Clay Modelling Art

Introduction

Start your journey of creativity with a block of clay. Clay is the most suited modeling material for a beginner and seasoned sculptor alike. With a combination of the right clay, modeling tools, and manipulation techniques, create a specific effect. Envision models and build various clay products such as pots, tiles, mugs, figurines, wall decor and more.

Types Of Clay

Ceramic Clay: Is water-based and contains clay minerals. Needs to be baked at high temperatures. Used to create ceramics such as earthenware, stoneware, porcelain.

Air-Dry Clay: Is oil-based and made of a combination of clay minerals, wax, and oil.

It is a popular material with kids and animation artists, due to its ease of use and availability in a multitude of colors. It is air dried and need not be baked or cured.

Polymer Clay: Is clay that does not contain any clay minerals. It is based on polymer polyvinyl chloride. Needs to be cured at about 275 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. Used by artists, hobbyists, children and, jewelry makers.

Paper Clay: Is clay that contains clay minerals with a small amount of processed cellulose fiber. Allows dry to dry and wet to dry joints. Used in doll making.

Handbuilding Methods And Techniques

Before the wheel was around, potters used their hands to create clay forms, and pots that were beautiful with simple tools and clay. Find below the trio of most practiced hand building techniques:

Pinch Pot: Working out of a small ball of clay, press your thumb in the center to form a deep indentation. Begin pinching around the center of the dent until you reach a desired shape and size. Build vases, bowls, and pots using this technique.

Coiling: Making clay coils by keeping the fingers flat and rolling the clay into long ropes. Various products can be made by stacking coils.

Slab: Texturing a slab of clay to create interesting shapes and patterns is a form of slab technique.

Materials and Tools

Wooden plank or board, rolling pin, air-drying clay, plastic sheets, newspapers, water, and stir stick.

Making Your First Coil Pot

Take a small piece of clay, about the size of a lemon. Flatten it out to 1/4th inch of thickness using a rolling pin. Cut a slab of the desired dimension. This will form the base of the pot. Take a small amount of clay, lay it on the working station, squeeze and roll with your hands to make a long sausage shape. Make several smooth coils using the same technique. Cover these coils with a plastic sheet to avoid them from drying. Lay the first coil on the clay base. Score the base using a toothbrush. Slip it using a stir stick. Wind the clay coil on the outside of the base, blend and smoothen it from the insides using your finger. Support the outside of the pot using one hand while smoothening the insides. Continue adding coils. Attach them using the score and slip technique. Use the end of stir stick to blend the clay coils. Scoring and slipping allow the coils to be visible on both the inside and the outside. Once complete, set it aside and leave it for a week to air-dry. Once dried, it will be ready for you to paint.

Art of Batik

Origin And Overview

Batik is the art of decorating fabrics using wax and dye using a resist process. The psychedelic shades, patterns, and the smell of these fabrics is an absolute delight to the senses. It is one of the most highly evolved art forms that is truly unique to Indonesia. But every time this ancient technique came into contact with foreign traders during colonization, it only developed to appeal to these cultures. The word Batik is said to have been derived from the words ‘amba’, meaning cloth, and, ‘batik’, meaning little dot. A darling of the textile realm, it is one of the few handmade materials in a world filled with machine-made ones. It is widely used in dresses, home decor, and furnishings.

Types

The two main types of Batik are,

Hand Drawn: In this type, the outlines are hand-drawn with hot liquid wax using tjanting needles. Fabrics with very intricate details and multiple shades or hues are produced using this Batik technique.

Block Printed: A copper block or wooden stamp replaces the tjanting needles in this type of batik, to apply wax on the cloth. Similar patterns or motifs are repeated on a given fabric with this technique.

The hand-drawn batik is time-consuming and expensive compared to its block printed counterpart. Hence block printed batiks are preferred for mass production needs and the hand-drawn ones for exclusive pieces.

Material Needed

A piece of cloth, fabric dye, wax, dye tub, tjanting needles and/or copper blocks and/or wooden stamp, pot or pan to melt wax, large paintbrush to apply wax, pencil, latex free rubber gloves, newspapers, and clothes iron. Vibrant and intense colors bring out the best of this art.

Process

There are 4 parts to this process namely drawing, waxing, dying, and finishing. It is important to have 4 separate spaces, one for each of these parts, to avoid any mess. Cotton or muslin cloth is picked out and designs are sketched directly on it using a pencil. Tjanting needles are used to draw with hot wax on the cloth over the pencil lines. The size of the needles varies depending upon the details. The wax will resist any dye from penetrating the fabric. After this first layer of wax is complete, the cloth is placed in a dye tub. Once the dye is dry, the second layer of wax is applied over the entire dyed piece of cloth with a thick brush. This is done to seal the entire piece. Upon drying, selected areas are cracked to allow further layers of dye to penetrate.

