Caribbean Mermaid: Things Learned

Phew!
Well, that wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. Thankfully the uniqueness of my subject didn’t toss any major obstacles during the sculpting process. Really the only thing that I was somewhat stumped over was the blue coloring on the front of her torso. It’s PearlEx powder and I always seem to forget how and when to apply it successfully when I want it to remain shiny. I don’t like mixing it with other mediums because in my opinion it takes away the brilliant sheen of the powder and I don’t want to dull it down in any way. But I figured out that the best way to apply the PearlEx powder and not have it lose any of its shine is to apply it to the Clay while it’s still unbaked and soft. So THAT was a plus!
Regarding wigging, I learned that knowing and planning your Artdolls’ hairstyle is very important as a poorly planned hairstyle before you start wigging leads to a less than desirable end-result. I’ll eventually create a tutorial on this to better illustrate what I’m referring to.
DSC_0799
Blushing on unbaked clay

Blushing unbaked clay, has an amazing effect. It gives the clay a look of faded color edges instead of seeing the color edges of where the sculpture was painted. It’s almost like when women apply black eyeshadow. This is very useful when blushing the large areas of the body like the limbs. I was so relieved to have really realized the benefits of this as it adds realism.

Until next time.

Feeling… Off

The company I work for just relocated into the same building as our parent company so we got a brand new work environment, new atmosphere, new desks spaces, new phone numbers, new co-workers… new energy. And ever since then (this past Monday, yesterday) I have not felt myself. 

StockSnap_V8BZ1ZLYC7

Now, I don’t know enough about energy in regards to “Chi” and “Chakras” or even “Auras” but I do know for a fact that everything on this planet is made up of solid energy. I also know that there’s a lot of new, different energy in this new scenario and working environment I know find myself in. Something is… off. Now, the new work environment is all fantastic, positive and a huge overall improvement from where we came from, but, still, it’s different. 

StockSnap_ER38QKNW9A

 

I was recently in this “funk” before where I felt stuck because of the redundancy of going to work, coming home, performing my home routine, waking up and repeating. What I did then to get physically and mentally past that was I spontaneously de died to go to the gym, trigger the positive mental juices that comes from working out, kicking into gear the endorphins and just adding something different into my routine, something that I also want to results in, my physique. So maybe that is the solution here again as well. But I feel, I know, there is so much more to it than that. I want to learn more, I want to know more.

StockSnap_CTFEDR6NQJ

 

And so, coincidentally, yesterday, a co-worker of mine and I got to talking and it came up that her boyfriend was interested in starting to study Reiki Healing for a profession. I had never heard of it. “Reiki, a form of therapy in which the practitioner is believed to channel energy into the patient in order to encourage healing and wellbeing.” The timing’s funny, isn’t it? Or should I say perfect. And so I’m researching Reiki more to incorporate it into my dilemma along with meditation, visualization and going to the gym-not to mention improving my diet! So as much as I want and desire to sculpt and get things done because there’s so much I want/need to accomplish, I’m not physically motivated to because of all this new and what I believe to be, conflicting energy that I need to sort out.

StockSnap_MCXGKTSJ5O

Bumps In the Road

This will be a different kind of post. I wanted to start blogging not just about my sculptures but about my journey. The ups and downs. The bumps on the road and HOW I get through these times because you never know when your experiences may vastly help another. So I wanted to share all aspects of my sculpting life. 

From time to time I find myself… in an artistic rut. I great artists that I see are amazing sources of inspiration. But at times I find myself looking at photos of their stunning sculptures and feeling bummed that I’m not that good. Granted, I don’t sculpt as often as I should as I do lack focus, but the desire is there. I WANT to be that good and I know the only way to GET THERE is to focus, sculpt and PRACTICE. 

I honestly have no excuses. I am to blame but the point of this post is to share how I GET OUT of these ruts and keep pushing on. 

Things that have worked for me in the past are;

1. Getting out of the house, going somewhere or doing something that brings you joy and/or inspiration. While you’re doing these things relish in these good feelings you get as they will be the fuel that propel you out of the “situation” you’re in. 

