Mixed Media Goblin Wizard

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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

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Now he just needs a name!

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Dreaming Dragon

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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.

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Sweet dreams, little dragon.

 

Bookworms

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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.

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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.

Hobgoblins and a Waterhorse

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Family Portraits … in 3D

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!

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Another set I made featured a grandmother and her three grandchildren:

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Soft-bodied Troll Dolls

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.

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Christmas Keepsakes 2014

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:

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Converse shoes ornament:
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Mini gingerbread houses ornaments:
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Mystery Coffee Shop magnets:
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Dr. Who’s time-traveling TARDIS:

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New baby in a stocking ornament:

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Pregnancy Keepsake figurines, personalized:

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Personalized husband and wife ornaments:
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Magnets: mini turtle and Wild Thing
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My children also joined in the clay fun, making beads, a Santa, gingerbread ornaments, and ladybug magnets:

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Creatures of Another World

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Goblin Meadow

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.

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The lantern bearer
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The green-skinned goblins, lantern bearer and coin hoarder
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Hungry camper and cloaked wizard
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The coin hoarder
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Archer and stew-maker
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Hobbler and ball-gazer
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Wizard ball-gazer
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Apprentices dedicated to their studies

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Three goblins
Three goblins
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Goblins with dagger and sword
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Goblins with slingshot and bow
Creatures of another world
Creatures of another world