How It’s Made: Porcelain Alpaca

May 1, 2017 , In: Ceramic Clay, Clay

I’m busy getting ready for the MADE ON STATE open house and a trunk show at Let’s Bead.  One of the many new designs I’m bringing to these events are my ceramic alpaca pendants and figurines. Here’s a peek at how they are made!

All alpacas begin their life as a wedged block of clay (I’m using porcelain at the moment).  

I pinch a small piece of clay off the block and roll it into a ball. 

Using just my fingers, I pinch the ball into a neck and shape the base of the body. 

Using my fingers and an assortment of tools, I sculpt the front and back legs. 

I set the body aside for a few minutes and then using another small ball of clay, create the head.  The head is then attached to the body using the score & slip method. 

I use the same method to attach a tiny tail. 

I allow the alpaca to dry for a few minutes before I add a few details, like ears and eyes. 

After the details are added, I insert a small nichrome loop into the back.

I prop all the alpacas up so that they dry properly overnight. 

In the morning they get a sponge bath, no…really.  

The alpacas are then bisque-fired, glazed and fired again (I forgot to take pics of these steps…oops).

Here’s what a finished simple grey alpaca looks like.

And here’s a few other variations!  

Now back to prepping for my show!


Diana Ptaszynski

Powered by the magic of all things containing sugar, Diana spends her day making beads out of porcelain and stoneware.  She also enjoys needle-felting, bead embroidery and metalsmithing. A Jersey girl at heart, Diana now resides in Rochester, NY with her husband and three cat children.  You can find Diana in her studio at Made On State, spreading the bead love at Let's Bead in East Rochester or all dressed up at a cosplay event! 
  1. Reply

    These are so much fun. Thanks for the peek into your process. Good luck with your show!

    • Kathleen Klik
    • May 1, 2017

    I have really been enjoying your new work Diana! Love the alpacas, my sister in law used to raise alpacas in Avon and gave me some wool (that she dyed) to make beads. Thanks for sharing your creative process!

  2. Reply

    Your alpacas are so darn cute. Hope your show is a big success!

  3. Reply

    I love all your Lamas! They just make me smile every time 🙂

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