Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Transformation of Dough Art Using Delight Air Dry Modeling Compound!

Hello all!
Recently a Facebook post has been making the rounds on multiple artist friends' pages as well as on my own from well-meaning friends who said: "This made me think of you!".  Well, I had to rise to the challenge.  Could I take the pastry art shown and create the same pieces using Delight Air Dry?  I had to try and do it.  I grabbed a package of Delight and went to work.

The video is from a Chinese artist (I apologize, but I cannot pull up a working link to share).  The speed in which she works had me watching each segment multiple times to be able to create just one piece (haha).  After my "painstaking" research, I have broken down the steps into photos for you.

First up, "The Heart":
The heart begins with one circle.  (NOTE: The cutter size doesn't really matter since I believe these simple directions will work no matter what size you are creating.)  I own a set of Ateco circle cutters (12 pcs) and they worked great for this project!
Pull off a bit of Delight Air Dry Modeling Compound and flattened it with a roller on my work surface.  Cut three circles and place the remainder of clay in a damp paper towel to keep the clay moist.

Next, stack the 3 circles, one on top of the other, without squishing them together.
Use a skewer or needle tool of some sort to press the stack together in the center without cutting through.  I used a darning needle, but a knitting needle or turkey lacer or (in a pinch) a pencil should work just as well.
Fold the stack in half.  Again, do not squish (that is the technical term) the layers together.  Use the skewer to once again compress the stack together in the center without cutting through.  Fold the stack in half again, then turn it so the flat side is on your work surface.
Pinch the bottom to form the heart bottom and manipulate the rest of the layers to form a beautiful layered heart!
Set aside to dry.  Once dry, the heart can be painted with watercolors or acrylics OR it can be left white.  That's it!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy heart.  Imagine creating a batch of these for a mixed media canvas...Delight Air Dry is so lightweight that it can be glued to a canvas in multiples and hung on the wall for a lightweight seasonal decoration ❤

On to our next creation: The Rose
To start, pull off a bit of the Delight Air Dry (from the clay wrapped in the damp paper towel) and flatten it on your work surface.  Cut 5 circles (I cut 2" circles for this one).  Place any remaining clay back into the damp paper towel.
Cut each circle in half.  Line them up with the cut edges all in a line.  Overlap the points (as shown) and press together.
In the video tutorial, the pastry artist used a comb to imprint a texture on the curved edge of each petal.  I am a curly-headed girl and do not own a comb, so I found the next best thing: the attachment from personal shaver!  Tiny, but it worked to add a texture to the edge.  In the absence of a "personal shaver", you could add detail with a needle tool (one line at a time), the coil from inside a pen, OR the edge of a spiral binder!  Trust me when I say you will see texture in everything once you get started looking!
(NOTE: I forgot to take a photo of texturing the rose, so this is the same tool being used in an upcoming tutorial)

Once each petal has a texture, it is time to roll up the rose.  Begin at one end and roll tightly.  I did not press the petals at the top.  Instead, I focused on pressing the bottom of the petals (the flat edge) together.  This will allow the top of the petals to begin to flare out.

Once the rose is completely rolled up, place it face up on the work surface and gently flare out the petals to create a lovely rose (see above photo).  Leave to dry and then paint if desired.  Wouldn't this make a lovely pin for Mother's Day??

Next up: The Braided Feather/Leaf
This is probably one of the easiest of the ideas!  Pull off another piece from the reserved clay (damp paper towel).  On your work surface roll out a snake.  
Coil the snake, gently tucking the end into the center (as shown). 
Use a needle tool (I used a darning needle) to impress a line down the center of the coil without cutting through.
Pinch the top end and it is done!
Please note: After impressing the line, the feather/leaf can be curved to create a more natural effect.  Of course, set aside to dry and then paint as desired.

One last one: The Butterfly
Begin the butterfly in the same way as the others by grabbing a bit of the reserved clay.  Flatten the clay on your work surface and then cut out a circle.  I used the largest of the cutters (approx 4") for this one.  Use a cutting tool (a plastic knife or butter knife will work well) to cut lines as shown below.
Next, manipulate the "wings" to add curves and points rather than flat edges.  Can you see the butterfly taking shape??
Fold down the center to create the butterfly's body.  Be sure to pinch the end to help the body take shape.  Curve the antennae.  Add lines to the wings using a needle tool (I used my darning needle, but the back of your knife will work just as well).  As you can see I used the attachment from the shaver to impress lines down the center of the body.

The final step? I decided to roll the antennae down onto the top of the body and add a couple of glass beads to give the butterfly sparkly eyes. 
Of course, the butterfly is just as beautiful with the antennae curved between the wings and no visible eyes.
As with the others, set the butterfly aside to dry and then paint as desired.

I hope you have enjoyed these quick and easy creations.  Return next month for a few more of the Delight "pastry creations".

Linda Hess