To make this little four-inch goblin wizard, I used a variety of different materials to make him look convincing. With Yoda and Dobby floating around in my mind, I worked on this guy over several days, adding to him each time.
I haven’t experimented too much with wire frames yet, but this attempt went well. I shaped a rough outline to support his limbs. Obviously, I spent the most time on creating the wizened head, then the hands and feet. I attached those body parts to the frame, using white clay to roughly cover the rest of the skeleton and connect it all together. I baked it with foil guards all around it to keep it stable as it hardened.
Then came the fun of adding various details to him:
a green fabric robe (sewn around his body), which I clumsily embroidered with some golden thread
a braided yarn belt
a brown fabric satchel (which actually has a few gold clay coins inside)
an amulet made of clay and thread
a walking stick with a few notches hacked into it for decoration
and lastly, white yarn untwisted and soaked in grayish water to make it less pristinely white, then rebraided and superglued to his head
I had been wanting to make a little dragon curled up and fast asleep. She turned out quite like I had hoped! I started with a body of white, to which I added the ridged underbelly. I spent about two hours adding details – scales and textures, eyelashes and nostrils, horns and wings. The textures helped cover up any fingerprint smudges.
I have another website, www.ESLbookworm.com, which is dedicated to teaching English to non-native speakers through fun stories and vocabulary. For the logos and art, I decided to create 3D bookworms out of clay. I like the effect. Plus, the little guys decorate my bookshelves.
One of my previously-made goblins, studying up on spells, fits the bookworm theme pretty well too! He made an appearance on ESLbookworm’s Facebook, along with the others.
Folkloric hobgoblins have been described in many ways. The term hobgoblin could refer to mischievous little Dobby-like creatures who perform helpful tasks in the home – or make shoes out of scraps of leather. Quite to the contrary, a hobgoblin could be understood as a large and aggressive beast in D&D, with the smarts to add to the threat. Then again, some say that the classic hobgoblin is actually Shakespeare’s clever Puck, the playful but wise jester in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I find myself drawn toward the first description. As ‘hob’ means ‘hearth’ in Welsch, it’s plausible that hobgoblins were associated with keeping homes neat and tidy. I created a few of my own little hobgoblins – with funny noses, big ears and tails with a puff of fur at the end.
On a different note of lore, I created a mythical water serpent of some kind, rather like a Waterhorse or Loch Ness monster (though certainly not a fearsome one). The three-piece body makes it fun to play around with.
Family sculpture sets — or as I like to call them, “portraits in 3D” — make unique, surprising and funny gifts. They’re small and portable, plus it’s fun to rearrange them within their own groups. These little keepsakes can adorn the top of a dresser or a shelf, or just sit nestled on a busy desktop.
All I need is a few photographs to get started. Then I try to find some distinguishing features to identify the people, taking creative liberties with their clothes. Since I find it challenging to make people, I keep them more cartoony than real.
This first set consists of the welcoming grandfather, grandmother with grandchild, mother and father. And, of course, the two pets!
Another set I made featured a grandmother and her three grandchildren:
As presents for my niece, nephew, and my own children, I decided to experiment with making troll dolls with clay faces, hands, and feet, but soft bodies. I made five in all, trying different features and body designs. I was very happy with how sturdy they turned out – they can be dropped and actually played with without breaking.
I focused on making homemade gifts for friends and family this year, with clay in particular. I made a variety of clay people and items, many of which I turned into ornaments or magnets. Here is my collection from this season:
An angel, to which I added a wire so it could hang on a tree:
Converse shoes ornament:
Mini gingerbread houses ornaments:
Mystery Coffee Shop magnets:
Dr. Who’s time-traveling TARDIS:
New baby in a stocking ornament:
Pregnancy Keepsake figurines, personalized:
Personalized husband and wife ornaments:
Magnets: mini turtle and Wild Thing
My children also joined in the clay fun, making beads, a Santa, gingerbread ornaments, and ladybug magnets:
I have recently started to make little creatures of the sort that hide in forests, practicing magic. I call them goblins; you may call them something else. Whatever they are, they are quite fun to make. I made the first one holding a lantern, venturing forward. The second was a wizard wielding a bent stick, and the third was a little guy roasting a drumstick over a fire. From there, I made a bookworm buried in a book of spells, wizards with crystal balls, etc. I am experimenting with different skin tones, poses, and props. The possibilities are many. I would like to start focusing more on details, especially in their facial expressions and clothing.