Ceramic Cactus | Anne Goodrich Hunter | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Ceramic Cactus: Intro


    • 2.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step One


    • 3.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step Two


    • 4.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step Three


    • 5.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step Four


    • 6.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step Five


    • 7.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step Six


    • 8.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step Seven


    • 9.

      Ceramic Cactus: Step Eight


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About This Class

This is an intermediate class; students should already know very basic ceramics skills including making pinch pots.  More than learning to make a cactus, we'll learn how to alter basic forms, add texture through slip trailing and we'll engage in creative thinking. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Anne Goodrich Hunter

Where Creativity Blossoms


Hello, I'm Anne Goodrich Hunter; a ceramics based sculptor and art teacher. I'm here to share my love of art along with all my teaching experience with you.  

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Ceramic Cactus: Intro: welcome to the term low art farm where creativity blossoms. Today we're gonna learn to make a ceramic cactus. I'm really inspired by plants that survived the odds. Here we are in the out in the desert near Deschutes River and receive lichens and moss and juniper trees that are simultaneously, somehow dead and alive. Cactus and succulents air like that. To me, they're survivalists. It's not so much that I like to do an exact representation, more that I'm kind of influenced by the spirit of these plants. But we'll do something a little more direct for you guys. It'll be fun CAC ty and succulents or great subject matter to transfer to clay because their forms air thick and bulbous as opposed to thin and delicate, like other plants that would be very fragile if they were made of clay. Taking this class will provide you with the opportunity to utilize the skills you already have in making pinch bloods. Then we'll build up some intermediates Gramick skills like altering pinch pots, combining multiple forms, slip trailing and developing meaning and are making again. Before you take this class, you need to be able to make basic pinch pots and have basic familiar are you with clay and ceramic tools? So take the time to review and practice the basics, like slipping and scoring. If you need Teoh and then when you're ready, I'll be here to teach you how to make a cactus, either as a vase or is a sculpture representing your own survival skills. 2. Ceramic Cactus: Step One: The first step in making a ceramic cactus is to start with the variety of pinch pots of different sizes. Small, medium large is a good way to start. If you're not comfortable with your pinch pot making skills, you'll want to go back and take my class beginning pinch pots once you're formed your pin spots. If you feel like they're not quite round enough, you in turn among upside down. Reach inside and stretch out talk. Take the time to paddle your pinch pots. Smooth him out, make him nice around, then store them upside down so you don't accidentally flattened. 3. Ceramic Cactus: Step Two: from here forward will refer to the rounded part as the top of the pinch brought in the open part. Has the bottom went a freeze here so you can see that I'm cutting away a triangle, the base of my pinch pot. I'm gonna do that on both sides. That's gonna enable me to alter the form of my pinch pots. I'm going for something that's a little fatter on top and skinnier on the bottom. To make that happen, I have to remove material and then slip in score and put it all back together. If I'm not happy with how skinny I have made it, I can cut the triangles even bigger. Once I decided I'm happy with my form. It's really important that I open it back up, slipping score and really make sure that I'm blending it when you put it back together. Do what you can to blend the inside. Can't put your finger in there. Use a tool. Let's do that again. But this time really fast. Remember, you can shape your pots from both the inside and the outside 4. Ceramic Cactus: Step Three: next, you can decide if you want to put some pleats in your pinch pots. It'll give it that sort of striped rid. Look, first, I'm just kind of marking where I want those ridges to be. And then I'm gonna take the corner of a stick something again with a sharp corner and gently press it into each ridge. Do this more than once until I'm happy with the way that the clay is moving back and forth in and out. Essentially, I'm just pushing the clay around. As long as anyone area doesn't get any