So to break up the monotony of posts about available work I thought it would be fun to show the process of making a sculpture that I recently finished. It's another unicorn!
In the past I would mostly choose polymer clay to make fantasy creature but I've been wanting to try something different. Partly because raw polymer clay makes my fingers break out in blisters and my skin has become more sensitive to it over the years, and partly because I have some other materials sitting around that need used up. One of these materials is this stuff called Celluclay. Let me tell you more about this stuff.
Celluclay is an instant paper mache, basically grey paper pulp and dried glue that you mix with water to make a clay. I have had a bag of Celluclay since I was a kid and somehow managed to not loose it or get rid of it even though i never use it. I never use it because every time I've tried I find it really horrible to work with. It's sticky and lumpy and somehow when I try to smooth it out it always ends up sticking to my fingers more than where I want it to stick. But, not wanting to waste it, I've held onto it thinking maybe someday I'll have a use for it. Don't all artist have extra supplies they never use? Then just recently it struck me! I can use this stuff to bulk up a sculptures form before going over it with a smoother more workable clay.
In sprite of my complaining the Celluclay paper mache does have some advantages. First of it's cheep. You can save a penny by using it under a more expensive clay. Secondly it's strong. Surprisingly strong! I've broken X-Acto knife blades trying to carve into this stuff and have never had that happen with polymer clay.
Enough of that, let's make a unicorn!
The smoother clay, the clay I use to finish and detail the sculpture, for this unicorn sculpture is called LaDoll clay. It's an air dry clay that also has paper pulp in it but it is very smooth and relatively non-sticky. I've used this stuff to sculpt ball jointed dolls and find it really pleasant to work with. LaDoll is not a particularly strong clay so it benefits from having the stronger Celluclay form to stick to. And they do stick very well to each other.
The next step, after I was happy with the shape of the unicorn, was to get it ready to paint. I primed it with many layers of gesso and then sanded it smooth, and then repeated that step a few times until I was happy with the result.
It was then spray painted white, even though it was already quite white, to give it an even color. I wanted to keep the detailing on this sculpture fairly minimal and soft so I used just some light chalk pastels for a bit of shading and painted the eyes with acrylic.
After that I sprayed it several times with mate sealant and let that dry before brushing on a bit of gloss for the horn, eyes, and hoofs.
The final step was to add some hair to that bald little unicorn. I chose to use suri alpaca because I wanted something fairly straight but also very fine and soft since I thought it would best compliment the soft and minimal style of the unicorn.
After making this unicorn I really want to try doing another and I already have ideas about some things I would like to do differently. We'll see how it goes.
So it’s been quite awhile since I’ve been able to finish one of these little guys but this one finally made it to completion.
A tiny 5” tall, this fairy sculpture is made from polymer clay over wire, acrylic paint, feathers, fantasy film and just a bit of glitter.
I have listed another tiny Meka doll on etsy!
This is #41 in the series. Her porcelain is a light skin color and she has the Monkey face sculpt. She has big brown eyes and simplistic poppies painted on her body. She also comes with two wigs, one long red angora mohair wig, and a short brown suri alpaca wig. Like all of the meka dolls she is a handmade porcelain art doll that is designed for gentle play.
Sometimes when I make a doll I'll have a clear idea as to what to name it an and how it should look. But other times the doll just comes together with no plan at all and then refuses to be named at the end of it all.
This mysterious doll is one that I've struggled to name so I decided not to force it. I will just call it the unnamed doll with green eyes.
A tiny 6" tall porcelain ball jointed doll assembled with steel springs.
This is my latest spring assembled bjd and except for custom requests it will be the last doll of this type that I will assemble with springs. I do like the springs, once installed, but installing them in a tiny doll is fiddly to say the least.
This doll also uses the male variant of the Body II molds. So I guess it's a boy! Though to me he's so feminine looking that I think he could just as well be a girl.
Some think just one speck of glitter is too much,
but others think there's never enough.
Next up from the mountain of unfinished work that is slowly being worked through is this tiny unicorn sculpture. If you follow my instagram you might have seen some progress pictures of this one last year. I've named it Sparkle the unicorn for reasons that are probably obvious. There is quite a bit of glitter used on this one.
Sparkle is fantastic and tiny, just 9.5cm tall, and made of polymer clay and other bits. She is not quite like a horse but not quite like a dear and very pleased about it.
Available on etsy:
Just a quick post to announce another completed Meka doll listed on etsy.
This little one has freckles and olive green eyes and comes with two wigs. One wig is a bright auburn and made from lamb hair and the other is amber yellow suri alpaca.