Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mermaids, the water potter, a mother, and sunflower trees

I have finished nine of the couples I discussed in my last blog, they are cased and I decided after much deliberation, not to put any sort of wings in the case or anything but the figures themselves, they are very sculptural little things in their wash with brown paints, they should remain simplistic like that. Here are three pics that capture the action of pouring the diluted brown onto the raw figures.

Fun stuff!

The next pieces I made were supposed to be different, I wanted bright, bold colors and that's just what I got. The blue guy was supposed to represent two things, for me my life, life as a potter which will hopefully be my future in ceramics, also that of water. Water is the fundamental element of our world, he is green-blue like water because that's what he represents. The color also brings to mind Hindu gods as does the facial structure and hair. He has no wings.

Finished he doesn't have the little lady on his leg, I only put her there to show scale when discussing her role in the next piece which is a Sunflower-plant thing with roots and branches with flowers on the ends and leaves on the stems. This piece is very small and started out with just some green coils... see for yourself:

First I made the face of the piece in green clay, fastened triangular petals with yellow around it and set it aside for later use. I then formed several coils of green clay and propped it up as seen below. I then twisted each paired coil together for a spiral vine effect.

next I attached the head, further twisted the branches, and made leaves to also smooth on, smaller closed flowers were made and put on as well.

The roots are still green at this point but I plan on painting them brown, the bases is more like a tree trunk to support all the weight on top.

Below is the actual finished version as it appears in its case, a tiny yellow butterfly was attached to appear on the back of a teeny tiny figurine I made (with the aid of a magnifier), the green roots are painted brown, it is signed and dated, and little seed pods which look like cute little pumpkins have been scattered about the bottom of the case... a natural scenic-looking composition all in a 2"x2"x3" cube, its like having a little part of nature in your hands.

Moving along to discuss the girl in the above piece... she may not be a beauty, in proportion, or even have hands, but she sure is tiny! I made her using the magnifier on the light I use when I'm working with the clay (pictured below) and to show how tiny she is here is a pic of her in my hand.

The tree piece is very small (two inches tall), but can still be compared to two pieces I did in the past. Both were over five inches tall, but one done in 2006 depicting a tree spirit and the other dated 2007 also doing the same (the '07 was a re-make of the '06 actually). They are pictured below

The third tiny sculpture I finished recently is a Radical chick, she is bright orange with just crazy-colorful hair. She reads, "Create Art" because that's what I do!
She began as a orange-colored figure (she was not painted)

I later actually combined these four colors (blue, orange, red, yellow) as seen here and rolled them out into strands. Each strand was combined with a like color (orange-yellows with each other, blues with each other), and twisted for a spiral effect. This will not work with very soft or over conditioned polymer clay.

The twists were attached to the figures head.

She embodies bright and cheery which is what self expression is all about, well actually it can be dark, but its still a beautiful thing to be able to express oneself in a productive way.

This is the finished product, I will admit.. shes rather frightening with a face, but her message "Create Art" allows all of her other flaws to melt away.

Here she is pictured with the other two pieces discussed so far in the blog.

The next piece I'm pretty much in LOVE with, she is in my opinion my best mermaid thus far, and she just knocks my socks off every time I look at her. She was made from polymer clay but I painted it all over so the original color is hidden. She started out as you see in this first picture, was painted, then embellished. I combined white, blue, and yellow paints to do her tail, while white paint was alone used to paint her skin (mermaids wouldn't get much sun under the ocean right?). She is sitting on cernit polymer clay which is WAY too hard for me to use for faces so I use it as bases.

I used my gold lacquer to cover the tail with and create a iridescence like a fish would have and then pressed in lines to appear as if they were scales. Shells I collected on my trip to Puerto Rico two years ago were attached to the base to make it more presentable and ocean-like, she also holds one. Her hair is super long as would be expected from a mermaiden, it is the same pastel colors as her skin and tail so that the piece wouldn't have too much contrast. Speaking of contrast though, a bright stone was placed in one of her hands, a focal point of the piece. Clear christals are on her flanks. She will have no wings but is encased for protection.

She is the best mermaid ever, for reference, here is a picture of my very first mermaid made in 2006.

Whew, im tired of typing, but there are two more pieces I must show you!
Next up is a flower girl, she holds a bouquet of beautiful hand-made polymer clay flowers and they are scattered throughout the floor of her case. Her wings are REAL insect wings and are transparent. I only have one photo of her at the time being. Her skirt is colorful and purple, made from colorful polymer clay, and her shirt is red and blue. Her eyes are amazing and icy cold, she has little make-up on but the most time consuming part of creation with her was her hair, each strand was coiled around a needle and them positioned on her head, she has to have over fifty strands on her head! this gives a very fullness to her head though and it can be seen 360 degrees which is nice, no butterfly blocks the view from behind and the wings are translucent.
Check out the celestial light shining down upon her :-p

Keeping on the trail of textured hairstyles, we come to this young mother. Now, I already have a picture of a young mother here
but that young mother is too confident and sure of herself. This one is younger and less experienced, she is not sure what the future holds, but her far leaned back posture indicates her head is held high, whatever the future brings, she can handle it. The butterfly in the case is symbolic of change, and the stone inside is my birthstone.

As do they all, she began as a polymer clay figure in my hands, bald and naked.

I painted on her features and made her hands and feet... I wanted her in African colors so I chose yellow and red.

Now the fun part! Embellishing the head is one of my fav pastimes with the butterfly people! I used little rectangles of clay and twisted them into a fantastic textured hair. Its wild and crazy like my hair used to be. I also put some white "reflection" into her eyes so that they would "come alive". She holds her baby, but seems like shes not even sure about how to hold it! She just smiles and looks forward to the future.

That's all folks, stay tuned, my next blog will feature some brand new miniatures inspired by hard-working women, I also have a same-sex couple custom order to get started on.

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