thicker than my thumb, then I shouldn't have any problems with the play exploding in a killing firing here again, I'm taking the opportunity to stretch the clay out from the inside to give it a more bull. This look and I alternate between working on the outside and the inside until let's go fast again. - For me, it gets fun when I start to look at how these different pieces might fit together, trying to decide how they belong. I might also decide that one needs to be taller, one shorter. Of course, I can add Clay, put it away, Modify, as I desire 5. Ceramic Cactus: Step Four: Now we're ready to put these forms together. Of course, you already know that you not to slip and score really assertively. I like to use the probe tool, one of got difficult forms to put together as opposed to the serrated rib. And you'll see me playing with all the pieces as if they're like puzzle pieces, trying to figure out how the composition looks most balanced where it feels like they should fit together most naturally. At this point, you might decide you needed modify more of your forms or, in my case, felt like three forms spoke too much like a snowman. So I've opted to make 1/4 form since it's gonna be smaller than my thumb. I didn't have to make it hollow. Keep it solid for simplicity. In addition to slipping and scoring, you want to be sure you do a great job of really blending the two pieces of play together. You can even add a little coil of new play if you feel like it needs reinforcement 6. Ceramic Cactus: Step Five: To be honest, this is mainly used to favorite part of the process. This this is the fussy phase. So when I find myself getting agitated with, like, I gotta keep blending and smoothing, I blend one thing and then another thing kind of pops up O r I Macon accidental smudge right there like they just did and want that I have to think of it as a minute for me. Anyways, it helps me to think of it as a meditation, not so much that I'm doing work, but, like breathe through it, try to stay present with just Yeah, it's kind of monotonous, but I can turn it into suit, something soothing with the right mind frame mindset, just changing the way I think about it. Enjoy the fact that there's nothing else that I have to be doing right now. You can also use the end of an eraser. It works nicely, and you can even carve your racers into something that looks more like what? Get some of those really big fat pencils that when we had when we were little kids. All right, so this could be a bit of a rabbit hole. I mean I could literally spend hours smoothing and blending. I am reasonably happy with that now, so I think it's gonna be really fun to put like riel flowers in this. So I am going Teoh, just take my fiddling knife, drill a hole, each one of these. So, instead of kind of sculpting the cactus flowers, we'll put either dried flowers or fake flowers or whatever. 7. Ceramic Cactus: Step Six: next, we'll use slip to create the texture of the cactus. So it makes some play with water, mixed it together and put it in a ziplock bag. Uh, good. And of course you can. You can go all out and go by the cake decorator tips and what not. I'm gonna start with just dining because my slip is pretty fluid again. Kind of a meditation. Especially because it's what you do. Something sort of delicate like this. Sometimes you forget to breathe or at least ideo. No, If I wanted more like spikes instead of these sort of rounder bits, then I would want to makes my slip up thicker than I did. Got a little We'll loop. You can see there where it's thicker. Oh, we had a blowout. We had a blow out. Oh, boy. Okay, so you know, the main thing, something like that happens. Do not panic. Chill, Open that little guy. So I'm just gonna play with him for a little bit like this one needs a little bit more. This is another way you can apply is just dip a pencil tip, especially for those smaller bits. Here we go. Think I'm happy with that? No, I'm not gonna like this guy right here. You know why these air guys? Why not? We named them each little ridge each little dot Franklin. 8. Ceramic Cactus: Step Seven: Okay, so you can decide that you're done at this point and you've got this sweet little cactus, and you can't even fill it with water and put little flowers. And if you want to and I believe me, I think it's adorable. Um, but if you are looking to develop your creativity and your artistic place, then let's think about what we can you next. So, as artists I like to think about what does this thing mean to me? What does it mean to other people? How does it function? And a cactus is basically a survivalist, right? Other plants would literally be burned up by the sun. The cactuses like I got this where other plants might be thirsty for water dried out. Cactus has water that from when it rained, like, six months ago, doing just fine. So I'm gonna think about