Mar 012017
 

2017 pcfc #4 violet 1

Meet Violet, the fourth polymer clay sculpture in my 2017 polymer clay figure challenge. She is based on Mischievous Mike from Maureen Carlson’s book How to Make Clay Characters. Maureen had Mike with his cute little tongue sticking out and to me it just begged to have an ice cream cone in his hand. Obviously I changed Mike from a boy to a cute little redheaded girl. Instead of stripes on the shirt I inset flowers. I also had a lot of fun making her red sneakers based on yet another photo of tennis shoes that I found online.

2017 pcfc #4 violet 2

She has she even has little drips of ice cream on her fingers. Cuz that’s how *I* eat ice cream, don’t know about anyone else. 😀

2017 pcfc #4 violet 3

A while back I had thought of focusing on making polymer clay food as it’s a lot of fun to do, but there are so many folks out there doing such a wonderful job I decided to work on something else. It’s fun however, to have an excuse to make something like this ice cream cone every so often.

2017 pcfc #4 violet 4

I’d like to think that even over the course of just these first four figurines that I’ve gotten a little better at sculpting hands and faces. I’m going to do the next two of the neighborhood kids in Maureen’s book and then I’m looking forward to moving onto more realistically shaped faces.

2017 pcfc #4 violet 5

Also, I really need to make those upper eyelids a bit bigger and avoid the somewhat crazed wide-eyed look. 😀

Watch a video of Violet at YouTube.

Feb 162017
 

#3 James cover

Today I have for you my third polymer clay sculpted figure of 2017. Meet James. Isn’t he sweet little boy? If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may recognize the butterfly as the same one I made several of to send to the Into the Forest art installation.

That’s the fun thing about caning: you can make them in whatever size you need.

James is the fourth project in Maureen Carlson’s neighborhood kids series in her book, How to Make Clay Characters. Her little guy is named playful Pete and he is holding marbles in his hand. I’m trying to make sure my figures are different from Maureen’s creations, even if just a little bit.

I have discovered that I love doing the details on the clothes, shoes, the hair and the props, but find doing the hands and faces more difficult. Probably because they are fiddly and require precision, lol.

#3 James back

I’ve also discovered that I can be quite the expert at finding anything else to do when it comes time to working on the hands and faces! However once I plunged in and made myself do them I was pleased to find that they all came out just a little bit better than on the previous figures. In fact I didn’t squish up and re-roll James’ face once! (Something I did several times on all of the other characters.) So that’s encouraging, I slowly seem to be getting the hang of this. Which, of course, is the whole point of practice.

If you would like to make the butterfly cane that I used you will find a free tutorial for it by Claire Wallis at CraftArtEdu.

Hope you have a creative day!

Watch the James-Looking on in Wonder-2017 Polymer Clay Figure Challenge #3 360° video at YouTube.

Feb 012017
 

Today I am pleased to introduce you to Patricia. She is the second in my 2017 polymer clay figure challenge. She is the third of the neighborhood kids projects in Maureen Carlson’s book, How to Make Clay Characters.

2017 #2 Patricia -Super Bowl

I had it in my mind to give Patricia something other than a football to hold as I had given the other two projects pets/animals. The little girl had a kitty cat on her lap and Philip, the first of my challenge figures for this year, had birds singing along with him.

2017 #2 Patricia -Super Bowl 2

But then I realized that the Patriots would be playing in the AFC championship game and if they won that they’d be going on to the Super Bowl, which as you know, indeed they are! So I decided to keep the football and turned my attention to making a Patriots logo on Patricia’s shirt.

patriots logo stencils

This involved finding the logo online, printing it out at 1 inch wide and then cutting the tiniest five-part stencil I have ever seen! I’m quite pleased with how it came out. For a while there I was afraid it would be a total mess. But it’s just a matter of practicing controlling the consistency & amount of paint.

2017 #2 Patricia -Super Bowl 3

As with Philip, there are a million and one things wrong with this figure. But I am happy that her hands are marginally better than his, even though very far from perfect, and her face is marginally better, although there are many improvements that could be made. I really enjoyed doing details like her shoe laces and the curly hair.

And if the patriots do win the Super Bowl this Sunday I will definitely be making a championship banner for Patricia to hold!

For a 360° view of Patricia, check out her video on YouTube.

Jan 192017
 

In my year-in-review post a couple weeks ago I alluded to the possibility of doing another personal polymer clay challenge for 2017. As I was disappointed in several of the things I didn’t get done in 2016 I’ve decided that this needs to happen.

My dragon challenge of 2015 was a success, but oh-so-much work! And it took oh-so-much time. Since I’ve got more going on these days this year’s challenge will be a little less demanding. 🙂

My goal this year is to make two polymer clay figures each month. I’ll share the results on or around the 15th and 30th of every month. As you can see from the photo and video, I’ve already completed the first of 24 sculptures. 

philip make a joyful noise

I was really pleased with the more relaxed pace of working on this piece over the course of two weeks. I could do a little bit here, a little bit there and was able to take the time to add things or make changes as I liked, rather than being constrained by a strict deadline.

I named this sculpture “Make a Joyful Noise,” and the boy’s name is Phillip. I know there are many, many things that could be improved, but I’m still happy with him and his flock of singing friends. Phillip is based on Studious Stan from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters.

For me the trickiest part of making this was the hands, they just gave me a terrible time. But I’ve found a really nice YouTube channel with lots of sculpting help and this video: Tips on Sculpting Tiny Fairy Hands. I’m excited to try her tips on my next sculpture!

For a 360° view watch the Polymer Clay 2017 Figure Challenge-#1 Make A Joyful Noise video on YouTube.

Have you set yourself any goals or challenges for the upcoming year? It’s never too late to start a personal challenge!

Happy creating!