“E” realized the potential in clay almost immediately – in his mind’s eye he saw the characters from the Redwall book series stepping off the page and into the studio. “E” started with a strong little mouse and learned the importance of hollowing out sculptures in order to assure even thickness for safe firing in the kiln. He devised a base so the sturdy figure could stand without tipping over.
Once the sculpture was fired, “E” envisioned the colors, textures and details he would add to bring his character to life. He moved around the studio in a sort of treasure hunt, locating all the things he needed to make clothing and weaponry and to appoint the figure in style.
That was just the beginning. More and more figures sprang to life and a peer joined in, learning the tricks of the trade “E” and “K” worked side by side to produce a lively army of badgers, rats and mice. Each artist became more and more adept at manipulating clay to produce desired results.
What would make convincing chain mail to go under the armor? How big would a hole need to be in the figure’s hand to allow for shrinkage and end up the right size to hold a staff? Although the art teacher coveted the figures and imagined a display in the showcase down the hall, each figure was spirited away just as soon as they were completed, to join the troops at home and find their place in the hearts and minds of these competent, imaginative artists.