Reviving this old blog of mine and what I’ve been doing

I see I have been gone too long from this blog and it is about time to pick it up again on a regular basis. Time just seem to fly by so fast nowadays; it is weird that we’re already mid-August in 2014 when I can still remember my New Year resolution for this year: finishing things! I am really bad at starting something, then put it aside because there is something else I want to try or a commission I have to make. Being on Facebook also eats up a lot of time….

What have I been up to, you might wonder? Well, my Thor is still in a drawer which is a shame BUT it is a good thing in a way because I looked at him the other day and found that his head is unproportionally small compared to the rest of his body. So there are 2 option as I see it:

1) I can start all over again

2) I can decapitate him, make a new head and attach that to the body, rebake, and see how it looks.

I think I will go for option 2 and if it doesn’t look good I can always start over, right?

I have been sculpting some characters from Harry Potter and finished Snape, McConagall, and Hagrid for my own collection, plus made 2 sculpts of Dobbie, one for my daughter and one for a friend in the UK. I have to make another Dobbie for another friend, so that one is on my list of “things-to-do”.

On my “sculpts-to-make” list are also 2 things I need to make for my sister: 1 of the old Celtic God Cernunnos (also known as Herne/The Horned God/the Stag God) and 1 of the old Celtic Fertility Goddess. I am looking into the Goddess one because there are so many fertility Goddesses in Celtic lore and myth and not sure if I should make the 3 (Maiden, Woman, Old Crone) or go for something simpler like Arianrhod.

Since it has been rather warm here, it has also been the time to work with my gourds. I do that mostly during the summer months because then I can sit outside since carving and sanding makes such a mess. Gourd birds can be made all year round, they aren’t as messy as carving a bowl!

Other than that I have been making mushrooms, gourd birds, dragon head sculpts, sculpted dog portrait pendants, some drawings, and whatever tickles my fancy but for the coming week I really need to work on 2 commissioned dog drawings for my “Bonnie Fund”.

You might be wondering what my “Bonnie Fund” is. We have 4 dogs and our oldest female Bonnie, a 12 year young Westie, jumped off the recliner chair some weeks ago and she tore her ACL and her meniscus, so that meant a costly surgery. We also found out that she has Cushing’s Syndrome, which is a hormonal disorder caused by high levels of cortisol. Bonnie has terrible allergies and she was on Prednison regularly, which I think might have caused it. Anyway, with the vet bills rocketing sky high ($2,000 for her knee surgery and $200 per test for her Cushing’s and we need 2 or 3 of those, plus $95 medication for 30 days) I thought to start a fund raising and have put reward levels in there for certain amounts. We’ve already given all our savings towards her ever increasing bills and are falling terribly short for which I feel terrible! After all, one has to take care of their four-legged furry family members, right?

If you want to check it out, here is the link http://www.gofundme.com/Bonnie-vet-bills

So far we’ve already received $265 through that link and the 2 commissioned dog drawings, which I received through my Facebook account, are part of my “Bonnie Fund” Fundraising too. We are so grateful for people’s generosity! Even if one can’t donate, sharing the link helps tremendously too because then it can reach a lot more people. The funds we’ve raised thus far will pay for her next blood test on September 2nd to see how she reacts to her medication plus we can pay some off on the bill for her knee surgery. Gotta love vets that are willing to set up a payment plan for you 😀

My drawings are calling me so it is time to work more on those. Next time I’ll post some pictures of what I’ve made and what I am working on.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Thor sculpt and the goats are coming along

After a week of working on all sort of things, like Blue Dragonflies for a swap I joined in our clay group, this is where I am now with my Thor sculpt.

Baked body Thor

I have sculpted the upper part of the body, attached the head and gave it a first bake. When it had cooled I attached the tubes for the arm and leg modules with Magic Sculpt and let it dry overnight. Now I have to make the hands and feet, bake them and attach them to finish the body. Looking at it I am not really sure if the head is too small?  Still have to work on the neck too and that will show if I have to rip the head off again and redo that part 🙂

Goat frame

These are the frames for Tanngrisni and Tanngnost, the two goats who will be pulling Thor’s chariot. The bottom one is already filled out with aluminum foil and painters tape, the top ones shows the wire before bulking it out.

