Inspiring DIY polymer clay sculpting tutorials and artist profiles.
I am stuck. Stuck, stuck, stickedy stuck. Back in November I sculpted my heart out creating my initial and winter collections of my Will O’ Wisp light up necklaces. Just now I don’t want to make another one. I have been editing and laying out photos for my tutorial book and the thought of sitting in front of this computer clickety-clacking away makes me want to poke out my own eyes. And yet here I sit typing a blog entry probably procrastinating. It will be my fourth trip upstairs to stare uselessly at my art supplies for today alone, and I cant count the trips to the bookshelves leafing through volume after volume of picture book trying to think of something to do. I really feel like I am pacing in a cage!
I seem to be cornered into taking my own advice. I give it to clients all the time. “Don’t just sit there ruminating and pining away deciding what to do, take the Nike approach and ‘Just Do It’”. So here we go! Just for kicks and giggles, I dug down to the depths of that craft junk drawer we all have. You know the one. That bottom one where you chuck bits from projects that you weren’t sure what to do with, but that also weren’t trash. My hand came out with a very interesting coating of various colors of glitter, brown velvet flocking, and green faux moss, but I chose these three bits of wayward stuff. Just as soon as I wash my hands I’ll figure out what to do with the stuff.
So we have this collection of stuff. Maybe you have similar stuff and can use this as a sort of mini-tutorial. I am going to grab a bite and some clays and see what I can come up with.
I decided I wanted to do a take on those beautiful framed pieces of miniature art my painter friends create. You know the ones with a filigree frame, a tiny 2 in by 3 inch painting with a glass cab glued over it. I’m no painter, but why not adapt the idea to a sculptural piece.
So it got complex already. I can never stick with simple….BORING! I have a polymer clay backing on there which I hope looks a bit like a daytime sky. Then I have used a 2 part epoxy clay to create a sort of shelf along the bottom of the metal frame piece. I used a needle tool and a ball stylus to create a woody texture, though really I thing it will be most entirely covered with polymer anyway.
Epoxy takes some time to set up so I need 2 hours rest before I can get back to work. I am going to go watch My Neighbor Totoro because it is raining and I haven’t seen it since 1991.
2 hours later...
Got down to the fun part! Creating a branch frame, sculpting mushrooms and tiny stumps. It goes in the oven now and will be painted and turned into a necklace in them morning. I think it is turning out well considering all the time I spent staring at craft materials this week!
After tinting areas with Pearl-ex, curing, the piece and letting it cool, I am ready to paint. Painting is simple. I use a dark black brown, and apply a wash. Basically mix 3 parts water to 1 part paint. Brush over a small area. The watery paint seeps into all the low spots in that detail you sculpted. with a bit of paper towel gently brush across the high spots leaving the paint only in the cracks and crannies. Let it dry and it really pops out the detail.
I used some bright green to dab on some more moss highlights along the epoxy. I painted over that in a nice brown. Then I added some white dots to make my little shrooms look like the Fly Agaric. The best part though is the glitter! I used a clear water based glaze, brushed that where I wanted glitter and sprinkled some glitter. Just a bit, didn’t want to end up with a woodsy disco ball.
Here it is all done. It had the desired effect. I have 4 more of those big metal filigree things, I can build on the 3-D mini scene idea and see where else it goes….
is kept in a dark basement and fed a diet of mostly green peppers.