How to make a ceramic sculpture. | Pau Stephens | Skillshare

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How to make a ceramic sculpture.

teacher avatar Pau Stephens, Mexican Monster Maker

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Materials & sketches


    • 3.

      Sketching our sculpture


    • 4.

      Sculpture technique 1


    • 5.

      Sculpture technique 2


    • 6.

      Final details


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About This Class

In this lesson, we are going to make sculptures. You will learn very helpful techniques, that are of use for example if you are an illustrator and you would like to create your own drawings in 3D, but of course also if you just like to put your ideas into something real. In this case something ceramic.

I will show two techniques that I use to make my monster sculptures and I think they will be also very useful to you. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Pau Stephens

Mexican Monster Maker


Hi, my name is Pau and Im a Mexican monster maker.

I studied Industrial design at IED Madrid and after graduating in 2012 I started inquiring in the ceramic world, first producing my own projects and after manufacturing for other people.

I moved to Poland early in 2017 and started pursuing my artistic career making ceramic sculptures and experimenting more with shape and materials.

Currently I live in Bielefeld, Germany with my family. 

If you want to see more of my work please feel free to visit my web and my Instagram for more work in progress!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome back toe. If you haven't watched the older beetles that I have low, I've recommended to go to my profile and check them out because one of them is about what is ceramics and different types of materials, and the other is about basic building techniques. And you're going to need those to do what we're going to learn today. In today's lesson, we're going to learn, have to make ceramic sculptures. Something like this are like this other ones. We're going to make a sketch start building, and I won't give you some tips that are really, really important. So the sculpture doesn't blow up in their kill, so let's get started. 2. Materials & sketches: So for this lesson, you're going to need Clayton. They're your favorite tools. Mine are these ones. I like this to cume unify my piece when it's getting like, it's feeling like a little dryer. And I recommend you to have a sketchbook and make your, like, basic drawing. So you know, you have a better idea of what you wanna do, because sometimes you can get overwhelmed with older ideas. So I recommend you to make, like, a drawing, like basic droving the basic shape that you want and you start doing that. So, for example, in this in this case, I made, um, this one that is my a dog. Like the unity of them that I wanted to do. And it was this one. So yeah. So, with this, um, it was easier for me to see, Like what I wanted, like, tail or the horns are these things. And yeah, this help me toe get the basic shape of my drawing. So these one is this one? Is this one? People, Um, it's basically the idea here. I added the horns, but yeah, you know what I mean. That is why, for you can also make like, for example, this is, like, kind of like the real size off this one. And I used this for I use this for Temple. I make this pattern. Yeah. I mean, like these to have, like, a main 80 of what I want to do in real size. And I used these to compare sometimes with my own culture. Kind of You can see here what I mean, But with this it's easier to have, like, the shape, this one, for example. This one is this one. So the beginning, maybe you're not the best. That drawing. And I wasn't good, actually, like, actually, I'm not good. Like, my sketches are pretty basic. And I remember that the first monster that I made, they were just like they came out of my imagination and it was okay. But then I realized that I have more like i waas faster and better to have, like, some ideas recommended to have like now, maybe you can have, like, ugly sketches like it doesn't matter. Um, but just practice, like you make some lines and then you will start to improve and yes, make like basic shapes that will give you, like an idea what you want to build 3. Sketching our sculpture: for this class. I will make a small He's she said Jewell garden and it went to before, friend. She's getting married and she's 100 designer. So I was thinking of making like a monster that you can used to save your jewelry. So we have my sketch of what I wanna do, and I will start doing it. No. So this is a sketch that I may be our other day. So what you do know this The upside you like this and the details from the inside. Do you do then, like with little dots, for example, here I wanted to have, like, these middle books and the lead I wanted to be like, like something that goes like this, so it will move. But ceramics is really people to make them like it. And I want a little book to be here. You know that I think voted me here. Yeah, I think that you have to know is that your sculpture has to be empty from the inside. So sometimes what people do is they build this culture and then they empty this culture, or you can start building