As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a dabbler. I’d rather know a little about a lot of things than be expert in only a few. I’d rather kinda-sorta know what I’m doing than have some mastery of any one skill. Consequently, I can kinda draw. I can sorta bake. Results vary usually along the spectrum of terrible to mediocre, but sometimes I produce something really special and I think those moments wouldn’t come if I were trained.
I think I’ve recently hit on something that I really enjoy and could definitely see myself sticking with for a while. I loved ceramics in high school but that was my last experience with it. I was looking for inexpensive clay firing methods and coming up empty. Then I found it. Polymer clay sculpture. Sculpey. I’ve known about it for ages of course but never realized how wide-spread its use is. Makes sense – It’s inexpensive, it’s easy to work, and I don’t run the risk of trapping an air bubble and blowing it all to pieces in my ordinary 275°F oven.
part of what made me write it off initially was the colors. When I thought of Sculpey before, it was something that you created in pieces, choosing different colored clays and assembling them like a burger. In fact that’s what a lot of people make with it. What I didn’t realize is that you can paint it. It takes acrylic paint really well, and the final can be glazed if you want it to have that pottery feel.
This is my second project and I’m really happy with it so far.
I started by building an armature with tin foil. This is probably essential when making limbs and tails that come away from the body. It also saves on clay. As you can see from the image, most of the base is a foil ball which is approximately 2″ in diameter. That’s a lot of clay saved.
Next I rolled out a large ball of clay, cut in into strips, an wrapped the armature like a mummy. It’s really that easy.
I didn’t know what I was making other than some kind of surreal animal. For the face, I used Super Sculpey, which is just a better version of the regular stuff. It’s easier to mold and smooth out, so I used it on the only element that would have any real detail.
It ended up being a very odd looking cat. Now all I have to do is paint it. I will update once the painting is done. Good or bad, I’m keeping this one.
Here she is, right out of the oven. Poor thing. I think I’m going to make her a hairball accessory.