Elephant Teapot Christine Gallagher

First, I used wet clay and rolled it completely flat. Then, I draped it over a medium sized bowl form, cut some clay off around the edges, and pressed it gently with my palms to the form. I then proceeded to cut off the excess clay to fit the form completely. Next, I dried it with the heat gun until it was leather hard, and then I took it off the form. Mrs. Kiick then trimmed the edges for me. To make the next bowl, I repeated this process on the same form. To make a cylinder form, I slip and scored both edges of the bowls and attached them. To make it round and for the seam to be less visible, I tapped the seam with a ruler until I thought it was completely round. I then took a long paintbrush and smoothed the seam on the inside also.

For the next step, I used a circle template to trace where I wanted the opening of the lid. I used about a medium size template to make the outline, and then I used a knife to completely cut out the clay. I then rolled out another slab and picked about two sizes bigger than the original template. I then cut out a circle by using the larger cutter from the slab. Then, I slip and scored the top of the small circle and the bottom of the larger circle, and connected them. I then rolled out a ball and connected that to the top of the connected circles, to make the lid.

I then rolled and pressed 4 pieces of clay until they were around the same size, and I flattened them until they were the right shape. Next, I dried them until they were the same dryness as the rest of the shape, which was leather hard. I slipped and scored the top of each, which leads to the next picture

Next, I traced where the feet should be placed on the body, and I slipped and scored that part also. I then connected the feet, but here I had trouble with the height of each foot. It was too dry to cut, so I had to use sand paper to even them out. I eventually got them to be even, but it was sort of a struggle for me. For decoration, I also carved a M shape towards the end of each foot to make toes.

Next, I rolled out a narrow slab as flat as I could. I needed help for this, but I eventually got it on my own. I cut out a narrow triangle, and I cut both the top and the bottom of it to make in a C shape, so when I rolled it together on itself, it formed a tube shape for the trunk/spout. Then, I rolled it together, and connected the two sides so it formed a tube. Making sure to not kink it, I then made it into an S shape, so it would look like an elephant trunk. This part was tricky, but it all worked out. Next, I cut a small hole in the middle of the elephant's front, and then I slip and scored the fatter end of the trunk on top of the whole I just cut, to make to make the spout.

This is what the trunk looks like from the front, after I completely sponged the end and fixed all the cracks and imperfections. I also added detailing to the top of the trunk, to make it more realistic. I then carved two upside down C shapes on the front of the body to make closed eyes. Then, I used a small piece of clay, flattened it with my fingers, and I shaped it into the mouth. I then fit it to where I liked it under the trunk, and I dried it to leather hard like the rest of the body. I then slip and scored it together, and made sure to sponge and fix the imperfections and creases. Then, I realized it should have ears, so my table voted flat ears pressed to the body. I rolled out a slab, and I made a D template, and I cut two of the same shapes out. I slip and scored them onto the body after I dried them to the same dryness as the body, and I added clay to where the front of the ears blended into the body until it looked blended. I sponged away the cracks and made sure it was as smooth as I could get it, and I made sure the ears were even heights on both sides of the body.

Afterwards, I rolled out a piece of clay until it was round and long and I cut it to the right size. I then curled it slightly so that it was in the shape of the handle. I had to try this a few times, as I struggled to make it not break or crack where I bent it. I then attached it to the body, but I made sure it was lined up in the middle by looking at it from all angles. Then, I sponged all the imperfections and fixed everything to make it as perfect as I could, and this was my last step with they clay before I fired it.

After it was fired the first time, I liked the way it came out, even though it had a slight crack on where the ears blended to the body and on one of the feet. It came out very close to how I wanted it. At bisque stage, I really like how it looked and I then sanded away any imperfections I saw, like the slight seam where I connected the two bowls, and anything else. This story doesn't end here, I then glazed it and it is currently in line for its last firing, and then it will be complete! :)

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