Friday, January 13, 2006

creating dragons

Been trying to get organized with the pictures to tell how I made Bri'th, who now lives on Mary's library office desk, defending her Cascading Style Sheet documents. She was created from about 2pm to 10pm on New Year's Eve, and slightly overbaked (I fell asleep) from midnight till three. Gave her to Mary the next afternoon.

First I made a Skinner blend of metallic green, gold, and translucent. Then I reduced it in width by a process I invented, shown below with a different blend I just made this afternoon.

Take a blended sheet that is too wide from one solid-color edge to the other. Cut it into strips, with narrow ones at the edge. Keeping them in order, overlap them so that they form a sheet either two or three times thicker. Run it through the pasta machine a few more times to blend the strips, and you have a long narrow blend rather than a short wide one.

Wrapping two lengths of this around a short fat log so that I had a green spine and pale belly, I reduced and lengthened the log. This created a nice organic body piece shaded from a dark green back to gold sides and a paler belly. It even sort of had a spinal stripe from where the mica-shifted metallics were disturbed at the fusion. However, that got covered up by the spinal embellishments. I used half of the log for Bri'th; pictured below is the other half, plus a few other scraps of clay, and the tool I found most useful.

I pinched and shaped the head end of the log, then rolled and rolled to get the tail stretched out skinny and long enough to wrap around the quartz. A little tricky to keep it from twisting. I formed the body posture first, and did the face and decorations afterward, as Christi Friesen recommends. NOT the proper procedure when doing a statue like this wrapped around a hunk of heavy quartz. I should have done the head and wings, and the spine decorations, and then shaped her around the quartz.

The wings are cut from just the green/gold section of the blend, folded in half and then cut to get two identical symmetric wings. Best chill the clay beforehand, so you can get the two pieces apart again. The eyes are smoky quartz, the head and spine have quartz chips, and an orb of aventurine is at the base of the skull.

Sticking on the embellishments is a fiddly little job with fingers four times too big. I need some tweezers tipped with little chunks of makeup sponge, or some such. After getting a decoration to more-or-less stick, I would use the end of the tool to mess around with the clay at its base and kind of push it and blend it in.


Blogger Reynolds said...

Cool Beans!

January 13, 2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

Could I purchase a dragon from you like this one (or similar) for my daughter? She has all the Franklin Mint dragons and I know she'd flip over this one. The quality is right up there with the ones they're selling. Hoping to hear from you, thanks,

January 29, 2006 4:04 PM  

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