I said Owl be back!

As you can probably guess today I’m featuring owls! Sorry about the really obvious pun in the title but it really did have to be done! 

After chatting to a friend online before Christmas I set about making her a family of ceramic owls. I’d never done them before but she was happy to experiment with me. So out came the clay!

How to make a ceramic clay owl using the pinch pot technique

First I made 2 pinch pots and joined them to make a bubble. This was roughly squeezed into an owlie sort of shape taking care not to burst the bubble. 

The beginning of a clay owl taking shape
An owlish sort of shaped bubble of clay. You need a bit of imagination at this point!

Next I needed to refine the owl features so the clay was smoothed off and some features were added. Now it starts to look like a lump of clay with attitude!

Clay owl taking shape
Looking a little perplexed maybe?

All she needs now are some wings and feathers. She looks like a she to me, all snuggled with plumped up plume.

How to make a clay owl
Mrs Hoot!

As my friend wanted 3 owls to represent her family I pretty much repeated the above process to make Mr Hoot, who looks to be giving a lecture and baby Hoot who is smaller and has her wings out asking for a cuddle, awww. There is an extra one *just in case* as Kenny the kiln could throw a fit!

How to make a clay owl
The Hoot family before firing.

This of course is what the owls look like before firing and glazing. So I begged Kenny to be good for me and set them cooking. Once they came out of the kiln they were all white as that is the true colour of the clay I use.

After the first (bisque) firing. If you are wondering, the other one is a mushroom house!

 My next task was to glaze the owls and my friend told me what each family member’s favourite colours were so that their owl was definitely theirs. We went for black, purple and silver. I also painted one turquoise as I thought the glaze would work well. The colours don’t show up before the second firing so it’s a bit deceiving unless you are really familiar with them. For instance, the black one here actually ends up being the silver one and the grey one turns out black!

How to make a ceramic clay owl
Painted with glaze and looking a bit dull before firing.

 After the second (glaze) firing it’s cross your fingers time! This is when I talk very nicely to Kenny and hope he’s behaved as he does have a tantrum now and again. On this occasion I opened Kenny and was horrified. The bottom shelf had cracked in two during the firing and everything stacked on the shelves above fell. The owls were on the bottom shelf so I couldn’t see if they survived but you know what, they are tough l’il guys and survived intact. I was at least expecting a broken wing.

How to make ceramic owls
The owl family ‘Hoot’ after their ordeal in Kenny!

Do you have a favourite? I’m quite taken by baby Hoot but I think Mr Hoot and his deliberations make him my favourite. Here they are after a photo shoot!

Family of ceramic owls. How to make clay owls
The family ‘Hoot’ inspired by Georgia.

I hope you enjoyed ‘the making of family Hoot’. I love to share my process with you. Also, a big thank you to Georgia who inspired me to make these and push me out of my comfort zone. 

Don’t forget that you don’t have to use earthenware clay or need a kiln to make these. You can do the same thing with polymer clay and bake them (slowly) in your conventional oven. Follow the directions that come with your clay for best results with the baking.

Go on, give it a go! Post your results in the comments below. I’d love to see them.

Cath xx

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    • Cathy says:

      The silver one is Daddy Hoot. It looks like he’s giving a speech with hand (wing) movements!

      I am still making owls, that is when I get my workshop completed! 🙂

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