like, empty from the beginning. Yeah, I think that I will make these monster with that technique of getting that making it empty . And I will make another monster with a different technique that is going to be, like, more basic. So I'm going to sign your normal now. I will make it small, so we're going to do it faster. I recommend it to start with smaller shapes, so you don't get, like, overwhelmed. Something like this would be okay for I didn't start it. So I'm going to make look up basic monster the Yeah, like they're ones that I normally do. First, I will start with this one. That is one thing, like a basic monster. And then we're probably other monster that it went to get a different technique. What is this one? So, yeah, let's get started with this one. 4. Sculpture technique 1: Okay, so, no, I helped my pizza. Ceramics? Eric, Just my ruler. If you want to know how to do these to get the same thickness, watch the beautiful humbles and techniques. I explained it there. And so you now have recommend to have, like, a little bit thick your material so you can have some structure. And also remember to put something like textile so you doesn't get paste it to your table. Like in this case with this type of would you don't have problems, books. If it's a shiny table, probably you will have some trouble. So, no, I got this kind of like, in this case, uh, I'm going to use my ritual. There is this one. I'm going to do it this way, and then you can what I do to get, like, the basic body. It's like I do the role technique. And, as I said before, like leaving a little thick to have more structure and also because you can remove, like, in case you want to. I do like something like a little hole or whatever, like texture. You will have more material to remove, so you know that you glue the glue. As I said in the previous videos, this is made of the same ceramics. But with water, you could like a took paste ceramic paste that you can put. You said you said so. That's what I'm doing now. Maybe a little lines. So now that I have mine taco, everything looks like a pickle for me. Um, you know that we have this. You can what I'd like to do like my process, you will find your own process. Depending on the type of things that you do, you will discover maybe you is first. Then this later I discovered up for me in my monsters because you have to optimize, like process as much as you can. So what I like to do is the way that I optimize things is that I make my main bodies like this literally this shape And what I do is I make first elects and for the lyrics I make like a little and I look up here and then I already made these in Put that I made. They're floor put. And here I'll do it again. So you will find that Drew, maybe rip it crosses in your there were that you build things and it's good because that way you optimize the way of building teams and you can see the legs look really cool. So I because Alex first and I started building my water from the bottom to the top. So things that you need to know about making sculptures is that you cannot make soul. It's so they you could make solids but really small. And I will show you that when I'm with details like, I will show you something off. So it's that you can make. But you general, the problem with the soul mates is that sometimes you get bubbles inside, and if you have, like an air bubble in the over, the air is going to want to get out of the sculpture and it's going to explode. What crack or something? Well, sometimes it explodes, Um, or water, like if you have ah, meaning that you have a spear, it's probably in the middle, is going to have water, and also the water is going to boil in the kiln, and it will probably crack and explode. So that's why you have to be careful with air bubbles or these things. The front is always work like this is where it happened the same. You have seen this like line, so there's no money there back for me. And then the Billy's is one what I do to make a bigger building that I push. And then what I do well in this culture is not money. I don't care like that much because it's been too close. So nobody will see, like from the inside. But if I'm doing something like a pot, I'll try to use mine this and make it like more straight where I put more clay or these things. Try to get us perfect as you can, because there you can polish later before putting Q. And all these things are, you can send it, but the better it is when it's fresh. So what I realize now that I'm looking at my drawing is that this monster is so cute because it has like short legs. So I will like this Lex shorter. Maybe I should have notice that before, but these things happen. Okay, I will clothe the hit. So the way I like to do the heads sometimes crazy, but what I do is like I will push this and then I will start making like a shape So you will find different ways of making these things that you can put Make another piece and put it on top or whatever. But for me like this, it's OK. It works for me. So maybe you will find the ways toe treat the material as long as you respect, like these basic rules are like, don't make it explode or, you know, like don't have bubble air bubbles or whatever. So you might be thinking, Hey, power. But you're making like, a big air bubble. If you're close