I sort of fell into sculpting. I've been making dolls since I was a child. I love the doll as a canvas because there truly are no limits to what you create with them. I love fabric and making fabric dolls has always been a pleasure.
I had already discovered polymer clay and really enjoyed working with it but I hadn't thought too much about doll making with clay. Then, the fateful day, I had joined an email list for doll makers and the very first day I was on it a wonderful lady(now a really good friend) posted information about a doll making workshop in Reno, with Wendy Froud - OMG! So I immediately emailed her and signed up for the class.
The class was amazing. I learned so much and had a great time. Wendy is a fantastic teacher who truly enjoys what she does. It just shines out of her. It was a three day workshop and at the end I had a completed fairy. So cool!
My First Sculpture
I know she looks sort of like Mick Jagger in drag but I love her! One of the lessons I didn't learn that first workshop was to let the sculpture lead the way. I've said it here before, sometimes I am thinking of a particular project but once I start sculpting someone else shows up. Well, I REALLY wanted to make a fairy so that is what I did. (Have I mentioned that I am occasionally stubborn?) Had I listened to the clay I probably would have had a really cool creature instead. Either way I fell in love with polymer clay dolls. I get to use all of my passions in one project (you know, fabric, jewelry making, sculpting, embroidery...).
I've continued to take classes and learn from as many artists as I can. I've been lucky enough to take classes from Kate Church, Patricia Hedegaard, and Christine Shively to name a few. I've learned new techniques from every instructor and from my sculpting group and I continue to explore new techniques and ways to work with clay.
This recent class was exciting for me on several levels. I got to take a sculpting class from both Wendy and Toby Froud, I got to take it with 3 of my friends and I got to see how far I've come.
Now and Then
I'm pretty pleased with my progress. Both Facebook and my camera identify my new figure as human, Facebook wants me to tag her!
I've been working like crazy since I got home and will be posting the creature I made for the 2015 Polymer Clay Challenge late today. He's pretty cute!
I love figurative sculpture but polymer clay is so versatile you can make jewelry, dolls, decorative bowls, clocks... the list goes on! I will be teaching a Steampunk Fairy Door next weekend at the 2015 Reno Steampunk Expo - I'll show some pictures after class - promise!
One of the things I have learned over the years - practice really does make perfect. Each head I sculpt is better, each pair of hands, every foot, the ears, eyes... every time I pick up my sculpting tools I improve my skills. If you want to sculpt don't worry if your creation doesn't look like the instructor's, keep sculpting, your skills will improve! I am finally creating the creatures and figures I see in my head and it is fabulous!
Here is a better picture of the figure I created this weekend - she was not happy that I didn't share a good one :0)
She is wearing leather boots (which are almost complete), a leather bustier and a necklace of strung garnet beads. Though they are hard to see in the picture, she also has feathers in her hair.
She is very gypsy-like and is evolving as I accessorize her! The trim around her waist isn't tacked down yet and her headpiece is not complete but they are at least in progress and thankfully I am having a great time with her!
I am home from Portland and the amazing Wendy and Toby Froud workshop. I had such a fabulous time and I am wiped out! Above is a picture of me and Toby, along with Digby, the star of Toby's short film Lessons Learned.
Wendy Froud and Me
Wendy is a warm, talented and genuine soul. She is kind and friendly and so easy to be around. It was just amazing to watch her and Toby as they created this weekend. They are willing to share their talent, tips, tricks and knowledge and if you ever get a chance to meet them - Do it! Wendy inspired me to sculpt and every time I take a class with either her or Toby I learn more. My skills expanded this weekend and it was wonderful.
My creation is not quite done but here is a peek at her. She is sitting on the dashboard of my friends car so the picture isn't the best.
She stands about 16 inches tall and was so much fun to make! I'll be showing you the very first sculpture I ever did alongside this sweet girl to show you that practice is really all you need to increase your skill level - ok, and maybe some really great teachers! If live classes are not available in your area DVDs are the way to go! Wendy does have a couple of DVD sets that are available and if you are interested in sculpting fairies or character figures of any style, I would highly recommend them.
I am working on her jewelry and head piece right now. She may get wings though that is entirely up to her. I hope to show you the completed piece by the end of the month, regardless of her state of completion, I'll update with some comparison pics this weekend.
Stay tuned for my class recap and my experiences on the road!