Tag Archives: diy

Chanterelle! Making Miniature Polymer Clay Mushroom Sculptures

The End of a Brief Hiatus

 

I’m a fan of the woods.

After a break since November, I have begun to delve back into the world of sculpture. Now that the holidays are over, focus can switch back from personal pieces to pieces for our shop.

I make almost all of our holiday gifts by hand, so it can be very time consuming. It is fun, but I am quite ready to get back to the world of polymer clay.


Mushroom Inspiration

This piece was a gift to my mother on her birthday early in January. I enjoyed it, and think I’ll be making more to offer for sale at our shop. It sparked my interest in going back into botanical works.

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An earthworm hides among the moss.
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Mushrooms atop a slate roofing tile, makes a pretty picture!
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Details are 360º, giving the viewer something to see from any angle.
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The final piece, under glass protects it from dust or accidents.

Mushrooms are certainly a subject enchanting to many. Personally, I find the stories of fairy rings to be wonderful, and the mysticism that lies in the lore of the woods in general, is always fascinating. To be honest with you, I don’t find it to be so much “lore”…

Mom is also into nature, and preserved things, dried things, found things, as am I. So, when I was thinking up what would be neat to make for her, this is what came to mind.

A mushroom collection, not quite so fragile as the real deal, however, a real dried mushroom sample is what I used as reference in this piece. This, was to be, a quaint collective of mushrooms with little insects that might be missed upon first glance, but found upon closer inspection!

An illustrator at heart, I enjoy adding things to any piece, no matter the medium, for the viewer to find. It’s fun, and you get to make up the story. Where is this mushroom? Have you found it hiking? Or are you a fairy resting on its cap? Are you a curious child roaming the woodland, plucking the precious fungi from its earthen home?


Making of (Tutorial)


Enough with all that, here is a video of the piece, and I will surely be making more. It’s not a true tutorial, but a bit of behind the scenes.

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Creating a Custom Sketchbook

custom sketchbook
I began a new sketchbook recently, starting by creating a custom fabric cover for it. I found a really great set of visual instructions on  creating fabric book covers here on this awesome guy’s youtube page (The Post Apoc).

The instructions say it better than I can, but if you’re too lazy to watch the video then I’ll say it’s much like wrapping a gift, where you lay your shirt out, cutting it into a rectangle, leaving a few extra inches on each side to fold in.

For my cover, I went a bit of a different route, using a thicker t-shirt than the one in the video (this definitely adds a challenge). I used an old favorite, a Cramps t-shirt that sadly didn’t fit anymore. I loved The Post Apoc’s suggestion to use a ribbon to create a book-marker. This is especially handy for anyone using their covered book as a sketchbook or writing journal. In addition I decided to add a little flair with a piece of scrap leather I had lying around. I used this to cover the spine. Pieces of leather can be found at a craft store like Michael’s or AC Moore or probably a fabric store like JoAnn’s or maybe your local mom and pop shop.

I also included some studs I had in my stash as well (it pays to never throw anything out) these are the very same as the kind you buy for leather jackets and such. If you don’t have a local source I recommend this store, I have history there, Angry, Young and Poor.  The studs were a real mess and a half to get in, but if you’re careful it’s do-able. Use a hammer, a steady hand and some patience. And something to hold your book in place, I used my legs but a vice may have worked too however I didn’t want to risk compromise  to the book in any way.

Mine isn’t perfect by any means. It’s a bit crooked in spaces (because I’m impatient and do things in a rush) and the corners were pretty tough to tuck in and glue in place. That’s what happens when you use a thick, cotton shirt – but I wouldn’t let that deter you. I wound up just making a few slits and cutting the extra material out. Honestly, if you use the first page of your book and the last page of your book to create ‘end papers‘ by gluing them to the inside front cover and inside back cover, you won’t see any corner folding imperfections anyway.
custom sketchbook end papers
The end papers are a great place to get really creative. I decided to draw on mine – ’cause I’m an artist. But you could decoupage on yours, scrapbook, or write messages. On my back end papers I pasted in some funky fortunes I’ve collected from Chinese cookies over the years.
Have fun and enjoy your own project!

fortune cookie sketchbook endpapers

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