Here, I'll try posting one of your photos myself to see if I have a problem too:
That seems to have worked okay... were you copying out the "image code" for each photo you tried to paste here?... it's the last of the 4 options with each photo at Photobucket. Or if you're new, you'd have to have made 10 posts, I think, before you're allowed to post actual photos.
off topic - what's going on in your user pic? juggling glow balls?
That's just one of the few photos I'd taken that I had in digital form when I needed an avatar for Craftster... before that, I hadn't really used avatars. Also I kind of wanted something that was "me" but not really recognizable. I liked the creativity/funky angle too.
As for what it is, and how it was done, back when I was using my SLR film camera (before digitals really came along), I liked to do "trick photography" sometimes, and later did some with my young son for fun --this was one of those shots and employed a kind of multiple exposure.
So it was taken on a dark night outdoors, with the SLR on a tripod and its shutter locked open. I was dressed in black sweater and pants, with a white mask on my face and my hands bare (what you saw as "balls") standing facing the camera. For the first part, my son went behind me and moved a flashlight around in a zigzag fashion with the beam facing the camera. Then he went to one side of the camera in front and activated a flash unit toward me which was covered temporarily with a sheet of red cellophane. Then I changed position, and he flashed again but with a different color of cellophane covering the flash. And lastly, one more flash with a 3rd cellophane color. So 3 faces, and 6 hands altogether. (Then we unlocked the shutter, and the picture was complete.)
Hope that makes sense. I used to have a lot of fun with all kinds of trick photography, but these days my old film SLR is broken and can't really afford a digital SLR right now--they're expensive! (really miss looking at my shots from that big beautiful sharp screen inside the lens---boohoo). Since regular digital cameras don't allow the aperture to be held open (as far as I know anyway!), I've had to forgo the fun of doing trick shots. (Of course, nowadays one can do all kinds of trick things with photoediting software and that's fun too, but not the same, and not as fun to show kids for making "ghosts" and multiple images of them in one shot, etc., either.)
P.S. Guess I can put in a larger version of it here so you can see what it looks like better:
This copy of the photo is a little on the light side, so you can see the ground and leaves behind me and also some of the light that came through my leg, etc.
That 'bellows' arrangement is what I used, after I figured that there was no way I was going to do it with my hands alone. Then I broke the hinge on that. . .]
Wow! Did you use a good strong hinge, and long and reasonably "bite-y" screws??... something like this:
I've never had a problem with my version of the bellows pusher (which has its hole in a different place than the original one pioneered by Maureen Carlson, and is longer--her version could bend the barrel) as long as the clay was properly prepared before extruding.
Since you're doing so much extruding, it would be worth it to make the pusher boards even longer than mine, since the longer they are the less "work" needs to be done by you or the pusher parts. There are a few other intriguing obejcts to use with clay guns (like donut weights from barbells) and different set ups for similar pushers (like one you'd sit on), etc., listed on my Clay Guns page that you might want to check out too before trying again: http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/claygun.htm There's even a much bigger clay gun extruder (designed for use with earth clay) that would hold a lot more clay at one time... you might have to have a small-hole die made for it, but considering how much clay you're extruding that might be well worth it.
The light colours were okay, but the black was the killer.
How did you prepare the clay, especially the stiffer colors...did you use both an additive and additional warmth before extruding?? That really should work. (For example, I used to run my barrels filled with conditioned/softened clay under our instant-hot-water spigot for a few seconds just before extruding ... now that that's broken , I just leave sheets or logs of clay on a heating pad (on a plastic bag) before putting in the barrel, and/or I use several filled guns and leave them on the heating pad.)
You can use all kinds of chalks on polymer clay (regular chalks, chalk pastels, chalk inks/paints, chalk cakes, etc.).
I once used sidewalk chalks (as well as make-up powders) as coloring for a kids' clay class. In that case, they were making small polymer heads to put onto fingerpuppets, and I wanted them to be able to give color to the cheeks, hair, eyes, etc., if they wanted. I created palettes of color by rubbing each chalk color on a square of sandpaper (which had been divided into a grid with a Sharpie so the colors could be separated) to create a powder, then glued the sandpaper inside a shallow lid to contain any dust the kids might kick up when they used them. I also powdered some blush and eye shadows, and pressed those into the sandpaper for more color variety.
I then gave each kid one of the chalk palettes and a small soft brush, and showed them how to pick up one color at a time with the brush then pounce it on the raw clay until s/he got the saturation of color desired (rather than "stroking" it on which doesn't work well).