on top, sort of. What I will do is like make little holes, maybe defeat like small holes so that air can get out of there by the feet. So you need to find their way like the air gets out of your of your sculpture. Also, like what I'm doing now. It's really, like more rough, more role. They're not hemorrhoids. The word but with porcelain, for example, something like this, I think I don't know, I have never tried it. I will, and I'll let you know, but maybe we will probably not work because yeah, like this is to I'm putting pieces on top of this thing. So maybe do something that would personally would not work. So yeah, because, um, touches here sometimes What I do is I make the patch it if you like. It's too soft. Your peace. Oh, I meant like the patches. And then I put a bag on top, leave it for a day, and then I'll come back. And it's a little bit more hard, like more structural. So I can Peress more with this tool. A waiver? Because now probably if I press, it will be like, um so you will find like Okay, this material, it's good or bad or it's too hard or too soft or too, and you will find the way that you work better for me now It's like, Okay, now I'm making the basic shape, and then I will start publishing. So what is live this like this for a while? And I will start making the with arms. So for the arms were normally do is like make the shape. And then I empty it, for example, in this case, because it's easier to make the shape when you have, like solely, for example, like this not to make it when it's empty from the inside. Best case, I'm going to empty these with this and to paste it go So he say Hi. So I will cut. So I got the angle. So if I paste this to this, we will have a bubble like an air bubble. So what I do? Yes, I make a whole but for make the whole I need to probably make the face like not maybe is not the final Facebook something that gives me that the off where the fish is going. So they had has to go here in new Everyone is going now. So what I'm going to do is make a whole where the handle So that hand goes here the whole here force And you know we have the mean body. So let's make the other body the so it technique. I will call it now. What police gonna hold for a while? 5. Sculpture technique 2: So for the jeweler jewelry, my guardian. I'm going to make first day, buddy. Important. I'm going to use so it because those types of shapes Oh, it's easier for me then. So I'm going to do is these shapes I prefer to do them with? Tell it like this, for example. So it's easier for me to make something like that. So for this, I grew up like a piece of ceramic. So I'm thinking to make it like this nice, like small, small monster. Where then, did you have to check Check like, for example, the symmetry between this and the So you have to look on from, like, top like in this case, and then checked one side and then check the other side and try to make it like us symmetric as possible. Sometimes it's good to make, like the drug rings from the, uh, different perspectives. From here you have like these natural, but sometimes you can make also like how it looks from the front. So you're covered like they idea of how to I will be like in this case, I know a little bit more power. One it. So we're making the main body and then we're going toe touch the legs, the tail cut the head and make it like empty Here. Have to be careful not making bubbles. So this technique is good for bigger volumes. Because if you're making something like really thing, do this in a play, probably it's more building. So now that would have, like, our super shape we're going toe empty it. So in this case, I will use this tool. There are two that I think that they're better, but I have him here so I won't do this one. You can contact shape in half. You know what? Your but yeah, you could it. Okay, you can empty and then pasted about. So what I'm doing now is that I'm like, I have this one and I have this one. So what I'm doing is that I'm trying to make this a smooth this possible with my finger, and I decided that I will make instead of, like, a little books because of the size. I thought that maybe should be like this box. I want to be like this and then the face with the thing. So, yeah. Do you see? I think that once intimate er is like the limit of thickness in self dealing. I will put this together like this And then I will cut the head and start digging head also . And we do the same thing that will do. You can do it more beautiful if you want. But you know me, ladies and I will fix the hole that I make here here, in the back. But first I will put them together. Magic you do. I put it with a finger But you conduced penso uh, brush or something for me. I like to be in contact with the nature so many days here. Um you can still fix it. But now we were moved to the head. Head will be like from here. Really? What? I want to be more a specific. Now we can see the whole the other hole. Do you feel OK? So now we're well make this like feel smoother If your hands are don't fit to conduce. Now we have this This one and we have the head. So now we have our men body with this, like emptying took me Let's move to details 6. Final details : so no, our main bodies. And now there's now is a moment where we start to put, like the details