Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Creative Paperclay Still Life (part 1 of 2)

Part two is available here.

If you don't have access to a beach, then making a seascape becomes a little more challenging.  For this piece, we will create a piece of driftwood, cast a shell from a mold, and make a starfish using a cut paper armature.


Making your own original base for your sculptures can be a lot of fun.  (See Creative Paperclay Landscape). 

To make your own driftwood, you will need an old T shirt, pillowcase, or a piece of cotton fabric, a large lid, and paverpol, wood glue or white glue. 

Get the fabric wet, but wring out any excess water so it is moist, not dripping.

Coat the fabric with glue and work it into the material.  (This part is a bit messy, but the glue should wash off your hands with soap and water).  

Take the fabric and wrap it around the lid.  While wrapping
the lid, twist the fabric so that it forms ridges similar to what you might find in a piece of driftwood.

When you are happy with the results, set it aside to dry.  It will probably take two to three days to dry.

Once your faux driftwood is dry, you can use Creative Paperclay (CP) to fill any unsightly voids; to extend the edges of your driftwood; and to enhance the nooks and crannies to give it a wood-like appearance.


SHELLS (or other objects)

You can use this method to mold and cast any objects you want for your still life.  I chose a shell that I found on the beach.

There is a wide variety of molding materials on the market.  Nearly all of them work well with CP, but the one I prefer is called "oyumaru".  This is made in Japan and used by school kids to make stuff.  I like it for a several good reasons.  First of all, it is non-toxic.  Secondly, it is reusable.   Third, it stays somewhat flexible.  All of these reasons, make it a great product for molding and casting in paper clay.

Oyumaru comes in a variety of colors, so if you are making lots of molds, you can actually color code them to keep them organized.  It also comes in clear, so you can see what you are molding and if there are any air bubbles.

You can order this product from Amazon.

You can also find good deals on ebay.  This is not the same product as InstaMold or other brands of thermoplastic pellets.  When these products cool down, they make a rigid, plastic form which does not work well for molding/casting with paper clay.

To work with oyumaru, heat some water and put a couple of pieces in it.  The water needs to be hot, but not boiling.

I use a fork to fish out the pieces once they are hot.  (Use a towel to wipe off any excess hot water).

You can then use it to wrap around your object.  Try to keep the oyumaru about 1/4 inch thick.

Allow the oyumaru to cool down for about five minutes.  You can then peel it off and you will have a mold of your object.

Next, you can press CP into the mold.  I would try to keep the thickness of the CP between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick so that it will dry in a timely manner.

If you fill your mold with clay, it will take a long time to dry, because air cannot get to the bottom of the mold.

You can make multiple castings from one mold and when you are ready, you can reheat the oyumaru in hot water and create a new mold of something else.

In part two, we will look at creating objects using a paper armature and adding the finishing touches to our still life sculpture.

Part two is available here.

link to kevin whitham saatchi art online

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