Wednesday 2 November 2016

New Jewellery

   Over the past two weeks I've been listing lots of new pieces in my shop, and I'm so pleased with them! Last year I had lots to list because I had things left over from my art exhibit, and that meant that my shop grew with little effort and I actually found last Christmas easier because of all the pre-made pieces. I decided I'd do the same this time around, so I've been making and putting things aside here and there throughout the year. That does mean that, like last time, there aren't many of each piece and when they're gone they're gone, unless a reproduction is specifically requested, but it's been quite rewarding to see how my skill has improved. I had pikas in my exhibit which I must have made late 2014, but I made a new batch this year and they look so very much better. My roe deer doe and fawn piece is so sweet, too! Or, I think so, at least.
   I also tried something new: World of Warcraft pieces. I decided I'd try to create two of the more iconic beasts that the hunter class can tame, both of which are rare and can take days, even weeks, to finally find in the game, and that is Loque'nahak, a spirit snow leopard with gorgeous bright blue spots and eyes, and Skoll, a lightning wolf. They were quite difficult to do and to be honest I'm not entirely happy with them. While the paint job is pretty great, the shapes are not. I hadn't considered just how stylised creatures in games can be, and while both beasts' coats are unique and immediately recognisable to players, I didn't get close enough to their body shapes. Skoll was especially difficult because he has a thick mane over his shoulders and down his back, and I'm not satisfied with how that came out. Otherwise, though, I am happy enough with them to list them rather than cast them aside and write them off as a failed attempt like I did with the third beast I tried to make, but at least its shape was simple enough to be salvaged and turned into something else. Though I'm not ready to admit defeat on that one just yet - I have other methods in mind!

   I've never really stopped to talk about my jewellery, have I? I show it off when it's done, post updates of new pieces and new collections, but I've not talked about how difficult they are to make. They range from 5mm - the foxes, the birds, the tanukis - to just over 1cm, and as I've always been heavy handed, I amaze myself every time I manage to mould a little piece of clay into a (usually) recognisable animal - not because I'm impressed with how it looks but because I'm surprised I managed to do it. And I can't tell you the number of times I've squashed them because I'm so clumsy. I might drop the baking tray and flatten the lot (it has happened more times than I care to admit), I might accidentally brush my hand over one piece while working on another and knock its head off or break its legs, or I might get up, walk away, come back and put something on top of them without thinking for even a second.
   I have clay tools, but I don't get on very well with them so I usually just use indelicate fingers and hope for the best - in fact, if you saw me work, you'd realise how unprofessional my practice is, but fortunately it doesn't come through in the finished piece.
   It's also the clay I find the hardest. Painting them takes a long time, but I generally get on all right with that, even though the paint is what makes or breaks it. I've made pieces that, unpainted, no one could see what kind of animal it was, but once they were dressed up it was obvious and I was given the correct answer immediately. That doesn't always happen, and whenever I'm told it looks like something else I generally put them to one side and try again because I know I can do better. So I was surprised when Seeg gave me the nod of approval for Skoll and Loque'nahak because he is always blunt, whether I want him to be or not.

   But there's always such a feeling of accomplishment when I finish a piece and seal the paint, especially if it was a challenge, and I'm always so excited to share it, which is what I'm going to do now.
   These are all my new pieces: a fennec fox, a hippo, a fruit bat, a leaf-nosed bat, a black panther, a cheetah, a pika, a sea otter, a roe deer doe & fawn, a roe deer buck, a tiger, Pepe, Loque'nahak & Skoll,

I'm in the process of listing my Christmas pieces - snowmen, reindeer, arctic foxes - and I have four new additions to join them, too!

NaBloPoMo November 2016


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