Tag Archives: figurines

Stick Ladies Travel

I’m a big fan of Pittsburgh Orbit and its perspective on lilfe in that city. I have a fondness for the city, though I’ve never lived there; my son was a resident for some years and it is where he met his wife and where they got married. We made quite a few trips there over the years. You may remember Knit the Bridge back in 2013? And guess what, Mrs. Orbit is the person who taught me punch needle embroidery online last year, and you know where that’s taken me.

Anyway, I read in a recent Orbit post about a new venture: the Silver Apple Gallery. It’s still forming its identity but one of its missions is to spread art into the community, sort of like the Little Free Libraries do for books.

Well, I felt I had to participate and I had an idea what to contribute. Some stick ladies! I haven’t made any for a while. So – I was more than ready to create. I had some sticks already prepared and I got out my woodburning tool and got to work. Here they are:

I kept the big one for myself. Yes, I did.

The others I put in the mail and off they went to Pittsburgh, where they received a warm welcome. For which I am grateful, since they (I) sort of invited themselves (myself).

But wait, you say. Isn’t one missing? Yes. One of these figurines went somewhere else. I’ll tell you more in another post!

Clay Creatures

Here are some clay creatures made in September, 2020.

First up, this three-legged insect creature. He’s maybe 8 inches tall or so.

You may remember the puff people I used to make – in the dozens, if not hundreds. Here are a couple, to remind you.

Here is a variation on that theme.

For both of these new creatures, I used sgraffito and scratching techniques as well as using clay stamps I made myself. The eyes in particular were made with a stamp.

How about a drama shot, to end the post?

Stick Ladies Update

Back in 2016 I did a thing called Claudia McGill Art Camp. My goal was to use supplies I had on hand, finish up projects, or try something new. One thing I did was to pull out my wood-burning kit and make these figures:

Stick ladies woodburned 8-16 #1 small


Here’s the post that describes the event – take a look.

Well, these ladies have been rattling around for – almost four years. I decided recently it was time to do something about this state of affairs.

My husband cut some @ 3″ square wood blocks from a scrap piece of lumber we had at home. I got some double-ended screws, the name of which I have already forgotten, but no matter. I painted the blocks black. My husband drilled small holes in the blocks and the figures and screwed them together.


Stick Ladies on stands with stand 5-20


Voila! So much better to be vertical, these ladies say.


Now, for the glamour close-up shots:

I said back in 2016 I would love to do more of these figures. Well, life intervened, and I have not done so. Things are different these days, though. I plan to check out some locations in the park for new sticks…

You may remember other stick ladies I have made. Painted them, is what I did. I don’t have any of these left – I distributed them through my art drop-off system that you know if you follow my Sometimes You Get So Confused blog. But here are some photos, anyway – it’s nice to revisit these little entities, I think.

Half-Circle Animals #1 – Terracotta

Recently I made some animal figurines incorporating the circle shape.

To make them, I cut a circle shape in the clay and then cut that in half. I then joined the half-circles along the curved edge, added a bottom, legs, and a head. Next thing you know, clay animals. They look like this:

The largest animal’s body is made from about a six inch diameter circle. The clay is quite stiff and held up well to the process. I decided not to put my usual colorful decoration on these creatures as I liked the simplicity of their black and orange scheme.

Made in July 2019, terracotta clay, fired at cone 06, colored with Velvet underglazes. Here are some more photos showing leg styles – I made some with tubular legs and others are formed from slabs.

Everyone says hello!

Clay terracotta half circle animals group #3 7-191

Medium Cylinder People – Low-Fire White Clay

Some more medium cylinder people from June 2019. They are made with low-fire white clay fired at cone 06 and colored with Velvet underglazes.

A close-up portrait:

Clay Medium cylinder person flounced skirt 6-193

and a couple of back views.

Medium Cylinder People – Terra Cotta

Here are some medium cylinder people – about 5″ tall or so. I made them in June 2019.

Terracotta clay, fired at cone 06, colored with Velvet underglazes.

Medium Potheads

Excuse the title, but that what we call them. Because they are pots, and because they are heads.

More potheads. These are medium-sized, smaller than the large ones and a lot bigger than the baby potheads. They fit right in. Here is the whole group.

Made in August 2019, low-fire clay, fired at cone 06, Velvet underglaze for the black wash look and Amaco Teacher’s Palette glazes for the interiors.

Medium potheads group 7-198

And for individual shots. One: (Please excuse the yellowy cast to the portrait view – the other one is more the correct color for the clay)

Two: (I turned this one a little so you could get a better look at the eyes)

Three: (I realize the interior glaze is actually a Duncan color rather than being from the Amaco line I referenced earlier)

All right. That’s the pothead universe up to now. Here’s a portrait of Large and Medium together.

Pothead group 7-196

Baby Potheads

Excuse the title, but that what we call them. Because they are pots, and because they are heads.

Now I’ll show you the baby versions of this category. They are about 2″ tall or so, and about the same in width. I used white low-fire or terracotta clay and colored their exteriors with Velvet underglaze Jet Black in a wash-off technique.

The interiors are done with Amaco Teacher’s Palette glazes – this makes them able to hold water, if anyone wanted to fill them with it. They were fired at cone 06. I made these in June 2019, as I did with the large potheads.

And, unlike the large potheads, I decorated the back sides of these little pots with various colors, using Velvet underglazes.


Previous pothead post – look here.

Large Potheads #2

Excuse the title, but that what we call them. Because they are pots, and because they are heads.

Here are two more large potheads. Both are fired at cone 06, using Velvet underglazes color Jet Black on the exterior in a wash-off technique, and Amaco Teacher’s Palette glazes for the interiors. Both are about 8-9″ inches tall. Made in June 2019.

This one is done in terracotta clay.

You can see I glazed the interior in the green color – it looks like this (like this photo from the previous post):

And here is the one done in white clay:

Its interior is done in the blue glaze (like this photo from the previous post):

You may notice I have made the faces so that they are full of asymmetry – even the eyes don’t match. I used a variety of shapes to get this effect, making sure there was sufficient changes in lines and textures for the underglaze to show them well. I thought this would give the faces more interest and expression.

Previous pothead post – look here.