particular requests that come up a lot in Demo and they are
Food, Flowers and Leaves, Sculpting, and Raising Cane. When you think
about it, that's about all we need to populate a scene. Sculpt some
wee people, surround them with flower and leaves and leave them a
mini meal, dress them in clay fabric, plop them in a cigar box and
call it a day.
The Golden Mermaid in the Cigar Box was created as a result of doing
experiments with abalone colors.
She's saying... "I can't hear the ocean." Holding a shell to her
This enlarged page shows the finished mini scene. If you go up to the
beginning of the Abalone Experiment and click your way through to the
end you'll see how experimenting with abalone colors lead us to the
Golden Mermaid, salvaged her from a limbo of years in a drawer with
other Also Rans of Sculpting.
Folks think they have to have a complete scene in their head, all the
bits and bobs marked and measured. Too anal retentive for me I tell
I would rather folks experiment with clay, see what it can do for you
as elements of a scene that you might make down the line.
The decorations on the cigarbox wall, they are experiments in folding
clay sheets to get a sea shell effect. They could have become
pendants instead of wall hangings, but anything that evokes a
feeling, sets the tone, suggests a life style, will work in a scene.
The waving sea weed stuff in the corner is extruded clay cured all
free form on a flat surface.
Did you know that if you took extruded clay straight out of the oven
and rolled it in your hands under running water ... you can get a
bird's nest, a heart of snakes, sea weed flowing under water? It's a
trippy trick and hardly anyone uses it.
Extruded clay technique
This link takes you a picture in UnderTheSea, an old Epson album on
everything that relates the sea: the first mini abalone shell, the
first fishscale effort, the first waving sea weed, that's in this
Extruded flower and leaf cane make the most lyrical flowing sea weed.
Change the tip of the extruder and put in cane with different
patterns and squeeze out a forest of sea anemones
if that creature ain't extruded clay done with a blend I just don't
know how else to nudge ya. I can hear Aunt Jude in my head
saying "Red! I LOVE Red!" Don't ya honey. LOL
GET OUT OF MY MIND....
name that movie quote, film buffs. If you don't know for clay you
have got to have seen a movie.
GET OUT OF MY MIND....
Oh this is too easy for folks here on the list know my favorite
So anyway, I'm reaching out with one fishy fin for I don't want us to
flounder. Remember that you can tune a guitar but you can't tunafish.
Oh I'm just rambling for the halibut.
Don't give me a hard time about those, the Golden MerMaid told them
to me. That Pun-ishment is her fault. Ya that's the ticket.
What's the point about this post? Just this. Mini Scenes don't have
to be planned. Experiment with your clay, drape folded sheets of it
over something and stand back, looking all the world like the artist.
The artist's squint is very important for the affect. When I do it
you can blindfold me with dental floss, being Asian and all.
Then pick up what you've been squinting at and turn it this way and
that and what do you see in it? When I folded that abalone colored
sheet and saw those lines I thought... fashion, it looks like a
fashion dress, something fancy. Should be on a body. Do I have a body
laying around that could be covered? Yes I did, years old, neglected
and needing a new outfit.
So the Golden MerMaid was born. Sort of walked backwards to the Mini
Scene, no plan...
Plan? We ain't got no Plan.
Name that quote movie buffs. Another easy one.
We have a lot of Crafters here. Crafters are exact, they can follow
directions to a T. They mark and measure and are good at it. That's
why it's a Craft.
What I'm working on doing is to give you all permission to toss the
kits and instructions out the window. Choose colors you love. Goof
around with them and see what they do. Give effort to Raising Cane
and goof around with that. When you have a pile of leaves, flowers,
pressed sheets and a pile of naked bodies, build a scene that
recreates something you had as a dream.
If you start out with polymer clay as a miniaturist and say... I'm
gonna build a Diner, for instance. You have a plan, got the wood
primed and you are ready to get a grip on your clay. All I have to
say to you is know the basics. Condition that clay, mix colors and
keep track of your mixes with color cards.
invest in clayshapers, zero size and use them as chopsticks to
transport mini meals and work with wee bits.
Miniaturists have the extra work of matching colors to real life, of
designing canes not for their beauty but to match purple onions cut
crosswise. There's the issue of making things to scale. We can't have
a three foot wide hamburger in front of our sculpted figures. Not
unless the sculpted figure was Andre the Giant. Miniaturists have a
skill to develop with working with polymer clay that everyone else
doesn't think they have to fool with.
Oh yeah... well as we say in Rumble in the Jungle
If it ain't life size, it's miniature.
now for another cup of coffee.