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Mystic Reflections' Creations

Mystic Reflections' Creations

Caralyn's Events and Appearances

  • Oct. 7th 2017 - RevFest: Rev Coffee Smyrna GA
  • Sep. 1st-4th 2017 - DragonCon: Atlanta GA
  • May 26th-28th 2017 - MobiCon, Mobile AL
  • Feb. 24th-26th 2017- ConNooga, Chattanooga TN
  • Nov. 12th 2016 - 6-8pm Coloring Party - Rev Coffee Smyrna GA

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Phoenix always Rises from the Ashes

   Getting ready for the Dragon Con Art Show in September usually begins with making a list of the gallery pieces I want to attempt each year ... and then crossing off over half of them. Then after that I begin on the first gallery piece on the list. That piece, a Phoenix.
I was excited to get started on this sculpture because I had never attempted a Phoenix before nor had I ever sculpted a feathered creature this large before. The piece is only around 6 inches but I usually work on a smaller level so anything over 4 inches is big to me.
I began this piece with the torso. Started with just a polymer clay blob in the shape of a bird...sort of in the shape.
I used glittery polymer clay to give a nice whimsical effect.

Insert a glass bead for an eye.
The blob is then formed into a more detailed bird. Getting the head just right is the most difficult part of sculpting a creature. The face is where all the personality is, so it pays to take your time. Scrapping the first head and trying again is often apart of my routine. This piece only took two tries to get the right look.


Now I add little feathers by rolling out the polymer clay into small snakes and cutting little circles out. The circles are then placed one by one on the torso and head. Using a rubber tipped tool to smooth the end of each circle, I lay them over lapping to achieve the desired effect.




For larger feathers, I start with a cane (polymer clay rod of two or more colors; the colors inside the rod are constructed in such a way to form an image) I used orange and gold and shaped the pieces of polymer into tear drops, then I used a pointed tool to make the lines. I made the feathers for the wings in this same fashion...more on sculpting the wings later.
No Phoenix is complete without an impressive head plumage. Rolled out some gold and orange rods over thin crafting wire and attached them to the head, bending and curving each one. A hook was hidden among the plumage so the Phoenix could hang.

That's some fine plumage ya got there. 
I sculpted his feet next. Start with a fat rod and cut two slits into the tip; then use your rubber tipped tool to smooth the clay into three clawed toes.

On to the wings! One of the most time consuming parts of this piece. Sculpt a thin layer of clay over thicker gage craft wire, then make a general wing shape, leaving some of the craft wire showing for the feathers.
Using the same method I used for the larger feathers previously, make several more; various sizes.
Then it's just a matter of laying the feathers on the wire. Do this on the front and back of each wing.
 As I place each feather I have to be conscious of the way a bird's wings flow. Making sure to have the longer feathers on the tips and ending with the smaller ones in the center, close to the body.
After each feather is in it's place, I draw details on each one with a pointed tool.

He can fly anywhere now. :)
I made the tail in the same manner.
Last bit of the sculpting part is to attach all your pieces and bake your sculpture.
Ready to baked!
Polymer clay can be baked in your own oven, but you have to make sure that your piece is securely balanced to avoid disaster. I don't often have baking mishaps but the few times I do it is always upsetting. My Phoenix tipped over in the oven. :(
and LO there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
But as Phoenix want to do, he rose from the ashes, so to speak. With a touch of Liquid Sculpey and patience, I was able to repair my sculpture. Liquid Sculpey works like clay glue, you spread it on your piece and bake, this hardens it and holds your work tightly together.
After painting a few details my Phoenix is ready for his Dragon Con debut.



I hope you enjoyed following my process on making my Phoenix.
You can find several Step by Step Processes in my blog and check out my other social media sites for my latest pieces.
Thanks for reading!
~Caralyn

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