събота, 15 май 2010 г.

Chapter 11 - THE LEVIATHAN

In this penultimate lesson in the book we show how to make the sea monster Leviathan. Also, by way of "extension" here you get an extra mini project that is just as fun - we show how to make a ship (galley) full of viking soldiers, suitable in itself for the beginner level. The Leviathan - with his giant whale/predator fish body is in itself a project for the more advanced clayer, although it is too broken down into simple enough individual steps most people can easily follow.

сряда, 5 май 2010 г.

Chapter 10 - CENTAURS - Abraxas

This advanced-level project will teach you how to make a Centaur, based on the skills you picked up with the previous project in the book - making a horse's body. What makes this a little more complicated is the fact that the Centaur has 8 limbs (4 legs, 2 arms, 1 head, and a tail) so it feels like making an Octopus while you twist the armature for the wire. But for those of you who like a little challenge, as long as you stick with the project (involves multiple bakings) the patience really pays off. We show how to make a semblance of an anatomically correct torso from a bunch of balls of clay of different size - a complex looking end result from a series of no-brainer steps. We made our Centaur a little buff, so you can use this project to make as an extension a Hercules.

сряда, 28 април 2010 г.

Chapter 9 - UNICORNS - Igrif Belcon

In this chapter we show how to make a unicorn - which is, before you put in the magic, a white horse with a horn in the middle of his forehead. We show how to make a skeleton out of wire and tinfoil for a quadrupled creature, which will also come in handy for the making of the Centaur in Chapter 10.
I will let you in on a little secret, an inside joke: the name we picked for this creature, although it has a somewhat Nordic ring to it, is actually a pun - Igrif Belcon means "playful white horse" pronounced with a certain Bulgarian dialect. We laughed our heads off when Boris came up with this, good times... The moral of the story is that when working with clay it's always good to try and have a good time - if the claying becomes too onerous, or you don't seem to get it right again and again, don't get frustrated, squish everything if you have to (that's how you get the grotesque look) and you can start over when your mood brightens.

събота, 24 април 2010 г.

Chapter 8 - THE SPHINX - aka the SPHINX

The Sphinx is an ancient monster, a cross between a lion and a man. The body of a lion and the head of a man, to be precise. We were inspired by the the Egyptian statue of Tunakhamun and the stone Sphinx monument near the pyramids in Giza for the design of this guy. This is not a complicated project, although it looks like it consists of many parts. It will appeal to those clayers who dabble in millefiori, because we use some cross-sections here for the attire of the monster.

неделя, 18 октомври 2009 г.

Chapter 7 - GRIFFINS: Orelav

In this chapter you will learn how to make a cross between a roaring lion and eagling eagle. This is what they call a griffin, a magical creature that is very popular on coats of arms of all sorts.

четвъртък, 27 август 2009 г.

Chapter 6 - GORGONS AND VAMPIRES: Medusa and Branduff

In this chapter we kill two birds with one stone; we show how to make two different characters using the same beginning. The Gorgon, the mythical female monster who had snakes for a hair, turns out to have a lot in common with the Vampire Branduff.

вторник, 7 юли 2009 г.

Non polymer clay fun

It has been quite a while since we last posted, but we were busy with some non polymer clay fun. Dinko and I (Boris) had to put some time in organizing the third annual Midsummernight's sprinkle - essentially a water gun fight which happens traditionally in front of the national theater in Sofia. It has been a cool event - again. About 120 people showed up and had a great time for about five minutes. With this over we are steadily returning to polymer clay and hopefully will post often on the blog. Oh, almost forgot - here are some pictures from the water fight.

вторник, 16 юни 2009 г.

Chapter 5 - MERMAIDS: Jambalini

In this chapter we show how to make half-fish, half - hold your breath - female character. A.k.a. Siren, Sea Maid etc. The reason why you had to hold your breath is that if you are already familiar with the type of character that Boris and I typically make, you will have probably noticed already that we tend to make clumsy trolls and goblins rather than delicate and effeminate forest and sea beings. And so we do not make female characters very often.

We show how to make the upper body of a girl and the tails of a fish, in such a way that the tail and fin look like the dress and feet of the character. In the variations we take this concept one step further and make a mermaid with a more sophisticated dress. We really wanted to make a Merman too, bit skipped that part for some reason. You can make your own mer-dudes by using the torso portion of the Centaur (half-man, half horse creature) lesson, in one of the following chapters and the fish part from the mermaid character. You can make all kinds of mer-things for that matter. I personally wanted to make a Mer-Miaou character at some point, but you've gotta draw a line somewhere eventually... Don't let me stop you though.

Another thing you can do, and I think I have seen a drawing like that somewhere, is to make a sort of inverted mermaid - the head of a fish, with the sulk and the bulging eyes, and the legs of a human. A visual pun of sorts. Applied to the centaur project, and I will sure mention it again when i get to it, this line of thought gives a human body and the head of a horse - which, if you think about it is one step away from making a Minotaur - the famous mythical monster in the Labyrinth, with the human body and the bull's head. To make a bull's head make the ears, lips and nostrils of the horse's head (that you will learn how to make in the Unicorn project).