2. Even if looking at other amazing artists sculptures brings you down to a certain degree, use a different perspective and completely turn around the effect it has on you. Think of our great YOUR sculptures are going to be or how great you WANT them to be and picture yourself being as good a sculptor as you want to be NOW. It costs nothing to make believe. Follow that up with jumping right in and sculpting your heart out. 

More of these will be added as time progresses. But for the rut I’m in today I’ll opt to IGNORE the bad thoughts and jump right in to what my passion is and SCULPT. 

Mixing Clays

I recently found out how to, and not to mix clays.

Q. Why mix clays together ?

A. For the same reason an artist mixes paints, to get a one-of-a-kind color. Sculptors who use polymer clay mix different clay colors to get a very unique color for their sculpture’s skin tone.

I notice I’m going it more and more now and I really like if not Love the results. You can come up with some very beautiful, unique shades of clay by mixing the correct colors together thereby adding to the one-of-a-kind aspect of your sculpture. Now onto the reason I’m posting.

I recently was working on a mermaid sculpture and I made her tail out of FIMO clay and her torso was Super Sculpey clay. Once she was ready to go into the oven, I cured her at the manufacturer’s specifications, trouble is, I’m using two different manufacturer’s clays on one piece. So I chose the safest and just to help you all out, this is what I did in case you all still want to mix your clay manufacturers;

Recommended Baking Instructions

FIMO: Bake at 230◦ F (110◦ C) for 30mins.
Super Sculpey: Bake at 275◦ F (130◦ C) for 15mins per 1/4 inch of thickness.

What I did was follow Sculpey’s instructions and when it was done curing and cooling down completely I noticed the Green FIMO clay had darkened substantially. Luckily the tail was going to be covered with adornments but still, lesson learned.

Ideal Clay Mixing Scenario

If you’re going to mix clays the easiest and worry-free way to do it is to mix clays from the same manufacturer so they have the same curing instructions, that way you won’t have to worry about under or over backing one or the other.

If you still want to mix different clay manufacturers I  would recommend  curing in increments. Curing for 20-30 mins at a time and seeing how the clays are holding up in case your sculpture won’t have the clay covered with adornments and it will be exposed.

FDMj Creation: Sunrise Faerie

Hi guys, 

I wanted to share what I’ve been doing lately. This is part of my sculpture line I call SoftSculpts where they are more simplistic but still retain a level of detail in them. The softness being focused on their faceless heads. I like this style very much and although it won’t replace my more detailed art dolls, they’re a great addition to my arsenal, I think anyway  😀

final (11).JPG

final (13).JPG

final (20).JPG

final (25).JPG

final (26).JPG

final (31).JPG

This piece is 5” high from the base of her feet to the top of her head if she was standing straight up. Her wings are not removable and neither is she from her base. The base is 2 1/2” in diameter. She’s made of Super Sculpey clay along with her outfit and hair. She has hand-adorned wings and is blushed with heat-set paints.

She’s uniquely signed with the FDMj Creations “F” on her upper-right shoulder.

For more media: http://www.fdmj-creations.org/ss-sunrise-faerie.html

IADR Member(ship)

http://www.international-art-doll-registry.com/

Recently, about several months ago, I was doing research on The International Art Doll Registry (IADR) as I had seen that acronym used in Art Doll eBay listing and was curious to what it was, what it meant, so I went to their site and read up on it and what it meant to be a member. I then got to the Registry page where all the registered OOAK (One Of A Kind) dolls are listed and as I was going through the list I recognized A LOT of the artists name and dolls on there … needless to say I got intimidated right away. I thought to myself “I haven’t earned this yet !! To be amongst these artists that I’ve idolized, admired and looked up to !!” So I put the idea of becoming a member on the back burner for months.

