Merry Christmas from everyone at the Labs! While we're busy mixing together toxic chemicals and throwing them onto skateboards to make them more rad, I figured I'd toss a photo-dump of a few clay projects I've been working on.
I started clay-work when I was 12, and never had any training in it other than things I taught myself. I also stopped doing it for a solid 8 year period. I use mostly Super Sculpey, but I recently bought a big ole 10-lb box of air-hardening clay, for a future project. My tools, other than my hands, are usually a butter knife, the handle end of a paintbrush (a good rounded end), and an exacto knife. I can't really give a step-by-step for working with clay on my projects, because it's pretty much all the same strategy, which I will briefly go over right now:
Get an idea in mind. Sketch it, grab references, and settle on a design.
Grab a hunk of clay and make whatever part you want. Start with rough figures, representations of the final look. Once you get everything shaped out, start adding in finer details. You're going to spend a long time doing this. Adding, subtracting, mixing, slicing, all sorts of stuff. Just keep going until it looks right. That's how I do it at least. I'm sure there's a "real" way to do it. But then again, I'm amateur, at best.
Onto the photos:
This is the face of a large Santa doll that will be made. I left the top lip out because I was running low on Super Sculpey and it will be covered by Santa's mustache anyway. The last picture shows the face after being fired and painted by my grandmother, who is an amazing painter. (Her etsy store, in case she strikes your fancy)
Then I worked on another soon-to-be-Santa, but used a Mini Munny doll as a form. This is still a project that's long from being done:
So here's the face on the doll after baking the clay. The thing I like about using the Munny, aside from the fun little shape of it, is that the vinyl can be heated up without losing shape. You can also cut these things easily with an exacto knife. I cut off the ears, because I like round heads. Hopefully this will get painted and turned into a tiny little Santa. If not, I'll figure something out.
This final creation will have far less pictures, as I rushed this from start to finish. I made a Michelangelo (The Ninja Turtle, not the artist) Munny for my soon-to-be brother-in-law (so many hyphens.) I also took these with my camera phone, so bear with me.
So this is the only picture I have of the clay phase. I got the shape down for the most part. From this picture, I made some slight alterations and smoothed it out a bit. I didn't have the time to make it look entirely clean, because I was working in a 15 hour frame of working time. So I rushed it. I made the nunchucks by just taking two rolled up pieces of clay and putting in some jewelery chain in there. They were a pain, and I left them looking very sloppy.
Baked and painted. I'm not a painter. This took me a long time.
I used some Polyurethane spray to seal it. I also did the body and arms.
Here he is, all put together. Munny's have pieces that snap on and off, so you can actually paint/modify these things to your liking. The sealer made it a little tough to fit the pieces back in, but some elbow grease did the trick.
This is the last pic I have for now. I went to Michael's and bought a little 4-inch base, painted it black, and drilled a hole halfway through it that would fit a pencil snuggly. I cut a pencil (unsharpened) down to about 2 inches in length, and glued it into the hole. I then drilled a hole into the foot of the Munny. This is my improvised method of providing a stand. I also found some orange fabric and made Mikey his trusty belt. There's a nice shell on the back of the figure that you can't see either.
This is already boxed and wrapped, waiting under my Christmas tree. The recipient opens it tomorrow, so ideally I'll be able to grab some more pictures.
Have a Happy Holiday, and keep on makin'!