fixtures, different types of eyes or mouth or tongue or whatever. And you're probably thinking like, How am I supposed to do that if you told me that this could explode at any moment, So I will show you like different textures you can add. And for example, in the case of these ones, these are cones, empty cones, and every time that I pay that, I put a coma. I have to make a whole so the air could go out here. I met a little holes to make it more so The year goes out through these holes so all of this comes are empty. And, yeah, I have to put the holes when I pasted them because they are bigger. But if you make like small ones like these other waas, these are like small, and you can just paste them because is not too much mason. You're going to be dry, and it's probably not going to have any balls. So for these you don't have any trouble. You don't make the little cuts at the special blue and you have them. So depending on what you are doing, you will have to see if you make the empty version, for example, for the hands I always make the hats empty and I make the hole and put his arms. But then, for the little spikes or whatever I just then they're not too big. You can also remove material from your piece. So you grab the monster and you just started scratching media with these one, whatever tools you find or yet what anything kind of work. So don't be afraid of like trying different. Don't be afraid of trying different techniques and make some samples and experiment. And now I will show you how I'm going to make these ones. And probably I'm going to fix this monster. I will add more material here or something. And then I will have some spikes and a volcano texture. And also for this one, I love this place. I go in the back and in the head and the legs and all these little details. So I will start with this one. And first I have to fix is here. It's crazy. No, the plan I will make a little cut and push the cool thing about ceramic six that you can caught up pace again. So don't be afraid to do that. And it some support from the inside. So I put just my tool and just everything almost every Yeah, So I would like to do it. Little said thing. When I make my bowl keano texture, I just go like this bolts and then commitment smaller. And that is I'd like I want to put one here, Look here, here, special blue and I faced him. I'm going to look like a little faster and then I will No, the same, like the hands I will make them, like one thing with my finger Selves moved everything so weird and then we like to do is that's the way I do my volcano. I think that I'm doing with the book a nose off this one. Maybe I would put more later in the when I'm making the last details. But this is like the main idea that I want you to understand. So now I will grab the other monster for this one. First, I'm going to finish the head and for that I will up here. I want to make like these like a little bowl to call it. Yeah, it's like a little thing the first time that I do it his way. But I think that it's it would look better than the other that Are you okay? So that is that these goes here when you and no for me to unify this kind like not super unified, but make, like, decide what is going to be the front and the back. So it's not like putting them together is just like making them much for the next. Maybe. And I will make some cones, which is one and one, basically the same way. And then Levi de so I can merge it with rest of the body, for example, in difficult. It goes like this, I think, and then the other one goes, Thank Big to make them closer. What I do is cut here. So now we have, like, this difference. And so what I do is that I merge them like roughly and then I do it like it's more smoothly . And then if the that that doesn't look right, like, for example, the leg to pertain or whatever. I can still have more ceramics and curiously, that I got like it's getting like So what do is put what I do when I have this. So I'm scared like that. Lexar toe Delic. Eight. Right now you have to see how it looks from Abu. What is not symmetric by that? They're Alexa. Doesn't matter. I get some newspaper put it like this, for example. So the whole weight does important that licks. And now I'm going to work in the her legs. Where was it? - Type of this. And I have to make a whole simple here. I will just just this thing to be sure that the air gets out from somewhere, but I will make it some other later. But now I just want to see worries going to be the face and all the details. And I will start out in the thanks because you just marines still be like a long one. Yep. This is how you do it. Like the same mother for six upper punk. Okay, so these are my not the final pieces. I think that I will fix them like little details. Like here. I'm missing something in. I'm thinking about putting these like told her, but those are like little details, but in general, that's the way I make the I make sculptures. I hope that these are good tips for you and the crew majorly sculptures and uploaded at the project section. And you can also come in like your observations or some doubts that you may have that I probably forgot to mention so see in the next video and stay tuned for the glazing and you know, the next one I'm going to make us about making tiles my