I joined the Papermakers group on Yahoo and have learned a lot. I joined this swap to learn more. Here are the three tiles I made for the swap.
Click on any of the thumbnails to get a closer look.
Following is a pictorial journal showing just how I sculpted my tiles. The parameters for the swap were to send in three tiles on the harvest theme approximately 8.5 inches square. Well, I dunno if I made them the right way and they're certainly not rectangular, but the size is kinda ballpark. I pulped cattail fluff and fresh bulrush (tules) and, instead of pulling sheets, sculpted glops of pulp on the mold. I only have one mold and, since procrastination is my middle name, needed to use it once a day for three days. So I had to figure out how to remove formed pulp without destroying all my hard work. White glue and heat guns are wonderful inventions. Also, being primarily a polymer clay artist, I am accustomed to immediate results, so wanted my tiles in short order to be firm and further workable for surface embellishment. Ovens are another wonderful invention!
I wanted to do something with the Greenman aspect of the Celtic god, Cernunnos, since the last harvest celebration of the year, Samhain, is His Festival. To accomplish the Greenman aspect, I needed a face mold. The ruffle on one face mold was perfect, but the mask was too small. So I combined it with another mask mold I had handy. I used a glass surface to work on with a sheet of typing paper underneath as a rough guide for sizing the tile. I wrapped the larger face mold with plastic because I learned, from other list members, paper has a mighty grip when it shrinks while drying. The plastic wrap was to insure removal from the mold wasn't an impossible task. It worked quite successfully! I placed a length of plastic wrap about the size of a sheet of typing paper over the mask with the ruffle and then fit the larger mask on top of the ruffle. Now the fun part. Being a mean little kid, I loved this cuz it was like playing in mud!!! I grabbed a handful of cattail fluff pulp and placed it onto the mold. I gently poked it with my finger to blend each glop with the previous one and did not pay much attention to shape at this point. I just made sure everything on the mold was covered completely and glopped (technical term *grin*) out the general shape and size of the tile. After glopping all the cattail fluff onto the mold, I soaked some dried bulrush pulp until it was malleable. I didn't whirl it in the blender to repulp it, I left it in the little snippets of paper it had dried into for storage. I pulled the pieces that were too thick apart and randomly placed torn bits here and there. I was hoping for contrast and was most pleased with the finished results! Now I needed to pull out as much moisture as possible without losing the malleability of the pulps. I used a makeup sponge because of it's absorbent quality, its smooth texture and its smallness - giving me control. I started in the middle of the tile on the face and would blot, squeeze out the water into a bucket, blot, squeeze and so on until I had pulled up as much water as possible from the entire tile. Occasionally, the blotting would pull the pulp apart, so I dipped my finger into the bucket and glopped on a small wad, jabbed it gently with my fingertip to blend it in and reblotted the area. After I finished blotting, I smashed my thumbs into the eye sockets and squidjeed them around (another technical term) to push some pulp into eyebrows and define the eye sockets more. I pinched along the outer edges of the eyebrows to give them more definition. I pushed my fingergips along the sides of the nose to define the nostrils and used my fingernail to shape where the holes should be. Finally, I felt for the lips on the mold below then used my fingernails to form the upper lip in the general location. After forming the upper lips, I gently pushed below where I wanted the lower lip to be to make the pulp raise a little above my finger while pressing the pulp under my finger a bit thinner.
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Klamath Falls Flowers
Whidbey & Fidalgo Island Flowers
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Copyright 1998-2008 Colleen D. Bergeron.
Last revised: November 14 2008