Jul 312017
 

Yay, I finally got back to my figure challenge!

2017 pcfc #7 Everett cover

This fellas name is Everett and I titled him “Just Imagine.” Everett is kind of a geeky guy who loves all things adventure, fantasy and make believe.

Is he pretending to be Indiana Jones? A wizard? And what’s in that letter? Is it a call to come participate in some grand quest? Rescue a princess?

I’ll leave it to your imagination.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (1)

I have absolutely no idea why, but I totally love sculpting shoes, boots and hats! It was really no hardship to spend the afternoon staring at a young Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones while sculpting the Indiana Jones hat. 😎 I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (2)

My patrons were the first to get to see this, my latest figure sculpture. They got an advance viewing on Friday.  Just one of the little perks I like to send my patrons’ way.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (3)

Everett is number seven of the polymer clay figures I’ve made this year. This works out perfectly as July is the 7th month and I am now officially redefining my 2017 polymer clay figure challenge to be only one figure per month.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (4)

If I didn’t have other things to do, like things that bring in money to pay the bills, I would definitely want to keep working on two figures a month to continue growing my skills. But, you know, it’s ok because it’s good to be working on a variety of things at the same time.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (5)

I’ve also realized at this point that I am totally done with making figures that have any size to them without full wire armatures on the inside. It may be easier to sculpt without them, but I am so tired of their arms falling off! Argh.

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (6)

Another thing I think I want to do more of is making soft bodies on a wire armature and clothing them with real fabrics. Since my first love is sewing I have quite a collection of fabrics, and I’ve been saving many special ones for dolls.

So perhaps I’ll make one or two more from Maureen Carlson’s How to Make Clay Characters because she has some interesting ideas for using millefiori techniques to make patterned fabric clothing out of clay. But then I think I’m going to go more to using actual fabrics.

Although I still want to sculpt the hats and the shoes!

2017 pcfc #7 Everett (7)

Watch a short video of Everett the Adventurer Wizard Wanna-Be at YouTube.

Apr 192017
 

2017 pcfc #6 savina 8 cover

When I first started this, the sixth of the polymer clay figure sculptures I challenged myself to make in 2017, I planned to make her patterned after the final of the neighborhood kids in Maureen Carlson’s book How to Make Clay Characters. But I was getting a bit bored and decided to make my girl steampunk style.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 1

As with all of the neighborhood kids projects, I started with the shoes, or in this case, the boots. I don’t know why but I’ve found I really love adding all the details to the footwear.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 2

Once I got the boots done I realized that my proportions were going to be different from the figure in Maureen’s book. After studying rules of body proportions I proceeded to make her legs, and then added her skirt and petticoats.

From the base of the box to the top of her hat Savina is 7 inches tall. If she were to stand up, she’d be about 10 inches tall.

The petticoat ruffles are strips of white clay that were cut on one edge with a wavy blade. I used a dotting tool to make them look more like lace.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 3

Although I love the color and the pearly shimmer of the skirt, every time I look at it I wish I had added some texture. Something to remember next time, texture everything!

2017 pcfc #6 savina 5

My decades as a seamstress came in handy when planning, drafting and fitting her “leather” corset.

Those puffy white sleeves were the trickiest part of the entire project. Try to picture how you would texture the clay, gather and shape it to look like a puffy sleeve and then press it into place on the figure without smashing any of the texture or gathers or shape!

2017 pcfc #6 savina 7

It was at this point I realized that my figure was large enough that I should have started off with an armature as a base. The neighborhood kids are small enough that they don’t require an armature except perhaps a couple toothpicks on the inside for supports. This little girl would’ve been a lot easier if I had made her body first and then fitted the clothes. Instead I found myself doing it rather backwards, having to sculpt and smooth the skin of her neck around the neckline of her blouse rather than just draping the blouse over her body.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 4

I did save myself some of the difficulty of sculpting hands by deciding that she was going to wear leather gloves, really LONG leather gloves. 😀

I was thrilled that the “suede” strips twisted up and around the gloves came out looking like real suede.

When it came time to do the face I decided that the simplistic faces from the neighborhood kids really wouldn’t suit the style of this project and so I moved on to Maureen’s next tutorial in the book and based my face on the more realistic faces that she taught. I’m fairly pleased with how the face came out, although, even after removing a lot of clay the nose is still three times larger than I wanted it to be. There’s always next time!

2017 pcfc #6 savina 8

Instead of making clay hair I decided to use some alpaca wool I had bought a while ago for doll making. The nice thing about this wool is that it’s very fine so the scale is good for dolls. Also, it can be styled similarly to human hair. I used mousse and a curling iron. I’m not much of a hair stylist but it came out okay.

2017 pcfc #6 savina 6

Making the top hat was a lot of fun. It was a bit of a challenge to get the shape just right, but once I figured it out I had a blast decorating it with all kinds of bits and pieces from my stash. You might notice, especially if you read the title of this post, that there is not a single gear in sight. Even without the gears it’s apparent that she’s a steampunk girl, which goes to show you that steampunk is about more than just gears. 🙂

This figure is so large and so complicated that she is going to have to suffice for #’s 6, 7 and 8 as I just don’t have time and need to move on to other projects which are more of my bread-and-butter. Priorities, you know!

So yeah, only one figure for March and one figure for April. I’m a little disappointed in that, but not going to stress about it. Instead I am going to move on to my next project with which is creating another class for you guys to enjoy. I’m excited about this project and hope you’ll love it once I get it done.

I’m also working on an email newsletter to better keep you informed on what’s going on with all my classes, videos, projects and such. More on that soon. So, yeah, busy, busy!

In the meantime, happy creating!

Watch the Savina-Steampunk, No Gears-2017 Polymer Clay Figure Challenge #6 video at YouTube.