This new project is going to be a set of pictures showing the story of a growing sunflower. (See my first "clay picture" here.)
Three frames ready for the project. I start with the smallest. This frame has no glass so I measure the opening and cut a small sheet of clay to fit.
Forming the seed and planting it. At the top of the seed, I put a little sprout of leaves and then add some dirt clods around the base.
Adding the sunbeams and sundrops. Each sunbeam is rolled by hand and carefully placed.
Finished - fits perfectly.
Now I make the medium sized picture. This frame has a sheet of glass so I roll the clay, press it onto the glass and trim off the edges.
Here I'm forming the seeds. Each one is placed individually using the dragon scale technique I used for The Dragon Slayer.
Forming the petals - they're so tiny. They each get a row of three marks at the top.
Each one is placed on the stem.
Finishing the sunflower and adding the leaves.
Now I plant my sunflower. I form the dirt clods by tearing off small bits of clay, pressing them between my finger tips and then rolling them into balls - but not too round - I want them to be lumpy.
The sunbeams and sundrops.
Now for the last picture. I roll the clay to fit the glass and press it into place. Next I add stalks and plant them in a hill of lots of dirt clods.
Forming more petals - these are even smaller than the first!
All the petals are arranged, the seeds added and the leaves placed. They're growing so happily - now they need a bit of sunshine.
Each sunbeam is placed and trimmed off at the center where the sun disc will lay.
When I started these pictures I lightly marked the clay with little pricks where the edges of the frame overlap so the finished design wouldn't be covered. Now I remove these marks by carefully blending them back in.
Testing the fit.
Adding the sundrops.
I make a last minute change to the sunbeams beneath the sun - they were too symmetrical and it bothered me - easily fixed.
The sun's back in place and I continue to add sundrops.
Just a few more…
And it's done!
All three pictures.
"Plant me where the sun shines and there I'll grow and flourish."
Another project ready for the oven - time to clear off my work table. Next I'll paint the pictures and a checkerboard pattern in shades of brown on the frames…