I finally released his head from the vase (he was modelled around the vase in order to ensure his head was hollow). It's important to hollow out anything thick -sorry, Louis!- in ceramics as otherwise it might shatter when in the kiln during firing. I had to perform the surgery of slicing his head behind the ears and then rejoining the pieces.
However I ran out of space when the head was on the vase and couldn't give him a proper neck or a base. Solution: make this as a separate piece with the collar at the back to hide the join of head to neck, and the jutting out chin to hide the join in the front - that's the plan, anyway, and I'll soon start working on the neck/collar.
I'm thinking about the final finish - the main possibilities being:
- all shiny white china
- matt finish skin tone, details such as wrinkles and recessed areas picked out with dark oxide, with glazed shiny white hair.
- metallic look using a special glaze that gives the appearance of a metallic dark bronze.
I've applied techniques 2) and 3) to the small heads and will see the results soon. This will help decide what the finished full size head will look like. Watch this space.