Thursday, February 3, 2011


I've been really charmed by everything at little dear tracks since a friend pointed me to her blog after receiving a couple of the author's Doodle Stitching books for Christmas. Her NOM series is so so cute, and coupled with the pending release of Gnomeo and Juliet and a favorite Phineas and Ferb garden gnome episode that's been in heavy rotation at our house...well, it was inescapable that gnomes were made. I started with some simple-form porcelain gnomes that will be done by next year (so slow, my clay these days! The babysitter--aka DAD--quit for February...), but was tempted to try paper clay and made a happy few with them much quicker.

It was my first time using paper clay and I'm very interested. It was similar to using polymer clay in some ways. It felt quite similar, though I couldn't do as much detail, and had a difficult time joining tiny parts. Couldn't, actually. It does rub/smooth nicely, but starts to dry a bit during use. Small cracks can be easily smoothed with a wet fingertip, and drops of water kneaded into stiffer paper clay. Of course, it air dries instead of needing to be baked, and yields a result that is lighter and I think harder, too. The finished result can be sanded and carved like wood. I bought a little 8 oz brick at AC Moore (regular price $5.99) and used a 40% off coupon, which makes it cheaper than polymer clays, too. I felt like it took paint (I used craft acrylics) well--it dried quickly with no risk of peeling, but Becci was painting her polymer ones at the same time as I was and the experience and results were pretty much inextinguishable. I did like that the paper clay left my fingers with little microscopic bits of paper flakes. For no good reason (the liking, that is). I've noticed that art doll makers use a lot of paper clay, but I'm not sure why that's the preferred medium. I'm thinking "hard, flexible, and finer than papier mache."

I sent a few off to my niece for her birthdayand kept a few on my nature table. They're pictured with the smaller of two wooden rainbows I made for Reuben for Christmas.(and a peek at Becci's from a quick photo I took when she brought them by last week):
I love their curly caps and rosy cheeks!


ahs said...

oh my word, val. i adore your little gnomes! you are so amazing. I also love the Josefina kit you put together for Mirien. Your kids are so blessed to call you their mother.

Isn't spring lovely? We too are getting a peak here in frigid utah. Crocuses in my yard this week! Love it!

Mindy said...

Love the gnomes/bright colors.