In honor of the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos, we have created our own clay Calaveras or sugar skulls here at Alexandria Clay Coop. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated on November 1st and 2nd throughout Latin America. This colorful and lively holiday in honor of the dead combines the indigenous Aztec rituals with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Calaveras, the most recognizable symbol of this holiday, are also known as sugar skulls and can be found everywhere throughout the season. Traditionally made of sugar or clay, these representations of a human skull often bear the name of a living person on the forehead and are given as gifts during the celebrations.
Our Calaveras were created using cookie cutters and slab roller. We used “little loafers” white clay and first pressed the decorative side of the cookie cutter into the slab and then used a needle tool to cut out the shape of the skull.
The pieces were then bisque fired and then painted using AMACO velvet underglazes.
Even our youngest potter helped with this step.
The complete pieces were then waxed on the back, dipped in clear glaze and fired to cone 6.