Sunday, April 7, 2013

Skinny Legs and All

One of my favorite art experiences of 2012 was attending Art Is You in Connecticut.  And one of my favorite classes there was Sculptural Birds and Beasts Ornaments with Doreen Kassel.  Click HERE to see that post. So when I saw that Doreen was coming to Michele's studio, I signed up immediately.

Yesterday Heidi, Pat and I went downtown and had such a fun day with Michele, Doreen, and four other students, working with polymer clay, and enjoying each other's company.  And many thanks to Heidi's hubby Marty for providing door to door transportation.....both ways!

 
Doreen teaching and demonstrating:



In this class we made sculptural creatures with long skinny legs.....much more detailed than the birds I made at Art Is You.  Here are some of Doreen's spectacular skinny leg pieces (photo from Doreen's site):
 



After conditioning the white polymer clay we ran it through a pasta machine to make very thin sheets, and used them to cover a ball (some of us used glass ornaments, some used papier mache spheres, and some {like me} used compressed paper balls that Doreen gets from France).




Then comes the fun (and challenging) part: deciding what to make and then adding clay to the covered ball to create the features.  The skinny legs were formed from lollipop sticks which were also covered with the clay.  For the arms we used 14 gauge aluminum wire (again, covered with the clay).
I decided to do a mouse.

 
 
 
OK, it doesn't look much like a mouse yet.  But wait.....
 
After a half hour or so in the convection oven, my mouse is ready for paint.
 



Doreen showed us how to make ruffles, puffy sleeves, outsized shoes, and anything else we wanted to add to our creations.  Pat also decided on a mouse, while Heidi did a Pomeranian.  Doreen is so helpful with any problems that come up, and if someone wants to do a creature she doesn't have a sample for (like Heidi's Pom), she will work with that person.  Heidi had never worked with polymer clay before, and her clay Pom looks just like Hunter, the real deal.

Here is Heidi's finished piece, followed by Pat's:
 

 
 
After painting (we used oil paints) and any necessary repairs or additions, the pieces go back into the oven to cure. 
 
 
 
The paint on my mouse was still too wet to allow me to handle it, so I waited until I got home to take pictures of my finished piece.  Well, almost finished.  Those bare legs will definitely get the striped stockings treatment.....just as soon as the white paint dries.
 
 
 
Can you guess what the crown is?

 
 
I won't keep you in suspense.  It's the top part of a Christmas ornament.  Doreen uses so many ornaments in her work, and since not all her pieces are meant to be hung, she always has leftover tops.  Clever woman realized they make the perfect crown.

 
 
I think my royal mouse has mastered that Queen Elizabeth waving-to-the-masses look.





17 comments:

Karen said...

You are just too talented. Love your mouse. Clever idea with the crown.

Mary-Beth said...

OMG Eileen, you girls all did a fabulous job with your skinny legged creatures!

Socrates said...

Your mouse is fantastic. Great job! What a wonderful class...

Patzee said...

Love your magnificent mouse!! What a great day of creating creatures!

Julie Leake said...

This is way too cute, what fun you must of had making your new friend!!!

Kathy Eddy said...

He is just an adorable little fella! Great job in your class. I think you learned very well!

Vic said...

Wow, I love all of the art you ladies created.

Scrappin' Stacy said...

Now those are like nothing I have seen before. Spectacular! Your mouse is wonderful and the class looks like it was a lot of fun.

Dorothy said...

These are so cute!!!

Mooffie said...

These are just fantastic!! I'd love to do a class like this - any chance of a trip to the UK??? :-) Would you mind if I added this blog link to my facebook - there may be someone over here who might be running a session. I'd love to play more/better with my polymer clay...

Gloria said...

What a fun class!! Love your mouse!

Doreen Gay-Kassel said...

wow! eileen, your mouse is so adorable! i had such a great time working with you all. this is such a good blog post too!
great job & she stands up!

Lisa H said...

what a fun class! Your mouse turned out great. =)

Kate said...

So cute. It turned out to be so adorable!

andizee said...

incredible!!!

Lori said...

LOL! Everyone did a fantastic job on these! What fun to try something new, well, not so new for you I guess, as you did it at Art Is You. lol. Very cool!

Marjie Kemper said...

Your little guy is amazingly cool, Eileen. And that crown knocked my socks off!