Monday, September 19, 2011

Blues Vs Reds - Another gnome chess set!

They're so cute when they get along with each other.
I've been trying to play catch up after my ordeals with sick birds, spontaneous farmers market and apple picking excursions (can't miss that now, can I? mmm... apple crisp...) One thing I've been meaning to make for about 6 months now is another gnome chess set.
I made one of these back in spring and it was adorable! I didn't have a board for them then, but sold the pieces alone. It was a hit, even without the board, so I've been meaning to make another. Well, I finally did. Each gnome is either from my original basic gnome design or a spin off of the basic gnome so they fit the character they're meant to protray.
My favorite piece is the Knight - a gnome with a toothpick hobby horse.
No one aside myself, and maybe my sister Kayla, has any real idea how much work goes into each gnome. Sculpting them to be whimsical and yet durable comes with practice. As of today, I've sculpted over 105 gnomes since spring! The head-against-a-brick-wall part comes with the painting. I could use colored clay, but the colors just never come out as vibrant. Polymer clay usually dulls and darkens slightly once cured. This can be corrected with a good sanding, buffing and polish. Imagine doing that to 32 2 inch gnomes complete with tiny noses, arms, hands and feet! No thank you. I use a good quality acrylic to paint each and every piece one by one.

The painting takes forever. Even with high quality artist paints, each color needs to be painted at least twice. It's tedious and attention to detail is tough to keep as you avoid getting paint on the flesh toned areas or finger prints on the hats. I made 3 gnomes separate from this chess set to have my sister paint. She's always looking for ways to help me out. :) I think she had enough of painting gnomes after the first one took her a couple of hours to complete. They look so harmless!

The board for this particular chess set also took quite a few layers of paint. I wanted it to be garden themed, so I painted green and brown "grass and dirt" squares. I separated the squares with vines and dotted the board with tiny mutlicolored flowers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ebony's Prince

Ok, I know we have ... 1, 2... 43 days until Halloween, but a gal getting ready for a pumpkin festival craft fair has to be prepared early. So, with that in mind, I went to work on another faery sculpture to entertain the tiny masses that stalk my work and those who just happen to pass my booth at the festival.

Her name is Ebony and the piece is called "Ebony's Prince". Now, this sculpture has told me a lot about those around me. Almost like a glimpse into a small portion of a person's psyche. For, you see, there is a story in this sculpture. And how you see it can really show your demeanor in that moment of time. Take a look. Ebony is obviously going to kiss the frog prince.... What story do you see behind it?

The bubbles are glass!
If you said "Well she's kissing him as he comes out of the cauldron" or "she wants to turn him into a human/faery prince", then you're probably a perfectly balanced individual and I envy you that in those moments when customers stare at me a little too long. (Am I the only one that happens to?) That sort of thinking makes it a cute, faerytale, picture book sort of sculpture, doesn't it? Only one other person saw what I saw after I finished making it. "She's kissing the frog goodbye?" they suggested. Wow! Dark and twisted mind I think! But, I'm abashed to say, I thought that too when all was said and done. It wasn't my starting intention, I assure you. So maybe I'm not all bad. lol
Ebony's wings are made from twisting antique brass colored copper wire into a bat wing shape. I made a candy corn of polymer clay and tiny skulls out of ceramic to adorn the back of her belt line instead of a bow.
Her nails are black with orange polkadots. The lace on her left sleeve is vintage lace off a really old valentines day chocolate box.