Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Part 2: Paper Clay Creations

I have completed covering the armatures with the celluclay. Thinner layers dry in about 24 hours. Thicker pieces needed more time. The material generally lightens in color as it dries. It will be room temperature to the touch when dry. It feels cold when there is still moisture in the pulp.

When the celluclay dries, it is quite hard. I think of fake rocks that get thrown around in Hollywood films: those look hard yet very durable, and light. Though I am not throwing my sculptures around, they are quite sturdy.

The flat ornament, pendant and plaque in the second picture took one sitting to form. One they were completely dry, I removed them from the board with the help of a painting knife, and sanded them a bit.

I found that the larger plaque had not completley dried in the center when I removed it. Somewhere in the drying process, it warped a bit, and does not lay flat. Since that picture was taken, I did flip over the plaque and add another layer of paper clay, trying to create a smoother surface to paint on later. In general, that method leads to quicker readiness for painting, though it was a lot of work prying them from the board. Next time I'll take the tip from the Activa site and form the shapes on top of plastic wrap.

The creatures built on the armatures took about 3-4 sittings each to get all their parts covered and sturdy. A few of them still need a little finishing work before painting. I sanded them in between layers, to remove excess lumps and to give the form some definition. However,I decided early on that I liked the rough look, and won't be doing much more sanding. They are now ready to be painted. I am exitedly anticipating what they will become!