I then asked for my fellow sculptor’s opinions on the subject and many of them were already IADR members and got some very insightful views which all made sense as to becoming a member;

  • It offers an official certificate of authenticity # to prove your sculpt is truly a One-Of-A-Kind
  • It allows you to submit your work to professional artists for a critique
  • There are rules to certifying your art
  • The certificate of authenticity # may be the difference between selling and not selling
  • There are also really good free tutorials from the art members

 

For more on the benefits of membership; Read More Here

Current Status

You might have noticed that I’m not posting as many WIPs of the three projects that are on my Current Creations page, that’s because I took some time to participate in a group sculpting challenge at the Forum that I’m a member and Moderator at, The Dollmaker’s Studio.

Image
The group challenge is called The Faces of June and you choose your challenge; you sculpt either 10, 20 or 30 sculptures faces in the month of June as an exercise to improve your skill and define your style, all while learning, asking questions, posting WIPs, getting critiques when they’re asked for and building camaraderie with fellow artists ! My faces really needed the bump in skill so I decided to take the time and participate in this challenge because I know my sculptures can only benefit from it. It’s incredibly exciting to see everyone’s skill improve right before your eyes – oh ! and at the completion of the challenge, all who participated get a sculpting goodie bag.

I’ll share some of the faces I’ve done so far ….

Image

Image

Image

Image

If you’ve been looking for a Forum to learn, have fun in, find support and encouragement, feel free to stop by and join the Forum as a free member. It’s an incredibly friendly place and it’s the first Forum where I felt completely accepted and included. Join my clicking on their banner above.

I’ll hopefully see you there

Image

Ad hoc Shipping

I wanted to write this post to aide those that might be in the same situation I was just in. In the past I had only known that to mail a package to someone to had to go into the post office to buy the shipping label and send off your package. That’s the only way I had ever done it.

Now, I know how to ship a package when one of my Art Dolls are sold because the website that one sells on, or at least the ones I sell on (Etsy, eBay), provide guides on exactly what to do and you can do it all from one central place, that marketplace’s website. From their website you just follow the steps to print a shipping label, enter in your package dimensions, pay for postage and print your shipping label and you’re done. I found myself asking “But what about when I have something that I want to ship to someone and it’s not something I sold on these sites ??”

It came to me as I was browsing the internet this AM. The USPS website ! You simply go on their site, register / create an account, create a shipping label, pay for postage, print your label and attach it to your package and off it goes, just like the sites mentioned above, only this time, you go straight to the shipping service provider’s website, in this case, the USPS, in the US. I’ll walk you through it –

  1. You can order your shipping supplies right from USPS’s website at no charge

 

Image

 

  2.  Once you have your supplies and your item is packaged and sealed, go back to USPS.com to “Print A Label with Postage” Once at the website, hoover your mouse over “Ship A Package” then select “Print A Label with Postage” – 

Image

 

If you’re not registered (have an account with USPS.com) or are not signed in to your account, you’ll see this page –

Image

 

Sign in or follow the steps to create an account. Then go through the process of filling out this following form / sections –

Image

Once you’ve done all that, you’ll finish up the process (be sure to select the free option of getting USPS Tracking on your package so you can follow it’s progress) and it will give you the option of printing out your shipping label and you just securely attach it to your package and send it on it’s way (YaY) !

You’ll also get your tracking number in a separate email, if you selected that option, to know where your package is in the mailing process once you mail it out.

Hope that helped !

Image

Painting with Genesis Paints

Image

I figured it out ! I had such a difficult time painting with and trying to figure out how to use Genesis heat-set paints. I knew the way I was using them was not right as I was getting results that looked nothing like the end-result I’d see with other artists.

Image

I searched and searched then took some time off from looking, about a month, and just recently I was painting a face and I remembered the Genesis sampler pack I bought came with a thinning medium …then I remembered what it’s used for – and it hit me; “THAT’S what they use to get an amazing painted face !” I was as happy as a kid in a toy store !  What you do is take some of the thinning medium and it literally thins or softens the color so it goes on the clay easily, smoothly and blends perfectly.

This process looses a lot in the written word which is why I will make a video How-To so you can SEE what I’m talking about. I’m a visual learner and when I see something it really clicks and registers in my brain. Video soon to come on the FDMj Creations YouTube Channel.

See you there.