Welcome to my blog! It's all about whimsy, art and Halloween!
Friday, June 18, 2010
This is Sweetie. She's a handmade clay whistle.
Each whistle begins as a hollow ball. To achieve that, you make two pinch pots and join them together. After the ball dries a bit so that it's firm, but malleable, it can be shaped and smoothed. I like to carve, stamp and finish the details before cutting the hole and adding the whistle mouth piece.
When the piece is dry it can be fired. The firing turns the clay to the consistency of an unglazed flower pot. Now, I don't mind glazing, but I prefer the process of wax resist. I color on the pottery with crayons, then I paint the whole thing with brown or black acrylic paint. The paint wipes off the waxy part and soaks in the parts that aren't waxy. Next they heat in the oven to evaporate the wax (the color remains). I finish the piece with colored pencil highlights.
Each whistle has a unique sound and different breath pressure to achieve the sound. If I were an expert whistle carver, I'd be able to control those things, but it is what it is. Sweetie's whistle sounds like a Ghost Train when blown at a medium pressure.