces!

  3. cool piece and look at all those pots in the background

  4. Very cool, Gina. Looking forward to seeing it "in person"!!

  5. I love your work and that clay bag is a wonderful idea.


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