A mermaid with red hair sits on a brown rock over dark blue water on a light blue piece of paper.Yep, it’s taken a while but I finally finished my clay mermaid sculpture.   She’s made of a white Japanese clay called Hearty which was a not hard to use but it dried out quickly so I had trouble forming shapes.  If I spent too much time on a part, it would start to crack and I would need to knead it again, rolling it around in my hands, changing its shape until it was soft enough to work on.  It worked out okay, although the stone is a little cracked and the wires holding the arms on and keeping the mermaid on the rock are rather obvious.

I used a mold by Sculpey, which I bought in the States last Christmas, for the arms, torso, and head while the fin I created by adjusting the length of the legs in the mold to what fins may need to be for comfortable movement at sea.  Unfortunately the fin is connected to the body merely by the wire I used as a spine that connects from the head to the stone she sits on.  I created the detail in the fin by a set of sculpting tools I picked up locally and realized this type of clay does not like to be but after it hardens but there probably wasn’t enough time to cut it while it dried.  The scalpel rarely cut a straight line and the clay didn’t seperate, it came off in clumps, similar to when you try to cut a long sheet of paper.  When I cut wrapping paper, I usually try to run the scissors up the side of the roll.  If I actually cut with the scissors, the paper usually cuts straight.  If I just hold the paper in one hand and slide the scissors up, the paper starts to rip and clump up on the blades o the scissors.  That is how this clay cuts once dry.

It was also my first time painting with acrylic paint.  It is not as easy as it looks by artists who make gorgeous paintings with acrylic paint.  I had to keep the brush wet in order to paint since the paint itself dried up quickly.  The effect of  the lighter paint on the darker paint had potential but it will take time to master it and figure out just the right amount of water for what effect I want.

All in all, I think that the mermaid, whose rock base is a little bigger than my hand and the doll herself extends a little bit down my wrist from the tips of my fingers, turned out okay.  I’m definitely not a master of this clay nor of acrylic paint but she turned out okay for how little skill I have.  Practice will get me where I want to be and trying new materials will help my skill as well.  Now for my next project…

Filed under: Clay SculptingCrafts