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Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's A Handful!

Hi everyone, hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend where ever you may be.  It's overcast here, no rain so far and it's still warm so can't complain (well, I could but what's the point?!)

I've been working on making hands for the Goth doll that I'm making for our Mixed Media Studio challenge and it has been more than a handful, let me tell you!  I love watching the 'how to' videos on YouTube, so I did a search for doll hand sculpting and armatures and several great videos popped up.  They always make it look soooo easy, don't they?  You're sitting there, watching the video, saying to yourself "I can do that".  Well, for someone who has never sculpted, worked with paper clay or with armatures, it ain't no where near as easy as they make it appear, let me tell you!  Here's attempt number one with wire armature and paper clay.

LOL, they will make great Zombie hands for an as yet to be designed Halloween creation, won't they?!  What a hoot.  In retrospect, I should not have used the paper clay first, since I have NEVER worked with it before and had no idea how to shape it or how long I had to work with it.  And of course, I don't have any sculpting tools so was making do with the ends of paintbrushes and palette knives; not the recommended tools for this.  But hey, it was a great learning experience and I did have fun; I was killing myself laughing as I was making them knowing that they were going to be a disaster!

Attempt number two was with Sculpty clay over the wire armature but I had about as much luck with that as I had with the paper clay.  To call the result skeletal would have been a compliment!  Sorry, no pictures of that one as I pulled the polymer clay off of the armature (while it was still uncured) before I thought to take a picture.

So, on to attempt number three.  I just sculpted the hands out of the Sculpty clay without any armature; I didn't know it if would work or not as the hands have to be quite large for the proportions of the doll and I didn't know if the polymer clay would be able to hold it's shape.  But with some time in the refridgerator to firm it up, it did work; sort of, kind of?

I have an issue with proportions, my DH said the middle finger on the left hand looks like ET's finger;  I gave him a middle finger all of his own in reply!!  But hey, for my first attempt at hand bombing a sculpture, I'll take them!  The hand on the right is going to be holding something, so that is why the fingers are bent over.  I poked holes in the ends of the forearms before baking them so I can put them onto the wire armature that will form the rest of her arm.

So there you go.  Think I will probably paint the hands black (like she is wearing gloves) to cover all the imperfections I have in the polymer clay (I bought translucent clay for some reason, dumb idea!).  Now on to adding paper clay to the head to hide the seams and stitches and to mod podge her body and stand and cover it with tissue to cover the 'workings'.  Think I will just wrap the wire armature for the rest of her arms with either warm 'n natural and/or muslin and then add a thin coat of paper clay over everything; we shall see, never done anything like this before so it's learn as you go.  She will have sleeves so I can hopefully cover up a multitude of sins with them!

I'll keep you posted, have a great weekend and happy creating!



  1. At least it looks like you are having fun!

  2. I actually LOVE the 'zombie hands', LOL - good job!
    For never having worked with this medium before, I think you're doing pretty darned good Deb! :D Glad you are having some fun with it too.

  3. Beautiful Disaster! That pic of the zombie hands in the bowl is awesome! Love your final set - hey, if one finger isn't perfect that works because goth is supposed to be dark and strange! Can't wait to see her! ~*~Lisa


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