Friday, February 29, 2008


But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Aphroregius is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon
Who is already sick and pale with grief that thou,
her maid, art far more fair than she.

Surely thou art more fair than thee indeed! Altered Shakespeare aside, I’m very excited, as you can see from the last blog, Achillea was sold so I had to make a replacement for her, and along came Aphroregius! Aphroregius is so named for her association with the Goddess Aphrodite who was the goddess of Love and Beauty, in conjugation with the Latin word regius which means, royal or regal.
As I stated before, she was made to replace Achillea (or Morpho Maiden on so she has certain attributes of Achillea, including the long, hand rolled, hand curled pieces of hair, they are rolled out into little snakes, then wrapped around a coat hanger, coiled, and pulled out straight again, giving the characteristic wavy look. these were not made with an extruder and you can tell because each strand has a different width. Also ask anyone who was in the ceramics studio on Wednesday afternoon at City College, it took hours to complete. No matter, the results were well worth the time and she’s got some gorgeous flowing hair resting on her shoulders, arms, and chest.
Another Achilllea attribute is the fact the figure is nude, I had some major issues with Achillea though that I corrected with this piece: her legs have knees, not just spaghetti strap legs, and her feet are not bent at odd angles. Achillea was made to be a woman of charity, and by charity I mean had extra large breasts, Aphroregius does not, in my humble opinion, she has a decent normal sized chest.
Speaking of construction, I also employed some of the hand making techniques I spoke about in my Pregnant blog. Shes got big feet, pretty nice hands, and is nude, but my favorite part of her is her green eyes, they are like human eyes, not butterfly people eyes, shes also got a little bit of eye lashes which I don’t usually put; these new eyes will be incorporated into many more pieces.
She is a lovely, and I hope to be able to obtain a nice big Morpho achilles butterfly to place on her back.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


One frequently asked question is why don’t make male butterfly people, I do, for example the boy listed here
Ive also made couples like the lovers in my previous blog, and today am working on a custom order of a same-sex male couple, and let me tell you, I know why I don’t make many males, its time consuming! Where a female would be soft and curved, easily flowing out of the polymer clay, the male form has to be bulky and bumpy, you actually have to add the muscles with seperate pieces of clay onto an armature to get muscle tone, Im working on two figures today, hope to be done within six hours, geeze!

On a side note, Achillea (AKA Morpho Maiden on sold today so I’m very happy!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Why I LOVE polymer clay

I love polymer clay for its versatility. Polymer clay without a doubt is one of the most innovative materials created specifically for a sculpting medium, I feel like it’s the play dough from my childhood that I never had, but always wanted. As a kid, I always made ducks and geese from play dough but when it hardened it would crack and you couldn’t reconstitute it if It dried out. Ceramics of course is the boss, once fired it is super strong, much stronger than any polymer clay, but it also naturally dries out if not kept wrapped and unless its porcelain, you cannot put extremely fine details into it. Along comes polymer clay, a material not exactly taken seriously as a medium in the art world (yet!) but for jewelry makers and sculptors of craft, it’s a Godsend, it stays soft until you bake it (dont wait too long though, or it will crumble!) and you can make it as hard or soft as you want by adding or taking away oils from it.
I want to praise polymer clay today by speaking of its awesome color palette which can be mixed to make new, never before seen, and even custom colors. I recently made a figure I wanted to dress in a patchwork skirt, so I took some colors of clay, some solid primary colors, the others mixed varieties, and cut squares out with a needle tool, after affixing these to a piece of base clay, I ran it through a pasta machine, what I got was two beautiful pieces of clay “cloth” to use on my new gypsy girl. One has elongated rectangles with the colors stretched out and edges blended, and the other is an exquisite rainbow blend of smeared colors, I used both to create a skirt which is both unique, and bohemian, as if my little lady made the skirt herself from various fabrics. Another cool thing about polymer clay is that if you do all this work and hate it, you can just paint over it with acrylics!

below, the work space all ready to go, quilt/patchwork beind done on the right

below, our gypsy waiting to be dressed up

below, showing pieces of polymer clay being affixed to the patchwork area, there are both primary and mixed or created colors here

This is plenty enough colors and size for my purposes so I stop here and run it though the pasta machine

I end up with these two awesome pieces, although im in love with the one on the bottom, I use both for her skirt.

