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Topic: polymer clay creatures! owls, a monster, and a nesting doll (image heavy)  (Read 8180 times)
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quack
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« on: August 26, 2005 10:01:51 PM »

It's been forever since I posted on dear Craftster so since I was scanning stuff tonight anyway I thought I'd post some of my polymer clay creatures. I don't mold my polymer clay stuff, at least not most of it. Instead, I choose to  bake a solid piece then carefully carve it and then paint details on with acrylics. (I'm trying my hand at wood and plaster of paris soon.)

First up is my little blue monster. My first creature! He looks pretty rough in this picture, I can't get him to scan right. He's actually leaning back some, if you stand him up, looking up and afraid of the great big something. I actually molded him but still painted him with acrylics.



Henry! Henry was one of the first two things I ever made and then sold. I'm really proud of the way he turned out. Quarter to give an idea of the scale I work in.


Polina the Russian Nesting Doll. I would love to one day make my own set of nesting dolls. Until then I'll be making more of these. Sold her at the same time as Henry.


This is the first owl, and in fact the first thing period, I carved from polymer clay. I took a while on painting this one because I wanted the colors to be as realistic as possible. It's painted to resemble an actual species, the Barred Owl, with his eyes closed. He looks kind of odd and shiny because of the sealer I used.


The 80's Retro Owl, Mickey. He totally reminds me of a PacMan ghost.


Aristotle. I really love his expression.


And finally....
I'm almost positive this guy's name is Elohim or Eloheim, which is a Hebrew word related to deity.* I had planned to sell him but I don't know if I can part with him. Colors are slightly off, he's more sort of a subdued purple on his head and back with dusty blue bits on his wings which you can just sort of make out.



*I've always heard writers say some characters' personalities just create themselves and I've heard similar things from other people in the arts. I've never created anything that so strongly had that effect until I began making these owls. I'll start out with a particular name in mind but once one's finished it's like, "Nope, sorry, that's not my name. It's ___." Hard to explain... I may just sound weird.  Cheesy

Let me know what you think!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010 08:18:37 AM by rackycoo - Reason: to fix images » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Fidget
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2005 10:48:07 PM »

Very nice, little creations.  How did you come to paint your polymer creations instead of using colored clays?  It's a nice effect and gives a different feel than using colored clay.  I would have to say Henry is my favorite -- he looks so very wise!
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2005 11:03:29 PM »

I'm so in love with these.
And yes I do believe that characters create themselves in the arts.

these owls are so beautiful and you have every right to keep Eloheim for your very own! Just wear him proudly!
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quack
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2005 11:12:56 PM »

Very nice, little creations.  How did you come to paint your polymer creations instead of using colored clays?  It's a nice effect and gives a different feel than using colored clay.  I would have to say Henry is my favorite -- he looks so very wise!

Thanks!

 It actually started because I wanted the monster to be blue but at the time I only had the plain white clay. So I decided to just paint him. Then I figured I could have a lot more detail and effects with paint rather than different clays, especially since they were small. I can't seem to get the caning thing down and I have more control over the outcome this way especially since I carve most of my stuff instead of molding it. Plus I just seem to like trying unusual combinations of crafts.

And yeah Henry's one of my favorites. He looked really natural and had a texture and color like a wooden bead.

I'm so in love with these.
And yes I do believe that characters create themselves in the arts.

these owls are so beautiful and you have every right to keep Eloheim for your very own! Just wear him proudly!

Aw, thank you so much. I probably will end up keeping Eloheim, I'm really drawn to him for some reason.


...and I just realized Aristotle's expression reminds me of my cat. Heh.
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modpodge
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2005 10:13:30 AM »

those owls are absolutely PRICELESS!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2005 12:37:55 PM »

Wow... cool!!   I don't know many people who actually carve whole 3-D pieces with baked polymer!  I'm wondering which clay you use , and if you carve it warm and/or only partially-baked. 
And have you ever just carved into flat surfaces (then backfilled with more clay, paint, etc.)??

(here's my page on "carving" polymer, if you're interested:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/carving.htm
... if you had your photos someplace permanent online, I'd love to link to them too!)


Diane B.
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
 
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POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
quack
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2005 03:10:08 PM »

Wow... cool!!   I don't know many people who actually carve whole 3-D pieces with baked polymer!  I'm wondering which clay you use , and if you carve it warm and/or only partially-baked. 
And have you ever just carved into flat surfaces (then backfilled with more clay, paint, etc.)??

(here's my page on "carving" polymer, if you're interested:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/carving.htm
... if you had your photos someplace permanent online, I'd love to link to them too!)


