Saturday, July 4, 2015
Adding the legs - each one sculpted from a log of clay - highlighted a problem with the body. The body is too short! This is a mistake I often make. My solution for needle-felted animals is to draw the skeleton to the size I want before I create the armature. With needle felting, once you're felting over that armature, you're committed to the basic proportions. But with clay, there's some wiggle room.
So I cut the body right at the waist. I needed to add nearly 3/4"! Once again, I got involved with the sculpting and forgot to take photos, but what I did was this:
I made a log long enough to go around the body, and thick enough to flatten to about 1/2" x 1". I scored the edges of the body and the flattened log and gooped them up real good with slip. Then I pressed one edge of the flattened snake to the edge of the front of the body, leaving the seam of the flattened snake at the underside of the belly. I pressed pretty hard because I wanted an excellent bond. Then I added the back half of the body in the same way.
I let the whole thing rest overnight in plastic to help even out the consistency of the clay (the flattened snake was much softer than the rest). Then the next day I cut away excess clay and flattened and smoothed the seams. Then I could finally add the back legs and tail.