Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More progress

I am so very grateful to everyone who has stopped by lately to leave so many kind comments. I really do enjoy sharing the process with you. Over the years, I have picked up tips and tricks from amazing doll makers and sculptors, so it is a real pleasure to pass on a bit of what I have learned. For a really fantastic sculpting tutorial , please go and check out the jaw dropping work of Hannie Sarris. If you are a beginning sculptor, I also recommend checking out books by Maureen Carlson, James Carrington and Sue Heaser. Although the latter 3 work in polymer clay, many of their techniques can be applied to working in paper clay and paper mache.
Speaking of clays, a few of you have asked where to purchase paper clay. Here in Arizona I have found it in most crafts stores, but if you buy in bulk, it's much cheaper to purchase directly from Creativepaperclay.com.
Costuming and creating a place for the fairies to live takes me a few days, but I thought I'd post some pics of my progress.

I use just about everything but fabric to create the faerie's clothing. All of the fairies you met in the last post will have cupcake liner skirts, and hats and wings fashioned from paper. To give the fairy skirt some stability, I glue several layers of the cupcake liners together.

I then cut out the center of the skirt so that I can form it around the doll.

I have a fantastic clip art CD from Lunagirl that is choc full of fantastic vintage images like this pretty butterfly. I used my photo editing tool on my computer to create a mirror image of the wings, so that when cut, the can be glued together back to back, making the fairy's butterfly wings visable from all sides. When the doll calls for it, I'll substitute sheet music or scraps from a favorite poem for the butterfly wings. After the wings are cut and shaped, I'll apply several layers of a matte finish sealant, and then sugar them liberally with a mixture of glass glitter and mica flakes for a magic sparkle.

My sweet neighbor Tracey is always kind enough to save her soap boxes for me so that the fairies will have a place to live. Not only do the soap boxes provide a sturdy base, but they often will retain the lovely aroma of the soaps that once nestled within. If I run out of soap boxes, I'll use old business card boxes, wooden jewelry boxes, whatever I can find that fits! Since most fairies are very fussy about decor, I'll go through my stack of papers, clippings and ephemera until I find a fitting theme.

To create the glittery letters for the top of the fairy box, I print out whatever word I am going to use in a storybook gray-scale font and fill in with this silvery glitter glue. After the glitter glue dries, I painstakingly cut out each letter and apply to the top of the fairy box. It can be a tedious process, but I think the results are worth it.

Check back in on Friday for the final steps and to see a few of the fairies completed and ready to fly off to their new homes.

For those of you who love it as I do, have great fun watching the season finale of Lost tomorrow night!!!!


Lori said...

thank you for sharing all of this great information, so very kind and generous of you!!

Genevieve said...

You are so talented!I love your work. I will stop by for the final steps. Have a nice week!

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying your tutorial on making fairies. You have so much talent and it's so very kind of you to share it with us all. Don't forget the mention the most important material you use of all...your heart...now that folks ...can't be replicated!

a pink-bee said...

What an amazing blog, thanks so much for sharing the info on making the things you do, have been wanting to make some of the glittered letters for awhile, thanks for sharing how to. Also thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a kind comment. Hope you will visit often, I will :)

Anonymous said...

can't wait until Friday!!!

TK Angels said...

I love looking at your work and work in progress!!

I now wish that I had kept up with Lost. I have not watched it for at least 2 years :(

Take care,

Michelle said...

Okay, so when you make the head and the little placate that will be her shoulders, is it hollow like a bead? how do you attatch that wire to her head portion? and do you cover the floral tape with another layer of clay? Thanks so much! This is so fun!

The Polka Dot Pixie said...

Hi Michelle,

The neck of the doll is solid clay, but the shoulder plate is hollow so that it fits over the wrapped armature. I'll try to take better pictures for you next time I make one.

I don't cover the paper tape with more clay, just gesso and paint :-)

I hope that helps!


sadie pink said...

I love to see how other artists do their sculpture. Especially the underneath armatures. Your fairies have so much personality. Just wonderful!