понеделник, 8 юни 2009 г.

Dinko's fan

I (Boris) was really happy yesterday to see what Dinko's fans do. Susan Sherry Avarello set up a Flickr group for polymer clay creations inspired by Dinko's work. I have to say also that I personally really like Susan's work. Her creations can be found at her Etsy store and on Artfire. You must check out her work. I have to say too that the other thing I enjoy is the nickname she uses sometimes 'time4coffee'. For me personally it is always time for coffee. I drink almost 1/4 of a gallon of that stuff each day. Anyone who enjoys coffee and Dinko's work is in my 'coolest people' list.

понеделник, 18 май 2009 г.

Chapter 3 - HALFLINGS: Mr. Gladden

In this chapter we show how to make a hobbit character, although we never use the word "hobbit" itself in the book, because it was the name of a race of creatures in the Lord of the Rings invented by Tolkien, so we didn't want to infringe copyright. We used "halfling" in the end, instead of hobbit, because our legal department is too busy just now. :) Anyway, hobbit or not, it was made to look like one, as you will recognize.

Again we build on the previous projects - a slighly more sophisticated face (and I don't mean that in the sense of "refined"), standing on two legs (two armature bits) etc. Based on the same design any human character can be built, if you vary the proportions a little.


Believe it or not this is a Taurus. It is built for a friend of mine who will give it as a gift. Here are the specifications he gave me (Boris).
- it has to smile - check
- not very big horns - check
- dancing position - check
- sunglasses between the horns - check
- a bottle of vodka that has to be removable in case the person he intends the Taurus for gets offended - check
- a silver necklace - check, even though this is not exactly silver, but it looks like it, some old piece of broken jewelry
- silver trainers with pink stripes - check
- I love WV Polo inscription - check
So much for building custom ordered figurines. Hope you like it.

неделя, 17 май 2009 г.

Chapter 2 -PIXIES: Brice the Pixie

In the second chapter of the book we show how to make a pixie. This project is tailored to beginners as well, and is intended to upgrade a notch the skills practices with the gnome. We show one way of making a slightly more sophisticated face and introduce the basic building block of wire armature to make some upstanding creatures. If you are into mythical creatures, you have probably seen over a dozen different images of what artist thought pixies should look like. That's just the thing - it has been so long since anybody last saw one that few people remember what they look like exactly. The general consensus seems to be that they are blue in color, so based on that we show how to make a pixie looking the way we think ought to look. We called it Brice.

вторник, 12 май 2009 г.

Our friend Alexander

This is our friend Alexander playing with his son in the park. On the next picture is the gnome Alexander made. I (Boris) like a lot Alexander's attitide towards polymer clay. He uses it for purely recreational purposes, without building a stock of tools or clay. As you can see he did not adhere to the color scheme of the gnome. 'Those are the colors I had at hand' he says. He changed the hat a bit - instead of it being pointy, he made it curved at the top. The beard of his gnome has several colors, instead of the one color beard shown in the book. The head of the creature is smaller in comparison to the body than the ratio in the book project. Alexander doesn't care much about smoothing surfaces or making things look perfect, he uses the polymer clay sculpture to relax. In that respect I think he shares one of the main ideas Dinko and I had writing the book - polymer clay is for fun.

събота, 9 май 2009 г.

'Polymer clay fans are growing in numbers'

'Polymer clay fans are growing in numbers' - this is what the sales lady told me yesterday when I (Boris) went to buy some clay from my favorite polymer clay suppliers Dekar M.
She told me about these nice ladies that make jewels and jewelry boxes. She tried to find their catalog and since she couldn't, she told me she'll have it the next time I pass by. So I left. She then found the catalog and ran after me togive it to me. The paper catalog actually is much better and with more products featured than on their site. Plus - the site is in bulgarian only, but anyway here it is http://www.sugar-and-candy.com and the work has a really fresh vibe that I quite like.
And even though it may be nothing special, it is a fellow clayer and what is more a countryman/woman/women in this case and I am quite happy about it.

петък, 8 май 2009 г.

Project 1 - GNOMES: Rollieball Dropletson

Starting today we will do an extensive sneak-peek/ preview of all the project characters in our latest book Sculpting Mythical Creatures out of Polymer Clay. We start small, by showing how to make a gnome character – Rollieball Dropletson. Boris designed this character as an introductory project that requires very little prior skill or experience with clay, and next to no tools. You really need to know only two things – how to roll a ball, and how to make a rain-drop shape (also derivative of the simple ball). The idea is to make it comfortable for beginners to practise how to combine simple shapes to produce complex-looking results. At the end of the project we show several variation ideas and tips on how to make different gnome characters by varying facial hair.