The fabric is placed again in the dye tub to color the cracked areas. The steps of waxing and dying are repeated until desired colors and motifs of desire are achieved. Finally, the piece of cloth is placed between two sheets of newspaper and ironed. Numerous repeats of iron are required to remove all the wax completely. The piece is a finished batik novelty once all the wax is removed. Replacing the tjanting needles with the copper blocks or stamps will let one create block printed Batik materials. It takes a lot of work but nonetheless is a unique and enjoyable experience.

Getting Started

Starting with a small cotton cloth and some easy motifs will be the most ideal way to familiarise oneself with the process. Create your first piece of this aesthetic marvel and reward yourself with a new wardrobe piece or a home decoration item.

Origami

Origin And Overview

Origami is the art of transforming a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture. It is said to have originated from Japan. Regardless of its origin, it is a process of creating a two or three-dimensional figure using a set of folding and sculpting techniques. While traditional origami is a bit less strict about rules on usage of non-square paper and paper cutting. Its modern counterpart is not so lenient about the same. A handful of simple and basic folds can be employed to create varied detailed designs.  It is for everyone, from kids to adults and, from beginners to experts. It could be more than a fun activity or hobby for kids, as it acts as a great tool in teaching them math skills.

Common Origami Folds and Bases

Any given model in origami is made up of folds and bases. The number of folds and bases are very limited that one gets to see them being repeated in many models. The nine types of folds include mountain or valley, pleats, inside and outside reverse, rabbit ear, petal, swivel, sink, and squash. Many a time one can observe that as a time- saving mechanism, origami instructions would call to start with a particular base. Some of the more prevalently seen bases are the square or preliminary, water bomb, kite, bird, fish, and frog.

Types of Origami

The types of origami are inclusive of but not limited to the following,

Traditional: Modules are constructed by folding a flat square piece of paper. Usage of cutting or adhesives is discouraged. The type was developed for beginners and for those who have limited motor skills.

Modular: Modular origami is one of the types of multi-piece origami. In this, a very large and complex structure can be built by repeating multiple identical units. Kusudama and Senbazuru are known to be precursors to this type of origami.

Wet-Folding: This is a slightly advanced type that requires the use of an adhesive allowing the user to preserve a curved shape more easily. Masks and figurines of animals and people can be produced using this type of origami.

Fabric: Involves folding a fabric like a washcloth or bath-towel into beautiful shapes. Towel animals seen in cruise-lines or hotel suits are a classic example of fabric origami.

Animation: Used to build action toys or models. They are built to perform an action. For instance, the paper fortune teller. The person operating the model moves it based on the choice made by the audience and reveals a message or the next steps in the game.

Materials

All you really need is a flat piece of paper that can hold the creases well. To begin with, a square sheet of any color, print or pattern could be used. Other adornments, embellishments etc could be used at later stages based on the individual’s imagination and dexterity.

Folding your first model

The origami boat is a good place to start with. Pick up folding instructions and materials required to create this model, and start folding away. The next best model to try would be the crane or the Tzuru.

Per popular belief, fold and string together a thousand of these cranes, and be blessed with eternal good luck.

Warli Art

Origin and Overview :

The Warli is an enthralling, earthy and soothing art form from the south-western part of India. Its origin dates back to 3000 B.C. The paintings depict the social life of the Warli tribe. The central theme of all the paintings is about the harmony between nature and man. The unassuming Warli figures tell us myriads of vivid stories. While ancient Warli art was created on the inside walls of village huts, modern Warli painting has moved onto paper, canvas, earthenware, wood, metal and more.

Characteristic Elements :

This art form uses basic graphic elements such as a circle, triangle, and square to represent the lofty principles of life in this universe. Forms of men, women, sun, moon, houses, trees, animals, birds, carts, ladders, pottery and musical instruments are built out of these very simple geometric shapes.

       Basic Shapes :

 Circle – Representation of sun and moon.

Triangle – Representation of trees and mountains.

Square – Representation of human possessions.

       Borders :

Find commonly used border patterns in the following illustration.

 Motifs :

Find commonly used motifs in the following illustration.

Getting Started :

Choose a medium such as paper, canvas or earthenware to paint on. Traditionally, Warli art was painted over clay walls using a white pigment made from rice paste and gum. To retain the rustic charm, use a background color of red ochre, indigo, terracotta, brown or black. And paint or draw on it in white. Pick a border and set the frame. Within this frame, create a scene using a combination of these soulful motifs.

Paint on paper using watercolors and watercolor brushes. Paint on canvas or earthenware using acrylic colors and acrylic brushes. Use a big flat brush for the background and a small round brush for the motifs. Make your designs with pencil first and paint over it with a brush.

To draw a Warli man, draw an X and connect the free ends. Finish with head, hands, and legs. To make a Warli woman, add a bun to the head. Similar drawing technique can be employed to create figures of animals and birds as well. Repeat the same to create intricate patterns.

In the modern day, Warli art can be adapted to adorn walls, lamp shades, pots, coasters, mugs, bookmarks, bags, cell phone covers, tablet sleeves, clocks, cards, and envelopes. This form of art reflects environmental consciousness and minimalism, reminding us of the simple joys of life. Enjoy creating this classic two-tone painting and let them pull at your heartstring.