Thursday, February 27, 2014

Larry the Lobster: Failure or Success?

Hi there! It's Susan from with some deep thoughts for this month's project. I hope you're ready for some serious reflection!

Sometimes, I have ideas. Crazy, hair-brained, no way that will work ideas. One of the things that I think really opened up my creative abilities is letting go of the fear of failure and trying those crazy ideas. Quickest way to get over the fear? Redefine failure.

Susan's definition of failure: not trying or trying and not critically examining the results.

Now that's out of the way, let's take a look at my February project, Larry the Lobster.

Larry is no where near what I expected when I started. Then again, I didn't really know what I was going to get! I started work with one of those wooden puzzles you see at craft stores, usually around $1 or $2. Here's Larry:
I had a suspicion that this type of puzzle would make a great armature for a clay project. I've had this one for a few years and thought it was time to get to work with it! I put it together and used hot glue to stabilize the pieces. Once it was nice and sturdy, I filled in the empty spaces with foil and covered him clay.

So far so good! If I'm using my non-failure critical eye - this is the point I should have stopped, sanded him and started decorating! Instead, I jumped right into hair-brained idea #2, beaded Spackle! I loaded up some Creative Paperclay Modeling Material, a ton of seed beads, and a little paint. I mixed them all together until I had a nice paste thick mess of clay and beads (totally the funnest part!)

After it was all mixed it, I grabbed Larry and spread it around. I knew I was in trouble pretty quick. Larry has lots of tiny little spaces that are difficult to get to with paint - even harder with bead spackle! I was not deterred, this was a learning project after all!

I didn't want a pink lobster, so I painted him a nice bright red.

Here's where I expected the magic! After he was nice and dry, I wanted to sand him down to expose the beads and leave the red clay in the recesses like mortar. As you can see - not the results I wanted.

 So, the ultimate question - Success or failure?
  • I don't like the finished project.
  • I learned a few things! 
  • bead spackle is still a good idea, just not for a project this intricate. (There may be other ways to make it work too)
  • The wooden puzzle does make a interesting armature. It is difficult to know where the challenging spots are before starting- note to self - two puzzles is a good plan.
  • I tried three tips that the design team has posted over the last six months. They work great!
  • I'm motivated to try again with the new experience under my belt.
The ultimate answer - SUCCESS!
Seriously, every project doesn't have to be a winner. I'm sucking it up and showing you my less than successful attempt so you know we all go through growing pains even though we don't always show it or talk about it. I just so happen to have a second Larry the Lobster puzzle and I'm quite looking forward to Version2.

What would you like to see for Larry2? 


Karen S Vaughn said...

I LOVE this! I thought it was a real lobster when I first saw it! =D

Susan at said...

aww thanks Karen! You're a support rock star!!

Diane said...

Susan! This was a great post and project! I too thought the the clay/bead mix made a great Lobster shell.
I think the funnest part about creating is that we get to be scientists, explorers and all that fun stuff :)


Charmed Confections said...

Wow ... never thought to put beads in the mix! So creative, Susan! The possibilities are endless ... truly!

Charmed Confections said...

Wow ... never thought to put beads in the mix! So creative, Susan! The possibilities are endless ... truly!

Carolyn said...

I really enjoyed this post. It's nice to know that not all great ideas turn out great, even for the pros:). The key is to learn from it and keep trying new things. It has actually given me more confidence working with the clay after reading this, usually we only get to see perfection.
Thanks for posting this.


Dawn Barrett said...

wow...what a neat way to transform the simple puzzle! thanks for sharing your discoveries!