Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Forbidden Forest- I won!

Okay, thanks to any of you who voted for me on the Polymer Clay Central Challenge!  In case you haven't looked yet, I won 1st place!

Anyway, I loved making that particular piece.  I wasn't going to enter the contest this month 'cause the theme was "Spooks" and I'm not really all that into the whole Halloween thing... :P  Anyway, Rocke talked me into it and so I had to find something I could do with the theme.  Then I realized that Harry Potter has everything to do with Halloween and I set out in search of inspiration.  I found it in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."  It was the illustration for the chapter titled "The Eye of the Snake" (not sure of the chapter # offhand).  And the rest is history.  It was so much fun to make and now I'm ready to try a few of the other pictures in the books as well.

So, here's a few notes about how this piece came to be:

So, I wanted to put a hint of something hiding back there in the trees (for those who don't know, it's a thestral) besides just the eyes (which glow in the dark, by the way) so I put some translucent liquid clay on there and then took my heat gun to it to shine it up a bit.  Well, I overdid the heat a little and browned some of the leaves.  Luckily, it worked out okay.  I really like the results. (Of course, I had to burn some more of the leaves to make it look like it was on purpose, and then I discovered that hitting the tree trunks with the heat brought out the colors in them- smoked up the house real good.  Not a technique I recommend unless you are outside and wearing a mask.)

Here's a closeup of the grass and rocks.  I put several shades of green through the extruder with a really tiny hole, cut short pieces and rolled one end to a point for each blade of grass.  For the rocks, I mixed three bits of translucent clay with pepper, ground oregano, and ground cloves.  Then I made them into the little shapes you see here.  (I burned the rocks with the heat gun a little too, although that wasn't intentional- the trans clay just really burns easily.  Hmmm, I think Rocke needs to take away the heat gun...)

And here you can see the depth of the piece.  I absolutely love it! 

I plan on making some more similar pieces only with joshua trees and cacti.  We used to live in Arizona and I love the shapes the trunks of those trees make.  We'll see how that goes.

I know I promised another tutorial soon but I had a few setbacks and am still working on it.  Bear with me, maybe I'll have two in a row.


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