the cactus as a metaphor and do some brainstorming. All right. Remember when you were in school and you did things like word webs? Still useful cactus water survival tank, water tower. Um, what about me? What if it's some things I've survived a broken heart? Can't we all say that? Um, About who I was fired once, super embarrassing that I was gonna die. Um, credit card debt loss of my father. Okay, Cactus also makes me think of not just surviving, but I know being Impenetrable. So it's almost like it's got, like, an armor because that skin on it, it's so thick, waxy. Of course, the spikes or like, literally like weapons. Okay. And I could keep going and going, but then at some point, you want to go back and think about what really resonates with you. Well, I think this is something we can all relate. Teoh, broken hearts. I'm gonna I'm gonna start that. And then I'm gonna do a little doodle by it. Like, if I were to make something that became part of my cactus, what might it look like? And I could do the valentine kind of heart. Or I could do Is something anatomical, which would probably mean I need to do some googling and get a better clear idea of what the M anatomical heart looks like. Well, the veins and arteries and whatnot. It looks like a strawberry, doesn't it? Okay, um, death. I don't think I want to do that. What about like the extreme son. I'm gonna go ahead. I'm gonna do fire. And for this, for this one Fire kind of has also this meaning of like, what helps me survive is my friends and family and nothing love nothing more than just sitting around a fire with the people I love. So it doesn't always have to be a negative meaning, you know, that I survived a broken heart. It can be the things that help you survive. Huh? Um and I'm gonna look for one war. What do I want? What are a lot like? I like the idea of a weapon, and I don't know what I'm gonna do with that yet, but I'm gonna go ahead and deal with this, make some fire, and then I can come back to that idea at a little ball of clay. Rolled it until one end was point to you. Looks a little like ice cream common at the moment. But we'll get there now. The reason I can keep this solid not have to build it with pinch pots or slabs or anything is I'm gonna make it smaller than my thumb. And that's kind of my rule. Like if it's smaller than your thumb, it could be solid. It'll dry out quickly and you won't end up with any explosions in the kiln from it. But if it's much thicker than that, then you've got to find a way to make a hollow make sure it doesn't explode. And then I'm gonna think about Does this work with the proportions on my cactuses skin that cool broken heart, maybe from the top, Maybe the bottom. And I might even make two or three of these hearts of different sizes so that I have some choices about what it's gonna look like. Okay, Yeah, I like my second heart better. Now let's make some fire. And there's probably 1000 different ways to make fire. I'm just gonna can't keep playing What? The clay Until I find something I like, starting with the idea of just making some spikes and, you know, fire is not uniforms. I'm gonna kind of squish these spikes around, and already I can tell that I'm getting too big. So let's make some of these smaller again . I don't know if I love this little bit of fire, so I might keep playing with it. I might make another one until I'm happy with what's going on. No, I, uh, getting better. And of course, I'm going to be able to glaze it and add yellows and oranges and whatnot that are gonna help. Yes. Well, I still have not decided. My third thing. I think we'll go with arrow for my my weapon and just keep playing with the different shapes and sizes. Maybe I want to go all hearts who boom. So now not only do I have a lovely, beautiful sculpture, but I have something that's meaningful to me. Oh, I forgot to break my heart, Yeah. 9. Ceramic Cactus: Step Eight: E Now that my clay is leather hard, this is my chance to go back and really make sure I'm happy with everything. Like I see a little spike that I want to just kind of clean up there. The seam is a little messy. It's just last chance, because once you fire this I mean, I've seen people going with sandpaper, but a takes twice as long after it's fired. Just move something out, be it creates a listen. Nasty dust. See it justice. It's just that's not what we do that's know what I do anyway. We'll see where I smushed it there. And then another argument for keeping these little guys these little bits and pieces separate instead of slipping in scoring is that when I go to glaze them, I can pull them out, hold onto the ends, glaze them really easily, Um, and even if I end up glazing and using the glaze to fuse this all together, it's just gonna make it a lot easier on me when it's glazing time to hold on to the little bits and pieces. Survival cactus boom