Every time a slip casting is made, there is a chance that something will go wrong. Maybe It's too thick or too thin, or it doesn't drain entirely. Maybe something sticks in the mold, and tears off, like a leg. Maybe you leave it too long, and it cracks because it gets too dry. Each casting is supposed to be between the thickness of one nickel and two nickels, which is the optimum thickness. Consequently, we always had rejected castings hanging around. We used to cut the heads off, to keep track of how many castings we lost... but if the head was still nice and damp, heck... we could do things with it!
Ever notice how much Suspiro looks like an ancient Roman marble carving? Neither have I. Nevertheless, this Suspiro head was made to look like it was an old Roman or Greek marble statue that had broken apart and been buried for eons. We carved nicks, cracks, and holes in it... and then rubbed it with mineral oil tints (which are not fired on, they are oil based and just stain the bisque permanently). An absolutely useless little thing, but it was the kind of silliness that we did in between more serious work. We were always experimenting, and the mineral tints seemed like an interesting thing to try... but they aren't even enough in application. You couldn't, for instance, "paint" a horse with them in realistic colors.
The winner of the Suspiro Marble Head is Mel Hinkle! Congrats, Mel!