Goats clay

And here are Tanngrisni and Tanngnost, the wire covered with Prosculpt and baked. What I need to do now is paint the hooves and horns, put hair on them which will also cover up where I didn’t put enough clay on the frame, and when it is all done and ready to go in front of the chariot I’ll paint the eyes on.

This is what I’ve done so far since last week. Hope you like it!

 

Finally started

I’ve been busy getting ready for a show so I didn’t have a lot of time to sculpt on my Thor, eventhough my fingers were itching to start. Collected most of what I think I will need: got a piece of bark for the chariot to stand on, found wood to make the chariot with, found an old piece of a coat (collar) that had faux ‘wool’ on it that would be great for the goats since it is rather long.

Found and collected all sort of other things I think I might need, or not, so I picked it up again for a bit and made the drawing couple of days ago. After that I made the frame and started on the head.

I have to apologize for the bad quality of the pictures. My camera stopped working, tried my phone but that one froze so I had to open it up to remove the battery and somewhere along the line I must have messed up the contact point for the camera because that one doesn’t want to work at all… I’ll re-open that when I have the time.

Drawing and frame

The tubes are cut but having a little problem there with keep getting confused as to what goes in where… Since it isn’t going to be a tall sculpt, only about 5′-5.5″, there won’t be a lot of pressure on the joints and I could leave the whole tube-idea out too, except for the legs; it is easier to attach the legs to the chariot using the whole tube system.

Bulk and head

I can tell I haven’t done it in a while because I really have to pay attention that the head isn’t going to be too large for the frame. It looks okay for now but I have the feeling I have to make a new frame, just a bit larger than the one I have now which would be okay because I can always use this frame for another sculpt.

The bulking out of the frame is done with aluminum foil and painters tape although the chest needs to be larger, as you can see on the side view of the picture above. However, I can do that with clay too.

This is the first time I am using ProSculpt and I have to say I like it. It is really smooth, easy to condition, and it blends in great! Compared to other polymer clay brands like Sculpey, Fimo and Premo that I have used before for small(er) sculptures, it is softer, more pliable, and I have to say that I am sold on this one 🙂

Still have to make the chariot sketch and found some ideas online; it is going to be like the chariot in the example I’ll use and posted on March 30th so I might ‘wing it’ and make it straight from that example after the sculpt is complete. Then I only have to measure twice and cut once.

Here is where I am at this moment. Have to attach the ears and then the head will go for the first bake and see how it will look on this frame that I have now. Hope you like it so far!

Thor, chariots, and helmets

Yesterday evening I started on the sketch of Thor and trying to figure out other things for my sculpt, like the not unimportant chariot. Have to make a sketch of that one too…

One of the biggest problems I have is that there are no real references as to the chariots Norsemen used and plenty of discussions if the Norse people used them or not. There is the Celtic chariot, with a single axle, the Egyptian and Roman, also with a single axle, and then I come across the “Oseberg cart” with a double axle. I know this is a cart and not a chariot but Googling images for “Viking/Norse Chariots” gives me all sort of confusing information, showing single and double axle chariots.

Thor is shown in both single and double axle chariots, while Freya is only shown in her cat-drawn single axle chariot.

So I have to make a choice here and this is what it’s going to be… the double axle chariot based on this picture that I like:

459px-Thor_by_Johannes_Gehrts

This is a drawing of Thor, made in 1901 by the German painter Johannes Gehrts and, unlike some paintings/drawings, Thor has a beard. I have mentioned it before, I’m going to stick to the Norse visualization of Thor, being red-haired, red-bearded, fiery eyed, and barrel-chested. He is, after all, the most valiant Warrior of the Norse Pantheon and an idealized image of the Viking fighter.

And he is not wearing any helmet of some sort, another reason for choosing this picture to work off. Looking for information on the Norse and their Pantheon, you will find lots of discussions. One of those discussion is if the Vikings wore helmets or not. We all know that Vikings are often shown with helmets with horns but apparently that is wrong. If the average Viking warrior wore a helmet, it would have been a non-descript conical form helmet without any adorations (I won’t go into the “wings” decoration because they have been used). Planting horns on a helmet would give your enemy the chance to grab onto those…something you wouldn’t want.

Now, to plant a non-descript conical form helmet on Thor would look silly, in my humble opinion, and very un-God like wouldn’t you think?

Off to the drawingboard for the chariot and next time I will post my sketches.

Hope you’ll have a great day!