Diane B.
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
 


Thanks! I haven't run across any other completely 3D polymer stuff so far as I recall. I haven't carved on any flat pieces yet but I'll probably be experimenting with it.

As far as what kind of clay... For most of the pieces I just use the plain white Sculpey because I've found the texture works really well with the knife and the paint alike. Most of my pieces don't have any really delicate parts so I don't have to worry about them breaking off due to the clay's brittleness and I've dropped a couple of these plenty of times and with no harm done. I think maybe the paint helps that because it sort of holds it together a bit and I always make all my details that stick out of the piece very thick. (Such as the beaks on the owls and the feet and tail on the Barred Owl, though you can't see those.) I always make sure to coat them really well when I seal them as well and I test the pieces by trying to bend them with my finger if there's a small part I'm concerned might break. On at least one piece I've done I decided I wanted a bit more definition to it so before I painted it I added a couple of details with colored clay to reinforce them. For those pieces I fully bake the clay before carving.

I'm working more with the Super Sculpey now however and I've found that it works best if it's almost completely baked, then carved, then baked a bit more before painting. Otherwise it's a bit too strong and hard to carve fine details easily, at least for me.

Thanks so much for the link to the carving page! I've been to your site a lot but somehow missed that one even though it applies to me most.

I'll probably be posting these to a Flickr account, would that be permanent enough? If not I'll be getting a website sometime in the coming months I hope and would be happy to email you links once I have it up.
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echoglow
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2005 08:32:02 PM »

i absolutely LOOOVE the blue-y retro owl
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quack
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2005 10:12:36 PM »

i absolutely LOOOVE the blue-y retro owl

Thanks!

This is Emmaline. I just made her today, she's a key ring, and I've donated her to Crafters United to help with the hurricane relief http://craftrevolution.etsy.com (If you haven't visited that shop please do! The money they're collecting from selling the donated goods is going to the Red Cross to help the victims of hurricane Katrina.) They're swamped with donations though so I don't know when she'll be posted. She's made of Super Sculpey so she'll withstand being tossed around with keys.

      
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Diane B.
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2005 11:12:58 AM »


First, yes definitely let me know when you get a permanent site up so I can link to them!


Quote
I haven't run across any other completely 3D polymer stuff so far as I recall.

I'm assuming you mean here that you haven't seen any pieces which were carved-after-baking in their entirety as 3D objects (like your owl), right??  Most of the "sculpts" made with polymer clay (whether simpler and whimsical or extremely lifelike and detailed) are completely 3D polymer, or may have a bit of armature inside ... so you aren't talking about things like these, right??
http://www.elvenwork.com/archive/archive1.html
http://www.dinkos.com/galleries.htm (click on any of the subcategories)


Quote
I haven't carved on any flat pieces yet but I'll probably be experimenting with it.

I think you'll definitely like doing that, even if you just carve lines, etc., into warm baked clay... here are a few examples of what I mean:
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_clay_jewelry/article/0,,HGTV_3238_2766700,00.html
http://www.celiefago.com/gallery_earlywork.htm# (click on black & white needlecase)
http://www.good-night-irene.com/WhatIsIt.html (bottom of page)
http://www.kelliesklay.homestead.com/pendant.html

And here's a bas relief sculpt that looks like a carving made in a pad of raw SuperSculpey:
http://www.povn.com/rock/gpCDemo.html


Quote
As far as what kind of clay... For most of the pieces I just use the plain white Sculpey because I've found the texture works really well with the knife and the paint alike. Most of my pieces don't have any really delicate parts so I don't have to worry about them breaking off

Oh, I see.  Bulk Sculpey is really soft and chalky after baking, so it would carve more easily than the other Sculpeys which are more brittle and can chip while carving. 
Have you tried a stronger clay though? Flat surfaces at least can usually be carved quite easily while the clay is warm, and those clays should make a smoother cut (than the SS anyway).

You probably are getting much more strength from both the acrylic paint and the acrylic sealers you're using, especially if there are layers or they're applied thickly. 
Another one you might want to consider for even more strength is liquid clay... a layer or two of that makes regular polymer really strong (...the brands come in various degrees of matte or glossiness, and some are crystal-clearer than others).  If you want to read about liquid clay as a strengthener, check out this page if you haven't seen it already:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/LiquidSculpey.htm
(...click on "As a Strengthener"....)

Oh, and I agree with you about the nesting dolls!... I think it would be really fun to make some.  I've got a little about possibly making those on my Kids page (only because they qualified as "toys," not because they'd be easy to make! 
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/kids_beginners.htm
(...click on Other Toys...)


Diane B.
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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