Jeremiah Tree – Forming the Trunk

The Jeremiah Tree is well underway.  So far, I have made 50 leaves, 3 plates for the river, and 2 pieces for the tree trunk.  When I started creating the trunk, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to go about it.  I knew I would at least start by throwing a large cylinder on the wheel and then cut it in half.  After that, I just decided to go for it.  Trial and error.

Yes, this is off center, but since I was cutting it and warping it, I didn’t feel the need to make it perfect.  Once I cut my cylinder in half using a wire cutter, I then began to warp and mold the halves into a tree-like structure.  I really like the shape I formed and I hope it will continue to take on a more natural look as I continue to build this piece.  The next step after the initial shaping of the trunk, was to score the surface and add more clay to create a bark texture.  I did this by working small lumps of clay until they were thin “sheets” of clay and then fold and wrinkle them onto the surface.  I also cut out a piece at the base of this trunk for the sake of changing the shape when I start creating and adding the roots.

Once the whole surface was covered with the “bark” I then rubbed on slop clay to cover the seams where the clay scraps were attached.  I applied this somewhat liberally and allowed the texture of it to remain so it would add to the appearance of bark.  It was a lot of fun to work on this piece and I didn’t have to be too careful when adding on the clay bark.  I think that helps it to look more naturalistic.  Yesterday I made the second piece to the trunk.  I am hoping to start on the roots soon and throw the next cylinder for the tree trunk today.  I have about 200 more leaves to make, so I am staying busy!


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