A completely unique one of a kind skirt fit for a bohemian gypsy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Well hello out there, Im sorry for the time lapse between the prelude blog and this one (a week!), but it will have been worth the wait, especially for those who are interested in the miniature sculpting process, as well as those who want to sculpt and learn how to sculpt their own miniature figurines.
My latest piece is a pregnant figure, she sits 3.5” so is about as large as I make them. She began with an idea to have a brown-skinned woman in a peaceful state meditating on her impending pregnancy. I also wanted to spend extra time and care on her hands as hands have always been my weak point in my opinion. Smaller figures I let slide because they are so minute, but the bigger the figure, the more important her hands become. I will be using the coil method from now on with my larger figures hands… and perhaps in some of the smaller ones.

The Process:
She begins as any other polymer clay as sheer potential, all polymer clays need to be kneaded or wedged or just worked in your hands to make it soft and pliable, after this is done, I make a head shape and begin sculpting, in this case, balls are put in for eyes, and a strip of clay for the nose, also a piece for the bottom lip, I usually make the top lip simply by cutting a line and pushing the clay outward instead of adding. She is not symmetrical yet, but clay is a forgiving medium and you can always alter it.

Press and shape until you get the symmetry you desire, I smushed those bug eyes in and moved the lines around to make them more even, this is an excellent way to make one of a kind dolls that are just like people, no person has a perfectly symmetrical face. I had made her lips too pouty before, and even though I’ve done many pieces this way, I wanted her to have a longer grin which is a bit more realistic

I was never especially good with ears and sometimes when the butterfly people have a lot of hair, I skip it altogether, but alas, sometimes you miss a spot and wish ears were there to save your fairy with a bald spot and obvious lack of ears. So what I do is just put a half-circle of clay, blend it in, and push in the hole where the ear opens, and slightly carve in the other lines, I don’t put much detail into my ears, just be sure the ears are in propotion with the face and begin at the eye brow and end at the corners of the mouth; you can see mine has oversized ears, but so do I :-p

Next, its time for hands, don’t be afraid of hands, they (like math) were once my enemy, but when you go full force to face them, they are not so scary, and also not so complicated. I still make the easy hands which is make a mitten, press in three lines, and your done, but these hands, though much more effort, are very intriguing.
First you need to measure her face, make the hand about from her chin to her eye brows, then make five fingers in the form of coils, look at your own hands to get the proportions right and to see which fingers are longer than the others. My hands are kind of big and im also a male, so my figures often have oversized hands, I like this and am obviously aware of it as hands are very expressive. Blend the clay of the fingers together to make what looks like hands, after you have done this, fatten up those hands by putting a piece of clay in the middle and smoothing it over those bones! Be sure to get that fat, meaty part of the hand where the thumb attaches. You can scrape in lines as I attempted to do, but in small polymer clay figures, it probably isn’t best as it makes the figures look old.

Here I have attached the hands to the figures torso I made, her arms look oversized, but I am actually going to make this butterfly person in proportion (or at least more so than most of my others), my other pieces are usually not in proportion, they have very short legs for various reasons including they have to fit in cases often, and also because they are butterfly people, not human beings.

Here shes earned her legs and toes have been sculpted, they are pretty easy, just press in the lines and if you want, also press in toe nails.
I have positioned the hands in the desired position here, I know its traditional (the norm) to have her holding her belly, but the work I put into the hands was not about to go unseen! HA! Plus shes meditating as I said before so she is allowing universal energy to flow through her palms, into the top of her head, and out through her root.

I finally put hair on her, its minimal compared to the headdresses I usually implore on my pieces, but again, instead of hair being the focus, I want people to see her hands. The hair also makes her race ambiguous so she can appeal to a wider range of people, she could be native, Indian, black, Hispanic, and various others.

