In my last post, I shared about my experimentals with various types of clay and in this I will share on my final finished little doll named Lil’ Rosa. What truly inspired me to do this was the famous fairytale entitled Thumbelina.
Now as the story tales,Thumbelina is a tiny girl who is born of a flower and has many exciting adventures which includes meeting toads who wanted nothing more than her hand in marriage – quite a funny tale that subtly reflects how some men can be (haha!). Anyway this little girl eventually meets her true love, the Fairy-Flower Prince and has her happily-ever-after marriage.
So just as the tale recounts, I decided to make my own Thumbelina and took the inspiration of a red rose. Hence a little girl in a rose petal dress, with orange boots came into process.
To kickstart it all, I started with modelling her face and for this and her arms and legs, I used my own concoction – cold porcelain. Now this substance is a homemade clay, made only of things you can find around your kitchen and can also be made in two ways – cooked or non-cooked. I decided to explore the non-cooking method as one of my major problems is patience. So one fine night, in the quiet of the night, I mixed the very last ounce of corn flour from my mother’s pantry, the very little balance of modge podge, some plain flour, a touch of white vinegar and a dash of olive oil. Using my bare hands, I rubbed on some oil to my hands and dug into the substance to mix it all. Once it was kneaded into a pretty soft dough, I tucked it into some cling-wrap and air-locked it into a ziplock, ready to be used by morning.
One of my earlier test models was this little black terrier. For this model, I got my hands dirtied with black acrylic in the attempts of kneading it into the clay to give it that pure look. This model stands at the height of 2.5cm, so I can assure that I pretty much surprised myself in making such fine details to such a miniature figurine. One thing about this clay is the time it took to harden – close to 24 hours for it to harden but once left for a week more, its rock solid! The finalising details were hand-painted with acrylic paint.
Next I attempted to model the face, arms and legs for Rosa. This time instead of mixing my clay with acrylic paint, I added a little bit of orange clay from Yenji’s Air-dry Clay. This was a bit of a risk as it was a combination of two different substances – a word of advice: do not try it! The clay became softer, more oily and extremely hard to model so I had to let it semi harden overnight before adding on the details.
So once it had harden did I add on the details. I chose to complete the rest of the model with Yenji’s clay as I wanted that someone rubber-look. Also I have to be a little bias, my cold porcelain mixed with some of the air-dry clay did give off a little roughed texture that was much better suited for the face and body parts.
The downside of mixing materials and using air-dry type clays is the drying time and that is why it took me so long to complete it as I was always procrastinating the completion. Anyway, over the weekend I finally took some time to complete the hair and all the finer details and VOILA!
My very own Thumbelina named Lil’ Rosa.
#claystories #yenjiclaycraft #thumbelina #artsandcrafts #airdryclay #coldporcelain #homemadecoldporcelain