Hi again all. Just wanted to post the guy I've worked on for a week and finished this afternoon.
I feel really good about him. Even if the pictures don't do him justice.
And here he is on the altar, with the other statuary (I did NOT sculpt the other ones fyi).
And now, I nap!!
Per the request of several, I have included pictures of a smaller sample armeture for this crane.
(First, I got a small piece of wood that was soaked in our grove waters and put it into the tin foil I gathered for the body. That is what I wanted at the heart of my crane, but obviously isn't necessary.)
Then I crumpled the foil into the loose shape I want for the torso of the bird.
I use a brayer or something solid to smooth out the shape, to make it easier to sculpt on top of.
Then I cut and shape the craft wire (18 gauge, I think here) And I stick it onto the foil. Sometimes, I need to glue it, or add more foil underneath it to stick it to the body.
Repeat the process with the head, and you will have two pieces.
(Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the middle parts. Hopefully my description will be enough atm. But feel free to shoot me a message with questions or post it here!)
Now, I usually cover the foil first before covering the legs and head (just to be able to hold onto the wire while sculpting.
I cover the body and head with well-conditioned, sheets of clay. Covering both with enough clay to cover the foil.
I take this time to put surface details into the clay and shape the beak and eyes as well as the feather detail.
Then I insert the neck wire into the torso. I start to build up the neck a bit from the base of the bird's body just to put the wire in place.
I heat the clay pieces with my embossing or heating tool. (You can stick it in the oven if you don't have those tools, but be sure to steady the neck in place before baking.)
Then I build up the legs and neck with clay, heating with the heat tool as I go. It just makes it easier working on a section then baking it, so yiou don't smuch your proigress, but this is just MY method. You might prefer to keep it all workable until the very end.
If you feel that the colors are not to your preference, you can paint the item once the clay has been baked.
I hope the pics of the wire and foil helped give an idea of what my clay-less armeture look like.
Hope this helps!!!