I have never considered myself to be a particularly good sculptor. I took a class on sculpting in University, which was a required for my major, and while I enjoy the tactile nature of sculpting, I’ve never really wanted to pursue it. That said, I took on this sculpture commission because my cousin asked me to. She saw a sculpture I made for my husband, and wanted something similar.
I think if I’m ever asked to sculpt again, I would have to say no. As it turns out, I have a kind of block about sculpting and it makes it really hard for me to finish a piece of sculpture.
Maybe I’ll get over it, but for now I’ll probably be sticking with commissions more in my wheel house – tsumami craft or illustration.
This piece posed many challenges for me, mostly of my own making. First, I chose to sculpt using polymer clay, but I wanted to paint a base coat with spray paint. If you’ve ever tried to paint polymer clay before, you probably know that you basically can’t paint polymer clay with spray paint. It takes forever to dry, and will probably stay tacky forever.
What I did to get around this is give the sculpture a primer coat of cheap, craft acrylic. That gave the spray paint a better, less chemically reactive, surface to adhere to. However, before I could even get to the painting, I accidentally knocked the sculpture off of my desk.
It wasn’t complete destroyed, but many of the tails developed cracks. I fixed this second challenge by filling the cracks with crazy glue. After the glue was dry, I smoothed over them with additional clay. I had to do this twice in some spots to get good results, and despite my best efforts at both repair and packing, the finished sculpture arrived with a crack in one tail. Sigh. I think I can repair it when we visit for Christmas, but it’s still a bit of a let down.
The third most difficult challenge with this piece was the tails. It’s difficult to get polymer clay to adhere to a smooth wire surface. There are a few ways you can work around this. I made coils of clay and carefully wrapped them around, but I’ve seen people wrap the larger wire with smaller wire to create texture. I think if I were to try this again, I would either wrap smaller wire (or maybe a masking or floral tape), or coat the larger wire with hard molding paste; it just needs something to help the clay adhere better.
Once the nine-tailed fox Mom and her kit was painted and sealed, it was pretty smooth sailing. I busted apart some amethyst crystals with a hammer (very technical!) and glued them to the sculpture base (a plate from Dollarama) with trusty e6000 glue. The snow is a mix of modeling snow and white glitter; I wanted it to have some sparkle, but not too much.
In all, I’m ok with how this sculpture turned out. I think I’d be more thrilled had it not developed a crack in shipping. But, at least she’s finally done!
Anyway, that is about all I’ve got for this week. If you like this blog and want to help support it, consider buying me a coffee. Your support is greatly appreciated, and I hope that you check back again next week for more art, crafts, and creativity!