I present:
My first pregnant Butterfly Person.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Prelude to a blog

Hi everybody, apparently my blog is going to be updated weekly, it seems I have time on Thursdays to make stuff and sometime after that but before Monday to post pictures and write about the creation process, my new blog will feature some neat things, for one, a piece that marks a threshold in my work, my first pregnant figure, and she also has the best hands I have ever sculpted which as always been a problem for me, goodbye hand molds, sculpting them is much more attractive (im talking about the large figures here). Im also going to dredge up some older concepts I had but abandoned like the flower people I used to make, I made a couple of those, and also the small figures with text on them, I like to make these becaue they sort of shove things in your face... instead of seeing something "cute" which you can check out my blog or etsy store and read about its meaning only to discover it represents encouragement, its a bit more research oriented than me just writing "encouragement" on it. The downside? That some people dont like what I write on them, especially when I get philosophiacal, but though cookies, I like to think about things like do we really have free will? Is life absurd/does it really have purpose? Are we spiritual beings or physical war-causing, money grubbing, materialistic beings who only want to accumulate more instead of making a difference? :) You never know what side ill be on unless you pay attention! Anyway, here is one little one I did today, she signifys nothing! Only a little figure in a flower, how simple is that?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Use of Molds

Lets talk molds.
Now, in the art community it seems molds are looked down upon, and yes, its true that molds can give an artists art the look of manufactured imports, but used sparingly and appropriately, molds are a crafters best friend. I don’t like to use molds on the faces of the butterfly people, and not even on the hands anymore like I used to because of the “look” that it injects making the work just look unoriginal. I do agree with using molds for things like beads and accessories though because they can be very cute, a lot cuter than the 100% handmade versions. So Im for molds, but not for my butterfly people themselves, but anyway, I did make a mold from a rabbit some time back and just re-discovered it today! I’m so happy about this that I made a little rabbit girl fairy.
Below are pictures showing how to use a mold like this one, where you have two halves instead of just one push mold, you have to make two separate clay rabbit halves and then fuse them together. After I did this, I painted the rabbit a bit with black paint to create pseudo shadows in the creases in its legs and mouth-nose area. The piece is made of polymer clay and also used/found jewelry. I will put it for sale on my purchase page, if you link directly to the blog, my website is

(below) the mold I made for a rabbit

Two halves dont fit perfectly together, and must be fused

fused and smoothed out, also etched in a face

now the sides need "fixing"

legs seperate


Friday, February 1, 2008

Orecla is BORN!

Is it safe to sleep under the Brooklyn Bridge? It is if your name is Orecla. Orecla was just born, she was my celebration of the sale of one of my butterfly people I have had for a little bit… she was white, blond hair, with blue eyes, and she was a freedom fairy girl with crazy hair and cool stars in her case. This piece was a celebration, I wanted to make a new piece that spoke of the old one, so I thought lets make the one I sold again, but this time show her in her youth. I imagine she formed out of a lilly somewhere curled up in the fetal position (very much like a little egg!) before she awakened to the magical world of New York City! She sleeps under the Brooklyn bridge in one of the pics… or at lest she sleeps in my hand with the bridge in the background J
She is TINY, absolutely small, I put a picture with her and my other piece “Self Awareness” to show scale, also next to a quarter, but you can really just see how tiny she is next to my finger nails and in my hands how small she is, absolutely a treasure. I just whipped out the ruler, and she is exactly an inch and a quarter long and about a half inch off the ground when lying on her left side. I etched in little tiny toes and she holds onto her knees as she slumbers. Hope you like her, I sure do.

watch as she takes shape!
No molds were used with this piece, she is 100% hand-made


Slumber girl needs some hair

Thats the actual piece of clay that was used to make her hair with.

Blurry, but that is the brooklyn bridge

Absolutely tiny


backside view

I swear I didnt make her, she rolled out of this flower :-p (kidding)

All this is based on the celebrated sale of this butterfly person:
Supposedly she turns into her when she grows up :-D