Sunday, May 20, 2007

Progress, announcements...and a sort of tutorial

Been busily crafting away here.. but wanted to show you what I have so far in fairyland :-)...
To make the fairies, I start with a 1 inch Styrofoam ball. Before I start sculpting with the clay, I sculpt the ball itself with my hands and by indenting with the barrel of a smooth paintbrush...

After shaping, I cover the ball with a thin layer of paper clay, smoothing as I work with water. Facial features come next. Think of the forehead as a rectangle, the nose as a triangle, and the cheeks lips and chin as varying sizes of balls. Features are then applied to the face with a paintbrush and water.
Next comes the hands. Roll a ball of paper clay into a log...
And flatten one end into a paddle shape...The paddle shape end is then cut and shaped into fingers and smoothed with a paintbrush and water.
Legs start as logs too, with the ends gently shaped into shoes. At this point, one could pull the end of the foot into a curly point, like a pixie boot.

Now tiny holes are inserted into the ends of the arms and feet for wiring into the armature. But in the meanwhile, this little lady needs a neck and breastplate.


To make the breastplate, I cut out a circle of rolled clay, and attach it to a log which is shaped, again with water and a paintbrush, to create the neck. I then let her rest and dry a bit over the barrel of a smooth paintbrush.

To make the armature, I used 18 gauge floral wire, cut into appropriate lengths, inserting ends into the arms, legs and breast plates to form the body shape. The armature is then padded out with foil and wrapped in white floral paper tape.


And like the Lays potato chips... I can't stop at just one, sooooooooo........

As you can see, most have a hairstyle, sculpted out of the paper clay, but I also like the old fashioned look of painted on hair, so I leave one bald for the time being. To add strength, all of these figures are gessoed before being painted.

And speaking of paint....


All painted and lined up in a row, these funny little gals remind me of those old bathing beauties photos. Like these ones ...here

I'll be getting these little one's costumed and finished up today. Then onto the boxes. And then I have to get to work on my 2007 fall line! Lori can you see your fairy in there? Calamity Kim, can you spot the beginnings of your Red Riding Hood? Another one of these fairies will be finished to carry some encouragement to a family that has a lot going on right now. Another might become a cupcake fairy, still another, a Harvest time fairy... which reminds me.....


I am so blessed this year to be a part of PFATT, where we will be celebrating Halloween in June! One of the little fairies above and the little pumpkin pixie below (when she's finished, of course) will be available for sale during the celebration! I'll have another giveaway for that as well!

Also coming up this fall, I am excited to announce that I will be participating in the fabulous A Cottage Boutique show in Northern California. What an honor it will be to be in the same show as the likes of Stacy French and Christine LeFever. The promoter, and folk artist extraordinaire, Kerry Howard-Schmidt of Paper Moon Gallery, does a fantastic job of promoting this show. We'll even have an ad in Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine. I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nervous! If you are in the area please consider stopping by and checking us out.

Well I best get back to the workshop! Those little fairies are calling out for some party dresses, hats and, of course, wings!!! Check back in with me on Tuesday for more pictures and updates. Have a beautiful and blessed Sunday!

31 comments:

Rabbit Hill Creations said...

Hi Jenny, thanks for stopping by the blog. I love your work, especailly the "Bunny Kids In Carrots". Will you be making anymore of these cuties?...When & where is the craft boutique in northern california being held?...I would love to see it as I will be up there this coming weekend. Toni

Rabbit Hill Creations said...

Hi Jenny, found the information on the Cottage Boutique Fair...looks like I'll have a reason to go back up north in September!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

"Wow" is the first word I came up with after reading this post! You are so very very very talented! This was a fun tutorial to read! Your fairies and dolls have the sweetest features ~ I just LOVE the one I have sitting here at home - I am very blessed to have won it from you!

Lori said...

well, aren't YOU a tease!!! i see four pink fairies!!! doesn't matter which is mine i love them ALL!!!

Clare said...

Truly amazing! How wonderful of you to share with us how they are created - but I doubt they'd look anything like that if I had a go! You are very talented indeed!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I'm so glad you gave us a lesson...I just might try it now! I'll never be in competition with you Polka Dot...so don't worry...
There is a basket with your name on it...I just need your address :) and thanks!!

The Polka Dot Pixie said...

Thanks so much for your comments ladies!

Toni, I am out of bunny kids for now, but am always happy to whip up more and will certianly do more next Spring :-)

I am really happy to share my technique, and would love to see others' interpretations if you happen to try it out! All of my lovely fellow bloggers have so much individual creativity! Please share pics if you create your own fairy!!!

"Early Bird" said...

I'm always facinated by how people make things and here you've shared it step by step...awesome!!
:)

Tootie said...

Hey Congrats! That's wonderful and you will do great! Don't be nervous, you are a VERY talented artist! Your pumpkin girl is "smashing"!
Smiles-
Toots

Karin (creativechaos) said...