Btw, the chalk color goes on well but isn't totally opaque if that's what you'd want. Like any of the powders, after baking it doesn't need sealing to hold on if it's been rubbed in well. After a long time though, the colors on my samples kind of faded and darkened a bit.
Here are two photos of my samples of heads for the class showing a bit of the chalk/makeup:
This last photo has only one with chalk --the girl with color on her hair, cheeks, and eye sockets-- but the color was more saturated than it looks in this photo. (All the heads above except the bright pink one were made from SuperSculpey which is a translucent, flesh-colored clay. )
This is an Altoids tin I covered with clay (the lid anyway), then used as a tic tac toe game:
The background sheets on the left and right have simple spiral ("jellyroll") cane slices rolled into them in inverse colors. The colors used were combos and mixes of yellow and magenta, sometimes with white to lighten, and also black and Brilliant Gold Pearl Ex. The stacked-balls playing pieces rest peg-like in clay squares with center holes cut out (like nuts from a hardware store), and the lid has a knob for helping to open it easily... playing pieces are stored inside. I also glued a couple of pieces of black felt to the inside top and bottom with Gem Tac glue to keep the pieces from banging around when carried. This one was a bit fiddly to make but there's a text lesson describing how I did it here if anyone's interested: http://www.pcpolyzine.com/0305may/tictactoe.html
Bea-u-tiful! .... but it really deserves to be seen full-size like most photos posted here, instead of as a thumbnail!!
If you didn't know, you can post a photo from your craftster photo-page to a message at its full size by selecting the "BB" line of code to copy, rather than the first line which is for a thumbnail.... so I've put it in that way below. (Sometimes people won't take the time to click on thumbnails, especially if they have a slow connection or if they can't tell enough about the photo to be sure they'd be interested in it).
(At other photosharing sites besides Craftster there may be more choices for size and type, but there should always be one that sends a full-size image to a "bulletin board" or "message board."
MistressH asked what kinds of things we've made for Halloween with polymer clay over in the Discussions & Questions board, so I thought I'd post a photo of one thing I've made (don't think I've posted it before, but could have).
Here's the info from my site about how I made them, along with some other suggestions:
flat ghost polymer treats (to give out for trick-or-treating) ... cutouts ...I made some ghosties from glow-in-the-dark clay to give as treats instead of candy one year ...I used a ghost cutter I made from a cat food tin, plus tiny cutters (mostly Kemper plunger ones) in shapes like ovals, circles, triangles, leaves, stars, etc. for the eyes and mouth (for some I used straws or straws that I partially squashed) ...I made scary ones and sweet ones so the kids could choose (for some of the sweet ones, I used a bit of pink blush and/or powdered chalk on the raw cheeks, pounced with a brush) ...instead of making a hole in the top of each ghost, I attached a tiny clay tube (horizontally) to the back of each one, then baked them face down ...after baking, I used quick and cheap waxed-linen cording to thread through the tube to turn them into pendant necklaes ...some of them got a little toasty in the oven (Premo's glow in the dark clay is obviously more sensitive to darkening than Fimo's so those are now my Ghosties of Color -- later I tented them and put a wooden block under my baking pan in the toaster oven and they stayed light... next time I'll probably just bury them in baking soda) (......there's a lesson on putting a tubes on the backs of the pendants so the cording doesn't show in Pendants > Tube Holes... surprisingly, the black cording didn't show through the GITD clay) (..was afraid I might get a few complaints because it wasn't candy, but that part turned out fine even for the older kids) Diane B.
....instead of cutting out and removing the facial features, tiny cutouts of eyes/mouths made from black clay or from clay ropes could be onlaid on top of the ghost cutouts ....cheek "blush" especially for the non-smiley ghosts could be done with green powder instead of pink (eyeshadow, sidewalk chalk powdered on sheet of sandpaper, etc) ....if you're not making too many, it should be possible to create either the ghost shapes or the features by using a hat pin or Xacto knife, etc, rather than a cutter; each one could be individual that way too.... roll the clay to be cut down firmly onto a smooth surface like a tile so it will stick well before trying to do the lines or cuts ... putting the clay onto a surface which can be rotated also will allow smoother cutting when doing curves and diff. directions, etc.
