One of my favorite things to do is to collect miscellaneous items of interest on my adventures; so when I go on my walks with my girl Niera, I love to find anything interesting that could possibly inspire me to create. I call them little treasures; I put them on a shelf until I feel like creating. You’ll find a lot of my art pieces will have mixed-media in them. One day on my walk, small acorns inspired me; I always love to Sculpt cute faces with many expressions, so I decided to use the acorn tops and sculpt these adorable acorns. They definitely put a smile on my face hope you enjoy.
This adorable trick-or-treater was inspired by a drawing. I also love vintage pictures of homemade costumes. One of my favorite things that I did for my children when they were young I would make their Halloween costumes such a sweet memory. I loved it when my kids came home from Halloween trick-or-treating they would dump out all their candy on the floor I would sit down with them and sort through it with them.
This Grim Reaper has two types of clay we have the air dry clay, and Sculpey clay you need to bake. I am often asked which Clay do I prefer the most that’s a very difficult question I love all types of clay, but if I had to choose it would be the air dry clay I love the way it feels it’s very relaxing to work with. The Sculpey clay I like to use when I’m doing very tedious work like arms or sometimes draping for clothing the Sculpey clay is a lighter clay when it dries the air dry clay is heaver. I love creating things that have a skull in it, I had thought about making a Reaper for a long time and in my head the big thing that I saw was the scythe that my Reaper holds in his skeletal hand, I wanted the scythe to be big and bold it really defines my Reaper. I’ve always loved all things creepy and scary, honestly, it is not a love I have always had when I was a kid, I was always scared of the dark and scared of everything that looked creepy and then one day I became fascinated with all scary creatures. My aunt sent me a book when I was a child it was full of ghost stories after I read that book I was hooked. My favorite season is Halloween I love the colors the creatures the decorations. That’s enough about me, lets get back to this awesome Grim Reaper as my brother said, That’s badass I like it.
Today I want to talk about this little devil named Beelzebub; he stands about 9 inches tall. I have had several people ask me what size my characters are and of course, they all vary in size but on average, they around 7 to 9 inches tall. I have had people tell me that they look bigger than what they are in real life but I think that is just an optical illusion. I feel that this size is easier to display and I am comfortable with that size scale when I am working with the clay. Another question that comes up frequently is how I come up with the names for my characters. In most cases, I do a lot of research to try and find the perfect name for each creation. Sometimes though, someone in the family who is behind the inspiration will get the opportunity to name them. The meaning behind Beelzebub is Satan or any other devil or demon. I thought this was a perfect name for this creation. The whole process behind me sculpting a character is where I begin. The first thing I do is the face, this is when they begin to talk to me and tell me what they want to be. Usually I have no idea what the face is going to look like or what I’m going to sculpt when I start out but I always begin with the eyes and as they say “The eyes are the window of the soul”. Next is the mouth, this is also very important to me in the process because this is when my character comes alive and this is when it starts getting really fun. Beelzebub was painted in a vibrant red; I wanted to add a lot of smoky black to this red color so I used a powder base product called Perfect Pearls. Another product that I really like to use is distress stain by Tim Holtz, this product gives it that tarnished brass look. I used both of these products on Beelzebub to really make the paint pop. One of my favorite things is adding detail to my clay creations; with this one, I added a neck ruffled collar. I love the way this looks and it gives it that Mixed-media feel to my creations. You will notice this quite often in my creations because it is one of my favorite details. I enjoy making the stands for my characters as well. This one has a lot of detail in it; I did have to sculpt the skulls and bones to make it an interesting platform for him to stand on. I love adding the additional detail and accessories to my creations. The pitchfork for Beelzebub is made from Sculpey clay; I like that kind of clay when I’m making very delicate or thin items. Beelzebub is a very likable character, I know he’s the devil, but I sure do get a lot of compliments on him.
This creation was inspired by a seedpod from a tree that I picked up on one of my walks. I wanted to incorporate the seedpod into a beak for a bird like creature. Sometimes when you create things, there’s something about it that you don’t like. As I looked at this creature, I didn’t like the way it was coming together. Sometimes that frustrations turns into a complete redo and other times, just a tweak here and there does the trick. On this creation, it was off with Enna’s head and then I started sculpting again. I abandoned the seedpod idea for his beak but I did incorporate that somewhere else which I will cover later. I’m really pleased the way the new head turned out, it gives Enna a more pleasing and softer look. His happy expression makes him look delighted to be here. I love the way Enna’s coat turned out, it has this amazing vintage button that I set in the clay that really gave it the realism I was looking for. Enna’s wings are from the seedpod so I was still able to use this inspiration from my nature loot. The seedpod had fine hair like fuzz on it which adds to the realism of the wings giving it a feather like quality. Enna is out enjoying the beautiful weather and doing some fishing, my family loves to fish so Enna fits right in. I made his bag from a burlap material which is stuffed with moss and a couple of fish which he caught that day. His Fishing pole is made from a feather which I did not have to go far for. I always wanted chickens so my husband built me a wonderful Coop. I love my chickens and they give me about 40 fresh eggs a week but more about that another day. I have always been fascinated with birds, I love all winged creatures. Enna is a delightful character, it is hard to look at him without smiling and wanting to at least go enjoy the beautiful weather or put a pole in the lake and go fishing.
This delightful character has so many inspirations; my husband was digging in the backyard when he came across these vacuum tubes. They were so cool I had to put them in my craft room, hoping one day I would be inspired to do something with them. I think about my clay creations, all the time and all of a sudden I got this great idea so I had to go and make this new character before I didn’t have him in my head anymore. I started sculpting and everything started coming together. As I’m looking at this character come to life, I’m thinking of a wonderful memory of my son who is now 22. When he was a little boy, he was very shy and always kept his hands in his pocket. His favorite pair of shorts back then was these yellow shorts and that was my inspiration for his clothing. I love this little character and I let my son name him so that is how Gearbox came to be.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day🍀
My clay creations always seem to be inspired by what I run across on my nature walks, that’s my thinking time. The inspiration for Spriggan came from his wonderful headpiece (bark from a tree limb) that I found when I was walking with my faithful companion Niera, our 8 year old poodle. I am always collecting miscellaneous items of interest on my adventures; I love walking and hiking and started to bring a backpack with me because my pockets always came back overflowing with wonderful things I just couldn’t leave behind. Even though Spriggan does not have as much of a clay component as most of my other pieces, he is a delightful character who loves nature and watches over and protects it, he definitely puts a smile on my face.