Amazing! Your work is amazing.....I am always in awe of artist that can create figures that come to life. Love your work!

Marie said...

Thhanks so much for the tutorial! I thought you must be really busy as I kept checking every day and finding nothing new! You made up for it today though! What a lovely bonus and I CAN'T wait to see the little pumpkinpuss finished! How wonderful! Don't be nervous! You have a wonderful talent and it just begs to be shared with others! You will be a great success!!

Ragged Roses said...

Those fairies are beautiful and you make it look so easy, and I know it's not! Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
Kimx

Daisy said...

Fairy Lady, thank you sooo much for linking me.I'm very new to this blogging business and don't know all the protocol yet so I did'nt ask before I put you on my fav list. Sorry!!
Just love your step-by-step fairys, you are one talented 'gal.Cant wait to see what you do next! xx

Ruth Welter said...

Wow Jenny, your tutorial is just great. You really make it seem do-able. However, others that try it may not have your talent and you surely do, to create such beautiful, detailed faces. Just lovely work.

ArtsyMama said...

Thanks for the little tutorial. I love it! I CANNOT WAIT for the Halloween in June. I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE Halloween fan! YAY!!
Cheers
Kari

jenny holiday said...

Jenny!!!
You are just amazing!!! My goodnes!! These tutorial photos are just sooo cool!! Love your work to bits!!

Wow..cannot wait to see a cupcake fairy!!! : )

Thanks bunches for all you share!!

Happy Creating!!
xoxo Jenny

Sam I Am said...

you're so inspiring..this makes me wanna sit and try to make something from clay again..
you're very sweet to give such a tutorial :)
xoxoxoxox

Tracey said...

Oh my, you make them seem so easy! I have a feeling if I were to give it a go mine wouldn't be a fraction as adorable. Thanks for sharing that process with us!

Rabbit Hill Creations said...

Hi Jenny...just stopping by to say you've been tagged!...List seven things about yourself to share, then choose seven other people to do the same. Come see my blog. Have fun! Toni

Linda said...

that is so amazing to see how you do it, I love them soooo much thanks for sharing! :-)

The Feathered Nest said...

You angel! How sweet of you to give a tutorial on your wonderful creations! I love your work and have been admiring from afar ~ xxoo Dawn

FrostingsNSparkles said...

Jenny, that is just the best news EVER!! You so deserve it, you are such a talented artist, and I know you will just go out there and tear it up! I'm so happy for you!! And your fairies are lovely as always!!

michelle said...

thank you fairy lady! I loved this tutorial, so many crafty souls are a little tight lipped with their secrets and you just shared yours so willingly. My daughter and I love a new project, we just might have to try this except I am sure to be disappointed because there is just no way they could turn out as lovely as yours but it is fun to try! One question, what is this paper clay? Could we use sculpey clay? thanks!

Clothmatters said...

Fantastic work.

TK Angels said...

Wow-Thank you for sharing the process. Your hands are just amazing. Heck I only make stick people. Your are awesome!!

Take care,
Love,
Terri

The Polka Dot Pixie said...

Thanks again everyone for leaving such sweet comments!

Michelle, paper clay is a really neat product that you can find in most major crafts stores or online at www.creativepaperclay.com. I love it because it air dries.

You could use polymer clay as well, but because polymer clay requires oven curing, you could not use the styrofoam ball for the head armature or as a sculpting base. From what I understand, if you put styrofoam in the oven, it would emit a toxic fume. Instead, I would recommend a foil, or even a "junk clay" base.

Rebecca said...

Oh Jen I love them! I must have another. :) Please make sure to let me know when you are ready to sell. I get so many compliments on my Imagine Fairy!

kimberly sherrod said...

Maybe the red one???!!!!! I am so excited ! I can't wait to swap! I am starting on something for you but am not sure- do you wear aprons? I need to know your size- or I could do a medium...28-38" fits almost everyone. I am not quite right today after watching the season finale of LOST. Ummmmm, Jack sure seemed to be in a lot of pain.....who was in the coffin? Kate ends up with Sawyer? As usual it left us with more questions than answers But Yohoo Hurley Hero saved the Day!!!! hahahhaha! Email me when you get time so we can chat- would you rather have a doll quilt? A banner? let me know!

Amanda said...

Great tutorial on how you make your beautiful dolls! I can't wait to see PFATT's holiday show. Keep up the wonderful work!

Cassie said...

How do you connect the wires to the head,,,I have been looking at the pictures of the tutorial and cant figure it out..and your creations are just too adorable..

Cassie said...

Could you post a tutorial for cold porcelain clay doing this same project,,I am just beginning in the "sculpting" and am looking for new ideas to do..the homemade porcelain clay is air dry also...and I do love this one as it is so simple,,if you would like to email me let me know and I will include my email ...