I help Cathey out when I can, and one of my responsibilities is doing the salamander mugs. We were asked to create one by a friend, and it turned out so cool I thought I would make a couple more. Basically I add clay then take away anything that doesn’t look like a salamander. Cathey does the tough part; turning a standard mug on the wheel; she then added an extruded handle and let it set overnight.


I’m going to be working one of the extra extrusions to form the body of the salamander.


Salamanders like their bellies scratched!



Add just a little bit of water and the salamander body sticks well to the handle.



The tail is shaped separately:


I cut a bevel on the end of his┬ábody, then a matching bevel on the tail. It’s then attached to the mug in a nice swirl.


I’m not too concerned with the details of the body and tail as I prefer to do the final shaping at the leather-hard stage. Next I roll out four legs and flatten the ends to eventually become the feet.


Look Ma -legs!


I’ll do a bit more shaping then add the final touch at this stage: eyes. Eyes are simply a little ball of clay sliced in half, then added to the head.



I’ll let the mugs harden overnight and tomorrow I’ll come back and carve the details. Till then…

OK – mugs have dried enough to firm up, allowing me to handle them without “smooshing” them. Leatherhard clay holds details much better…

IMG_2308_2 IMG_2307_2 IMG_2309_2

Next they will get fired and on to glazing in Part 2.