Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Place I'd Like to Be

It was such a fun experience to create this gourd.  And there are a couple of firsts for me in it.  For one thing, the cutting was more complicated than I'd done before.  But my trusty gourd saw did the job just fine.  It scared me a bit, though, with that blade unprotected and zipping along on the rounded surface, but "all's well that ends well!"

The painting was a challenge because of using all green but still having the leaves distinct from each other.  The shading went really well - I think because I used a coat of Liquitex clear gesso which gives a wonderfule surface for my brushes.
I sculpted the polymer clay mice (actually, they started out as rats but I'm not sure what they ended up as) one at a time, and the scene unfolded as the dramatis personae appeared.  First on stage was dad, followed by mom, the infant, the toddler, then the older child.  Of course this is a mirror of my own family with me being the oldest of three girls.  (My sister figured that one out a lot earlier in the process than I did!)  The toughest part was to figure out what to have mom sitting in.  I settled on a jack-in-the-pulpit flower.  I used Kato Polyclay for the jack-in-the-pulpit and mushroom, but Fimo Soft for the mice and other leaves on the inside.

One of my best finds has been 32 gauge white coated wire which I use for the whiskers.  It's actually an off-white.  It's "para wire" and I think I got it at  After I have all the mica powders on I just poke in a few lengths of wire and add a small drop of liquid clay to secure them.

By the way, the milkweed seeds are tufts of felting fur glued to "seeds" made from polymer clay.
The most exciting first, and the most fun of the whole thing was adding the light.  I love a little engineering challenge now and then and it took me much searching the internet and then much brain-wracking to figure this out. 

Check out the LEDs on  They have a variety of colors, both flashing and solid, and they're easy to install with their great battery holders complete with a switch.  I used just one warm white led for the candle flame.  The wires go down through the polymer clay candle, real acorn cap (candle holder) and polymer clay mushroom table.  Then the attach to the wires at the switch.  I glued the swith to the inside of the gourd and hid it, and the battery with some ultrasuede.  With the ultrasuede in place they are hidden, but you can lift the edge of the ultrasuede to turn the switch on or off or change the battery.

I can't wait to make more gourds and use more of these lights.  They're wonderful!  Thanks, Evan Designs!

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