This is my recent project of love and hate! it took me two weeks to make this thing and look how massive it is!
After watching Little Shop of Horrors recently the idea of having my own Audrey 2 lodged in my brain. I’d been messing around with polymer clays for a few weeks I thought ‘yeah, this will be a great project, making my own plant!’ – Not realising the amount of time, materials and effort it would actually take to make it!
However, when I obsess over a new project I tend to jump in and I started my research by looking for some pictures of Audrey 2 and making a list of materials I would need to make him.
As I mulled over how I was going to make this plant, I did some pretty basic sketches of the parts to make, but because I seem to like making things hard for myself, I decided my plant would have its mouth open! Mainly because I liked the teeth and thought they would be cool to make.
I watched some videos on YouTube about modelling using Super Sculpey and armatures and bought a new book on polymer clay called Polymer Clay Master Class, while also going out and gathering my materials.
The Pod Head
I started by making an oval shape in tin foil, covered this with masking tape and then used the Super Sculpey in sheets over the top. I used my pasta machine to get even thickness for the clay and this was one of the best things I have bought for my clay – and at £10 it was a bargain!
When I was happy with the shape I scored a line around the oval so it would be easier to cut out once I baked it. I also made a small hole through the back part so I could fix it to a piece of wire once it was baked and keep the mouth open.
I used a lot of Sculpey Bake and Bond making this project! Once I had the two pieces for a mouth I built them up with more clay and then covered them with a blend of different Fimo blues for the gums and inside the mouth. My favourite part was then making the teeth from a mixture of white and fluorescent Fimo, which I molded into small cones and then twisted for a gnarly effect. I still love the teeth the most!
I made a tongue piece and fixed it to a piece of wire, covering that in the same blue Fimo, baked it and then attached it in-between the two mouth pieces. That was tricky! I had to use extra wire around the head so it would be secure and then I added more Super Sculpey to hide the wire. It was taking on a very strange shape by this point and I was starting to stress about how it looked NOTHING like Audrey 2! It was also very top heavy even when I started building up the stem around the wire and foil. Nuts!
In the same way I made the gums, I also used a mixture of green Fimo for the plant.
Plaster of Paris
Working on the head was proving difficult without it being supported as I kept marking the surfaces each time I turned it over. I used some cylindrical dry foam normally used in flower arranging, glued that to my tin (which used to have fruit inside) and added plaster of Paris around the plant as the plant head was supported by a plastic box (this got messy!)
While I left this part to dry out I started on the foliage that surrounds the plant’s head and used wire mesh cut in a circular shape to fit around the pod. This stuff is sharper than you might think! I used plaster of Paris gauze over the mesh and once it was semi-dried I fixed it around the pod head and plastered more gauze to secure it in place.
Leaving the plant for about a day meant I could then paint the foliage and I used loads of acrylic for this to hide the gaps in the plaster gauze. Probably about 6 coats in total. However, because the plant was still top heavy one day it decided to topple off my desk and landed on the floor. Thankfully he only came out of the pot and didn’t smash anything but I realised the tin was too small for the size this beast had become!
Constructing the Plant
Putting this plant together was a challenge that meant I had to engage my brain! I made two leave ‘arms’ using the wire mesh, wire for a stem and covered it in a sheet of foil. I then added Super Sculpey in thin strips, blended the seams together and twisted them slightly before baking.
Audrey has a much larger leave behind the head which I decided to make with the remaining plaster gauze. Using a piece of wire I twisted that into a vague leave shape and covered with a piece of foil. I then cut the gauze into thin strips and smoothed it round the leave, adding two layers so it would hold upright and be quite solid.
I decided to put the head piece in a big plant pot and packed it with some more dry foam cut into pieces to give it some stability. I then added more plaster of Paris in stages and added the big leave pieces.
I added clear resin in drips onto the teeth and mouth to give the plant the feeling of being alive, which I think looks really good!
I made two smaller Fimo leaves on stalks to stick out of the pot but felt that he was missing more detail, so I made about 15 varying sized leaves and glued them around the plaster foliage near the head. I added some reindeer moss in-between the gaps for more texture.I finished off the plant by painting the plaster of Paris in the pot with a brown acrylic paint.