Shaping clay with the hands.
Make a simple, hollow, self supporting structure.
Most beginners can make a basic mushroom. In this example the clay that supports itself while it is still moist.
Use whatever ceramic clay you have available.
I am using a cone 04 sculpture clay that contains grog.
This can be made in air dried clay. Just paint with craft paints and seal with acrylic varnish once the clay has dried.
Make a flat piece of clay and roll it around your finger.
Be sure to press any joints and smooth them out with the fingers of the other hand. Dip your fingers in water if necessary, but be careful not to get the clay too wet. Wet clay gets soft and will not support itself.
The narrow end, at the end of your finger, will be where the top of the mushroom is attached. Flare it out so it can later be pressed into the top for a good joint.
Next press it down on a work surface, so that it stands up. A piece of wax paper or parchment paper works well for this.
A little bit of a lean in the stem will look more natural.
Use a tool or brush and water to smooth the edge of the base so it isn't sharp.
Use a needle to make some spore marks on the inside of the 'bowl'. This will beome the underside of the mushroom.
You will need to place a finger under the edge of your mushroom in order to press the little pieces firmly into the surface. You may also need to touch up your colour after placing the little bits on top.
Use a needle tool to add some texture to the pieces.
If you have clear gloss and you want a little less shine, you might try thinning a little with water and applying a very thin coat.
Set aside until bone dry.
The extra drying will reduce the risk of hearing a popping sound in the kiln and finding the mushroom in pieces.
When making these you soon discover that the mushroom needs to be kind of short and have a fat stem for this method to work. Too tall or skinny and the moist clay won't support itself.
A simple support method for making taller mushrooms, using card stock and scotch tape, will be shown in a following instructable.
I only used one coat of underglaze for this project. Sometimes the red may not come out quite as bright when single firing, due to organics burning off. The same is true for some other colours. Not too important here.
Fire to cone 06 ( or 04 bisque if someone else fires ). I left the underside of the top with no glaze, so it comes out as a flat mat finish.