The first step is to cast all the needed parts for the ballerina. All of these parts are my original sculptures. I make my own molds, not my favorite part of the process.
Next the parts have to be reshaped to create the desired pose. I've discovered it's much easier and safer to shape each leg separately and attach them after firing. The arms, head and torso must be one piece for this pose and the style of costume I have in mind.
This is the latest figure in a series of seasonal women. I think of her as Mrs. Santa in her everyday working clothes but she really is any peasant woman. The inspiration for her costume has Scandinavian origins though I haven't adhered to any particular national costume. I simply enjoy this style and in particular the freedom of color choices. The trug, her garden basket, was purchased from Jane Graber and the vegetables are from Twin Heart.
This Dragon Ship is a new creation by Williamson, Walton-Marble and myself. We first displayed it at the Good Sam Miniature Show in San Jose, CA, this October, 2013.
The scale is 12th.
These two small boys used a rake and an umbrella stand to turn a dragon hammock into a Viking ship. With their bloody swords, dragon t-shirts, viking helmet and eye patch they're living the life of vikings.
This beautiful Dragon was hand carved by Nicole Marble out of Bottlebrush wood. The finish is shellac and wax and the color is the natural wood. The teeth are made of bamboo. The design is based on a real hammock.
Creating the form of the Dragon over the shape of the interior cave was really just a matter of cutting and carving pieces of Styrofoam and attaching them to the inverted bowl shape with tacky glue and toothpicks.
Then I started adding Paperclay to the surface to cover the Styrofoam, just about six square inches at a time. I rolled the clay out on waxed paper, painted Tacky glue on the area to be covered and applied the clay to it. As the Paperclay began to firm up I applied texture with stiff brushes and any other tool that would create the effect I wanted.
As the clay dries it shrinks and cracks. There was a fair amount of crack filling to be done each morning before moving ahead with the sculpture. I wet the crack and the area around it before filling it with more Paperclay.
A small tube was fitted into the back of the piece between the dragon's body and wing. This was to hold up a wire tree. The area at the lower left that appears to be missing a rock is where the battery for the candle's light goes.
I'm still not sure if I liked the dragon unpainted or painted best.
To construct the cave interior I used inch thick Styrofoam to make a bowl shape. Pieces of Styrofoam were attached with Tacky glue and held together with tooth picks. The interior was covered in a thin layer of paper clay .
I decorated the back wall with a mandala with a dragon motif in the center. Instead of adding paper clay on top of the dragon design I used a flat headed tool to push the paper clay back to shape the dragon relief and the letters.
The base of the piece was a 12 by 14 sheet of one inch thick Styrofoam.
In the center of the cave is a stone table dressed by Todd Krueger with a scull, a candle and other useful items. It was attached to the base and surrounded by a floor of paper clay before the the cave was set in place.
This is a view of the interior through the cave door. A root growing through the roof of the cave hangs down behind the table. Leaves have blown into the cave to litter the floor.
For several years now I've had an inspiration to make a cave with a dragon sleeping on top. This past winter I started working on it and this and the next few postings will show the steps to the finished piece.
My first problem was how to design a sculpture with a hollow center. So I turned a plastic bowl upside down and sculpted a mock-up of the piece around it using smooth water base clay.
This sculpture is the actual size of the finished piece. I used a ruler and calipers to measure the figure and creat the shape in Styrofoam and paper clay.