Thursday, April 26, 2012
A New Form of Canid
The other day I got the urge to make a pine needle basket. It's been two years since I took a half-day workshop on the subject, but remembered pretty well how to do it. And I had a box full of pine needles that I collected from our downed trees just after the December 2009 snow storm. The work seemed to go a little faster than I remembered, but still I worked on this piece over the course of four days.
Afyter finishing the basket yesterday afternoon I started on the polymer clay animal for the top. I wanted a wolf, and gathered a few reference photos. I'm happy with the modelling, but the color was impossible! A wolf's coat is so complicated with hairs tipped in different colors than the bases. And there's really a lot of beautiful pattern though much of it is subtle. So I decided to try to capture the colors in paint rather than in the polymer clay itself - an approach I almost never take! Because the undercoat was reddish, I used that color of polymer, fading to cream on the feet, belly, and muzzle.
As far as the wolf goes, my concept was firm, but my execution left a lot to be desired. I just couldn't get the colors right. Because of the color of the clay, it was tempting to turn him into a fox, but I didn't have a white tip on the tail and the feet weren't black. A fox would probably have been more successful. But I ended up with an unidentifiable, but pretty cute, canid!
The clasp is an antique button with a knotted raffia loop. The hinge is a piece of ultrasuede that I glued to the inside of the base and lid. Of course I couldn't resist adding a little beading. And my signature - doesn't show in the photo - is a little polymer leaf shape stamped with my name, brushed with antique copper mica powder, and glued to the inside bottom. I really like that little signature stamp!
Despite the problems with the animal, I'm happy with this piece.