(comments from others, long ago:) ....What a terrific idea! I am definitely making ghosties and black cats, etc for Halloween giveaways next year! Dianne C. ....could also make werewolf claws and teeth. Sonya ....I would much prefer my kids to get something like that over candy any day! Stephanie
(and in fact my son carried it to school and presented it in one of those opening-top skulls, though he might have had to carry the removable brain stem/cerebellum part separately--can't remember... he had a typed "key" of colors/parts to sit beside it)
As you'll read in that thread, it wasn't actually easy to do. If possible, I'd recommend making it as small as your prof will allow because it's much easier to handle, measure, and futz into place at a smaller size! (plus redo if you don't do something right the first time). It would also be much easier to do the thick-slice anatomy version that I describe in the thread than what we did.
Let me know what you think and I can help you brainstorm ways it could be done with the fewest problems.
P.S. I don't know if I mentioned it in the thread, but we used plain white original Sculpey** in the 2-lb box mixed with SuperSculpey (comes in a 1-lb box) for the exterior cortex because it was cheaper when needing that much clay (even though we'd used the aluminum foil armature inside). We just tinted*** the mix with other colors of clay before shaping. (The other interior parts were probably not Sculpey or Sculpey III, just whatever other brands I had lying around.)
If you do want to add translucence to your interior parts of the model also so they look more like a real brain than a graphic of it like my cross-section, mix some SuperSculpey into whatever other clay you use (up to 100% depending on the look you want... or you could just tint plain SuperSculpey with various colors (SS is almost plain translucent clay, tinted with just a tad of pink to simulate a medium-Caucasian skin color), but it's hard to tell how opaque or translucent tinted clays will be till after baking... and of course the colors will be less "defined" from each other the more translucent you use --SuperSculpey is also cheaper than Sculpey III (though a bit more than plain Sculpey).
And btw, Michaels is having a big sale this week on all the brands of polymer clay (only the small bars though, I think), so you should buy colors now if you can (they may not have all the colors though, or you'll have to try various Michaels stores).
**this is also called "Polyform" clay if you buy it an art supply store instead
***you can tint any kind or color of polymer clay with other polymer clay, artists oil paints (in tubes), or alcohol inks, or with small amounts of acrylic paint (let the colored clay sit awhile before baking if you use any acrylics though). You can also mix new colors of clay, oil paint, alcohol ink, or whatever, together to get new colors before mixing into the clay, or you can mix clays that you've already tinted. The rules for color mixing are the same as for mixing any pigments, but many of the polymer colors have been toned down to start with, or they "lean" toward another color, so best to buy a really clear red, blue, and yellow to mix with (plus black, and lots of white for lighter colors, so you can mix virtually any color)... or better, believe it or not, is to begin with magenta, turquoise, and lemon/zinc yellow, plus black/white (there's more info on how to mix colors at my site... just let me know if you want a direct link to that page).
Strength and workability could be factors too. The 3 Sculpeys are the weakest clays after baking (particulalry in any thin or projecting areas) so be aware of that and handle your baked brain carefully; they are also the softest clays when raw so can be harder to hold their shape, etc., when sculpting with them (cooling can help some... the clay by putting in frig/freezer or letting sit some hours, or your hands by laying on ice packs, etc.) ... FimoSoft is very soft when raw but somewhat stronger after baking than the Sculpeys... but Premo, FimoClassic, and Kato will be the strongest after baking if that matters to you and will also hold their shape more easily (Premo is the softest of those 3 so it can be a good happy-medium as long as you don't have hot hands or work in a hot environment)
The fiskars crimper is hinged near the two barrels, and the handle has a front half and a back half, allowing the barrels to move about a quarter inch away from each other.
Oh, I see...thanks. I had only seen them in their boxes where that part wasn't noticeable, or maybe I just didn't notice.
I love the stacking idea. Little wavy patterns can be so useful
Definitely show us if you do that!
I've done it with just two nesting pieces, then stacked some of those together, which make a really pure-tone-on-oscilloscope-screen look, but this would be even better since yours rows could be stacked continuously.
Another fun thing to do to get S-waves is to roll out a sheet or two of different colors, then roll them together fairly thin and accordion fold the long strip... you have to put a small log inside each fold to keep the curve at each end but it's still kind of cool.
On this one, I just did a "half" then put together to create just some symmetrical wavy lines (though I didn't know much about reducing well back then!): ...whoa, those pics turned out pretty big
On this one, I put tiny logs of a different color than the sheets inside so they show up here as black "dots" or actually ovals, and didn't combine with itself: