"Legend has it that gargoyles ward off evil spirits - are any protecting your castle and loved ones?"
Protectors from Evil in an Imperfect Man-Made World
Gargoyles & Grotesques Originally a gargoyle was a water spout, mounted on the eve and directing water away from a building so that the water would not erode the mortar. Over the passage of time the word gargoyle became the term used to describe any and all the fantastic creatures on a cathedral or other building. Folklore held that gargoyles are good luck and frightened away evil spirits — while serving its practical function of carrying rain water away. "One can think of wyverns (a twolegged winged dragon of medieval legend) as sort of 'holy pit bulls,' whose job is to dispel the evil forces, lightning, plague, war, and other calamities that may threaten the cathedral and the city. They are often a fantastic display of inhuman birds, impossible animals, and half-human mammals that are crouching, grimacing, and ready to spring into space and pounce upon the world! After the introduction of the lead drain in the 16th century, gargoyles primarily serve a decorative purpose. This guy — on a church in the South of France —is a true gargoyle. One can see how the water would leave the building and travel along the gargoyle and out the mouth.
What is Clay? Clay is a special kind of earth which is made by the decomposition of rocks through the action of weathering. Clay can be found anywhere but it is only useful for pottery if it has good "plasticity." You can test this by seeing how stretchy a piece of clay is. If you can take a piece of clay, roll it into a coil and bend it into a ring without cracking and falling apart, chances are it will make good pots and sculptures.
Working With Clay: Clay artists throughout the ages have invented many ways to shape things out of clay. PINCH - Use your fingers to pinch and poke a single lump of clay into any shape. SLAB - Roll the clay into flat sheets (like a pie crust) to cut apart and assemble. COIL - Roll out long snakes of clay and twist them into coils and shapes. WHEEL - Spin clay on a potter's wheel to form pots and vases.
Some Tools to Use When Working with Clay: Your fingers Rolling pins and canvas Popsicle sticks and toothpicks Cookie cutters Plastic bags A clay cutter (wire) Sponges Various carving tools, nuts and bolts, old toothbrushes and anything else you can get your hands on that will create texture in the clay
WARNING: DO NOT ALLOW CLAY TO GO DOWN YOUR DRAIN! If clay gets into your sink, you will have a major problem. Always rinse your hands in a bucket of water ... the clay will settle to the bottom and you will be able to pour the water off the top (outside) and you will be able to use the slurry clay at a later time.
What You Do: You are to create your own gargoyle designs. You have to draw sketches of your creations, then you have to hand sculpt your forms in clay.
What You Do: Clay is a wonderful sculpting material and you should be encouraged to play around with a small piece of clay before you begin working on your sculpture. Experiment with the clay ... see how long it takes to dry out ... add water to moisten it again. Basically the idea here is to let you get a feel for how the clay works. Different techniques you could use: coils, slabs, balls etc. Build the clay up slowly using small bits and adding more and more clay. Moisten the clay when it starts to get a little dry. Using your fingers, popsicle sticks, plastic forks etc. details can be added like a nose, eyes, mouth etc. (Did you include some of the following: tongues sticking out, horns coming out of heads and huge eyes! ) If you do this in two parts, store the clay figures with plastic bags over top of them so they don't dry out. Once the clay figure is complete, you will need to let it dry for several days to a week.