This project with paper clay (Southern Ice Porcelain) and wire mesh did not work out.
The picture to the right showed my original concept.
The paper clay encased wire mesh survived the bisque fire quite nicely, but did not fare well at all at Cone 5. The black pods on the inside have been fired to Cone 10 and are there for "dry-fitting."
The "pod" collapsed under the weight of the paper clay; the additional weight coming from the "thorns" I added as shown in the bottom picture. A kiln shelf (illustrated by the white box) stopped the piece from falling completely over.
One thing I learned from this is that the shape of the wire structure is important and how much additional load from the paper clay must be taken into account.
Firing to Cone 5 was too hot for the wire mesh to survive as it completely melted and black gobs oozed out of the cracks in the paper clay and re-hardened.