Making a Dodecahedron

After the first attempt, I realized that groggy clay is very difficult to carve into and switched to using porcelain.  The first step of the process is rolling out a slab of clay, then cutting out 12 pentagons and cutting the holes.  I bevel and score the edges before building the dodecahedron.  It helps to have a friend helping during the building process!  I use slip to “glue” the sides together.

I love the contrast of black slip and the bright white color of the bare porcelain, so after the dodecahedron is built, I paint the entire piece with black slip (for a shinier finish I use SJ black, for a slate-like finish I use Conrad black, and a mix of the 2 will produce something in between).  The white design is made by carving away the slip using a needle tool.

After the carving is finished, I put the piece in the bisque fire.  After the bisque fire the clay is hard, making the piece less fragile, but no more carving can be done.  I then glue small clay pads on the bottom (in a section that has been carved away exposing the bare clay), then fire the piece at Cone 10.  The final piece is very shiny since I used SJ black.  I didn’t like how shiny it turned out, so later pieces use a mix of the SJ and Conrad black for a more matte finish.