The first fun thing to do is to make the ball. That's what we will talk about today, making a clay ball. I did this very early in my career and did write blogs about the problems I encountered. So I have learned. Here is my new simple way to make a clay ball.
1. Go to the discount store and buy a cheep ball of the size you wish to make.
2. Then we have to make a stand. Balls will never stand still for you long enough to get it covered with clay! Get a jug a bit smaller than the ball so that over half of the ball is showing. Then cut off the bottom at the right height. You will place the ball onto this jug stand while working with it, covering it with clay. Again, make sure that over half of the ball is above the edge of the jug. You want to cover only half of the ball with clay.
3. Make a line to mark halfway point of the ball, all around the circumference. Some balls have a visible joint at the halfway point so keep that in mind when buying a ball.
4. Place the ball in the jug bottom so that the half line is visible all around. Now cover it with saran wrap. Then tape the wrap to the jug bottom so the ball is now taped down under the wrap to the jug bottom. This will stabilize everything and you can work comfortably without the saran wrap or the ball moving around on you.
5. Make a large slab of clay, place over the ball. Cut a slit into the clay, push clay down over ball and allow clay to overlap, cut down overlap through both layers and remove pieces, close the pie shape removed with slip, continue this process all around till all the clay is against the ball. Fill in with pieces of clay to cover ball to the halfway line. Then cut access clay off at the half line so you will have covered half the ball with clay. (See below left.)
6. Smooth out all the cut joints on the outside of the ball with a rib finishing with a sponge.
7. Cut or remove the tape from the bottom jug stand and lift the ball out, fill the jug stand with a plastic garbage bag to cover the edges, turn ball and clay over with clay down and place on garbage bag in jug, lift ball out. (See bottom right.) The garbage bag is so that the edges of the jug will not cut into the fresh wet clay too much. Now take your time to remove the saran wrap and close the seams of the joints in the clay on the inside of the ball. Level off the edge of the ball all around so it will connect evenly with the next half you will now make to place on top of this half.
8. When ready, carefully lift this first half of the clay ball on a table, open side down. (See below)
9. Now repeat the process creating the second half of the clay ball.
11. Add slurry as needed and smooth out the joint with a rib and finally finish the surface of whole ball rubbing it with a damp sponge.
That's it, done. You have a clay ball.
One thing to remember, don't uses "sharp" knives to cut the clay or you might end up puncturing the ball beneath. When you hear the air sizzle out, you know you've got to go out and invest in another ball. Could use styraphome balls, but they are soooo expensive. Much cheaper using a ball and a dull knife.
is likely the one who dropped it." - Lou Holtz