In this workshop you will create a uniquely abstract figure, using numerous and varied materials all to be powered by your imagination! The two days will encompass fabricating a polymer clay head, lavishly embellished, that tops a 9” antique wooden spindle (think giant spool!) serving as the body -an open canvas to decorate as you desire. Your finished piece should be approximately 14-15” in height.
Day 1: Head and Techniques
We will take mixed media to the max using polymer clay, paint, beads, chalk, gorgeous gilding pastes and a whole lot more in our process. Basic anatomical head proportions will be discussed as you use polymer clay and a simple armature to form the head for your figure. The face begins with a mold (I will have several to choose from for class use) and you will be shown ways to modify the features to customize it to your liking. Eyes can be open or closed. The nose can be elongated or shortened. The face can be beautified with “make-up” or rustic with texture. No two will look alike! I will demonstrate an optional crackle technique for the face that can add an aura of intrigue.
The artful headdress you make from blended or scrap clay can be textured and gilded with metal leaf and will adorn the head like an unconventional crown- dazzling with a crest of sparkling beads! I will have a selection of glass beads in an array of colors and sizes for you to choose from but please feel free to bring some favorite beads from home. This is an excellent way to repurpose old jewelry that may be unwearable but still meaningful to you, so if you have a jewelry component you would like to feature in the crown (or on the body) please bring it. I will also demonstrate my version of Faux Raku on polymer which you can optionally add to the head. (If you want to apply this, please bring a small container of Golden’s Micaceous Iron Oxide).
Day 2: Finish the Head and Decorate The Body
The “body” of the figure is a 9” antique wooden spindle (or textile bobbin). When designing this workshop I wanted to repurpose these beautiful spindles to function as an unusual body, and wrapping them with multi-textural threads and fibers in varying thickness and colors really seemed the appropriate artistic treatment. You could also use fabric strips, dyed wool roving, scarves, dyed cheesecloth, jute or other cording. (Some fibers and trim will be provided, but bring your own special textile elements from home!). Or if you prefer it can be painted, decoupaged, or embellished with clay or other items you bring from home. I will demo how to make a polymer clay Faux Enamel disc, or heart-shaped bead for an added element. The world is your oyster here! Let your imagination be your guide when choosing elements to bring to really make this figure your own. I hope you’ll join me!
Supply fee: $35.00 includes:
*polymer clay for the face and head*, head armature, dowel, a 9” antique wooden spindle (Each spindle has a 3” round base on the top and bottom with the wooden center measuring about 1 ½” in diameter), and use of all supplies and tools provided by teacher including: metal leaf, chalk, apoxie sculpt, some glass beads, molds, texture implements for distressing the face and headdress, powder release for molds, clay shapers, crackle supplies, Faux Raku supplies (other than Micaceous Iron Oxide), rubber stamps, liquid clay, gilding pastes, metallic paints (for cap on head), flesh colored paint, materials for Faux Enamel technique, Dremel, batting and foil (to bake the heads), gloves, some fibers and trim, and a detailed handout with full instructions. [*Note: The clay provided for the face and head is original white Sculpey which is what I use for my figures. If you prefer to bring different clay for the head such as Premo, you will need about 3-4 (2 oz. each) packages]
Students Bring to class:
• Polymer clay:
For the crown- head-dress: 2-3 packages (total) of desired colors (suggestion: Premo Antique Gold, Black and 18 K Gold or Copper make a nice blend) Or you can bring scrap clay and make a blend
For the Disk or Heart bead: 1 package (2oz) Premo (will only need a portion package)- Black is recommended, but any color can be used-even scrap clay
• Acrylic rod for rolling clay
• Pasta machine (The machine is the easiest and quickest way to condition and roll the clay but if you don’t have one you can use the acrylic rod).
• Favorite clay tools and sculpting tools (teacher will have a few slicing blades and clay shapers to share but best to have your own if you have them, along with any other tools you like to sculpt with).
• Cheap acrylic paint: in Burnt Umber for antiquing the face and cheap 1” natural bristled paint brush
• Beads, crystals, pearls and/or jewels of various sizes for crown (I will have some to supplement but I highly recommended to bring some of your own)
• Paper towels, small jar or container for water
Materials for decorating the body:
• If you want to use textiles, bring: Suggestions: Colorful fibers/threads/cording/ribbons, yarn, dyed wool roving, beaded trim, lace, scarves, fabric strips, Sari silk ribbon, feathers, dyed cheesecloth, etc. Look for variation in texture and color.
• Scissors, Thick white glue such as Weldbond or Aleen’s Tacky Glue- or your favorite fabric glue, Needle and thread for tacking.
• If you want to decoupage papers onto the body bring: small paint brush, Small container of matte medium like Mod Podge Matte, and pieces of decorative paper or ephemera (pages from old books, dictionary, maps, interesting text, tissue paper, decorative napkins, floral imagery, abstract imagery, anything you like that fits a theme you wish to illustrate).
• If you want to paint the body bring: desired colors of acrylic paint and various sizes of your favorite brushes
Rhinestones, Rhinestone chain, sequins, buttons, charms, dark annealed or rusty wire for added embellishment
If you want to do the Faux Raku Technique, bring: Micaceous Iron Oxide, & 3-4 small stiff paint brushes
Many of the required supplies may be pre-ordered from Meininger. They will be ready and waiting for you to pick up when you arrive at the retreat. To order supplies, contact Meininger.