While it feels like I’ve been really busy over the last few weeks, I have been able to do some new arty projects in the evenings and wanted to try new ideas.
I went to see Little Shop of Horrors at the theatre a few weeks ago, I love the film and the show was brilliant! Inspired by my love of monsters and plants, I started making a few of my own polymer clay plant creatures. Sometimes I just want to make something and not have any ideas of preliminary sketches beforehand. This is how I started with my flower and cactus creatures below.
He looks sad
I had these tiny pots lying around for ages, I got them from a little craft shop near where I live. I also made some kind of steam-punk fish earrings with translucent clays and was thinking about what I could put in the Tim Holtz glass domes I’ve had for a while. That is when I decided to make a tooth – which glows in the dark!
I’ve been thinking for a while about writing a post just about my fun monster sculptures, which I called Fizzlings, and how they evolved and I also wanted to do a little give away competition as I have made so many and they need proper homes! So keep reading to find out how to win one of the three you see here!
Making my little creatures began last when when I had been playing with Polymer Clay Fimo for a while, just bored after making loads of mini charms. I, as always, wanted more of a creative challenge and to make something bigger, so I started with these oddly shaped characters. I added little metal bits lying around, giving them personality.
Each creature I made was an improvement on the last, but I wanted to make something more substantial. I watched sculpting videos on YouTube (a great resource) bought a variety of books on Polymer Clay and sculpting, and began using an armature of wire and foil inside my sculptures. This is when my creatures started to get bigger and take on a proper form. I had been sketching rough ideas now and planning my work more, thinking of themes, embellishments and colour.
It’s been a while since my last blog post and what better time to reflect on this year than New Year’s Eve?
Looking over all my projects and posts, it surprised me just how much I’ve made this year. The biggest thing was my new found love of polymer clay. I moved house in January to a nicer house and bigger room. I was still focusing on embroidery around the beginning of the year and set myself the project of my large Toucan on a hoop. A daunting task as it was so big!
After spending a lot of hours on embroidery I wanted to try something new and tried shrink plastic. This was a lot of fun but felt the possibilities of it were a bit limited.
There is a wealth of literature, art and film dedicated to monsters. They are very much a part of human culture, from ancient myths of curses to modern incarnations such as Freddie Kruger. Children have an innate dialogue with monsters, lurking under the bed or in the shadows yet love being told stories with goblins and scary beasts.
Monsters arise from our own mind, an innate fear of the unknown, of disease, death and suffering. Yet it is these things that intrigue us and compel us to watch scary films or read Gothic novels. We are drawn to the strange, the peculiar and the unnatural. We are curious by nature about the world we live in and have a need to explain it – through stories, myths, art and religion.
This post is a reflection on monsters and my own passion for creating them in my artwork. Monsters are shadowy and take on many elements from a person’s mind. They are a combination of ideas, thoughts, feelings and of a time and place. Monsters from Medieval Europe are quite different from the creatures depicted in modern American film for example.
Autumn is probably my favourite season. It reminds me of starting a new term at uni, getting new books, stationary, the trees changing colour and snuggling up in a scarf and hat when out. It is also the time for hot chocolates, getting cosy in bed with films while it is cold and raining outside and Halloween!
This post is on the polymer clay things I have been making recently (partly while I was off work poorly) and I love trying new techniques and adapting my ideas. I made two smaller Fizzling creatures and have been wanting to try bright colours on a black body. I love it! Black Fimo does have the tendency to stain though so I had to make sure my working area and hands were cleaned frequently with baby wipes. This meant I could add colour clay without mixing it together and getting it muddy. I also use clingfilm on my Fimo clay when I’m not working on a project to protect it from lint. I find this works well.
I wanted to make a pair of Fizzlings and had quite a lot of scales left so made a second one with a purple body. They look so cute together! I can see some flaws in them but I like the shape and design.
I wanted to share some of my most recent polymer clay creatures I’ve been working on. I feel like I have really developed with my skills and attention to detail with each one I make, the red forest inspired Fizzling sculpture being the most recent. And as I’m creating the monster’s backstories I also started making Froops – little pets for the Fizzlings from the scrap clay I have left over! The bronze and brown is my favourite so far!
I love adding the little details and as I am building my collection of tools up, I can get much finer detail in there too.
I also made two little Fimo monster plants as I had a little plant pot from my cactus left after I repotted him. Then I was walking past a little craft shop near me and saw an even smaller pot! So I just needed to make a tiny monster plant. My massive one would eat them alive!
I am putting some of these creatures in my Etsy shop if anyone was interested in purchasing a new friend! I’ve recently came down with a mean Summer virus so have not been feeling well at all. But I am noting down some new project ideas, including some future tutorials. If you have a preference on any tutorials you would like me to share, just go to my last blog post and vote in the poll!
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.
This is what I have been doing recently. Playing with polymer clay and resin. I saw a cute tutorial on YouTube showing how to make a koi pond in a tin using Fimo and resin and this is my first attempt. I found some moss after I did this one so will make another one soon.
I have also been using moulds for my resin, using it in tiny jars and bottles and recently making these monsters using a foil armature inside, I currently have this week off so am starting a new clay project which I hope turns out well! Check it out here soon
Having felt a lack of motivation recently and a general malaise in my art, I decided to a.) watch Heroes as a break from all my embroidery and b.) try a new approach. I’ve made things with Fimo Polymer Clay before and had a lot of things left over, as I like to keep all my different creative projects and supplies. I started making little charms in 2010 before I moved to Manchester. This post is what I’ve been doing recently, starting with something super easy – snails! These are cute and make nice little gifts for people. I then got a few new colours and started making cute monsters, with the idea to turn them into key rings. It’s much easier to bake with this kind of medium now I live in a better house! Here are a few things I made last week
New Clay colours
Cakes & Whips
Monsters love sweets!
Made into Key rings
I found a tutorial on the jellyfish which I thought was cute, so made two of them. I also wanted to try making some bugs. These are quite small but I think they are good for a first try, I can see how to improve them and that is when I know my creative rut is lifting.
Well hello January. Yep it is that time of year, new beginnings, rain, sales and all that jazz… I have to admit I do quite like the hope that comes with New Year and look forward to Spring, the days getting lighter and the possibilities that lie ahead. I’m also 31 this year and am fully embracing this decade of my life! They say you know who you are in your thirties, or maybe you are just happier with who you are.
A few things I want to do this year include improve my web design skills, try snowboarding, go to Paris, go to life drawing classes, save money, get a fox tattoo and Pilates.
Plus I have always got a lot of art projects going on in my mind, I just need to focus on one at a time!
A new shadowbox
A mixed fabric Stag head embroidery
A Pandora themed tag box
More felting creatures
Looks good with the Octopus
Still warm inside
And here is a tentacled monster I just finished. He was more a project to practice my embroidery stitches but he came out pretty sweet! My fingers need a break now! After a walk in the lovely wind and rain in Manchester,I came home and baked a cake. Got to take advantage of a free kitchen! It is chocolate and orange swirl and it was still warm inside when I tried it. Yummy!