March Hare?!! Mad about modelling?

Having been born in the city of Edmonton, Canada, I was baffled when a friend told me about the Mad March Hare and suggested my incorporating it into this article. Of course I’m familiar with the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland but isn’t it the Hatter that’s Mad?

So what does google say? The March hare is indeed mad (as a hatter?). Maybe that’s why they make such a good pair. 😉

Hare behavior mostly seen in March include boxing matches, jumping around, running in circles and crazy chases. This madness is the hares mating ritual.

The hare has also become a favourite theme in my clay modelling class and some people are mad about making one. Modelling isn’t restricted to hares. Other animals, the human figure, imaginary characters and monsters or even abstract shapes can be modelled out of clay.

Clay modelling is one of the most rewarding ways of doing sculpture and it is actually quite safe. In contrast, with carving, every thing you do is finite. Once something is removed there is no putting it back.

The beauty of modelling is that you can experiment without committing to what you have tried. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t seem right, you just take it away and try something else. You get to put your hands into the clay and get a feel of the material — push, pull, squeeze — move it around.

First, the rough shape is blocked out. Then more detail is added. This is refined, again through adding and taking away, until the piece is ‘declared finished’. It is a very personal process that should not be rushed but enjoyed. It can also be very meditative.

Once the sculpture is completed, it is dryed to leather hard. Then it is cut in half and hollowed out. The two halves are joined together and finished again around the seam.

When the sculpture dries it can be fired. Usually I fire slowly to a lower temperature (bisque or bisquit) to give everything the best chance of getting through the firing. (So far everything has come through well.) This also gives the opportunity for further steps such as adding colour before firing to the final temperature.

Here are a couple of quotes from people who have taken my course:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my first attempt at ceramic sculpture.. and was well pleased with the result. I have tried throwing pots on a wheel before but under Esther’s guidance managed to create my arctic hare sculpture.”

“I enjoy Esther’s workshop because all participants have the opportunity to create what they want to make. If you are a beginner, she gives suggestions about what you could make and shows you how to successfully achieve it. If you know what you want to make, she will support you as necessary. I like the freedom of self-directed work and am very thankful for her sensitive guidance when required. She is very inspirational and helpful and the results are beautiful, diverse and express the creativity of the individual members of the group.”

You will be treated to a cup with “Drink me” on it as well.

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