Saturday, October 30, 2010

Aquarium Delights

Ever since I was a child, the water has called to me.  I love to swim: pools, lakes, oceans, any body of water works for me.  Probably some of it is due to the fact that I was born under the astrological sign of Cancer the crab.  If I cannot be swimming or scuba diving, I have to surround myself with other forms of water. 

The one decoration that must always be in my house is some type of aquarium.  I am at great peace when I sit and watch my fish swim lazily to and fro through the artificial environment I have created for them.  In fact, I usually go into so much detail in creating their environment that I’ve had friends ask me to design their aquariums for them.

At the moment, I have a lonely betta swimming in an aquarium in my living room.  Dagon alternates between the sunken treasure chest at the bottom of his tank and the surface where he drifts on the tiny current created by the pump.  

These fish, created by my fellow guildmates in Polymer Clay Smooshers, I would gladly add to my aquarium to be companions of Dagon.

He looks a bit shy to me and soo cute!
He's just peeking out to say hi!

I believe this silvery fellow would give Dagon a run for his money

  and what fish pond or large aquarium is not complete without a representative of the koi family in their shimmery splendor

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mask of Cthulhu!

Wow, it has been a crazy month.  I have been invited to participate in a craft show in a few weeks, started up a shopfront on, staying extremely busy with my day job and joined a great guild on ArtFire, the Polymer Clay Smooshers!

Autumn is probably my favorite time of year and is accompanied by my favorite holiday, Halloween!  I celebrated this weekend by watching Garfield's Halloween while working on a mask for a great event being hosted by the Polymer Clay Smooshers.  They are hosting a Masquerade Ball where they invite their members to submit a mask to be a part of the ball.  Several of us joined towards the end of the event, so the guild leader, ColtPixy extended the deadline for us.  I feel like I made it in just under the wire, as often happens with my deadlines :)

I have only started reading H.P. Lovecraft in the past year, though my boyfriend has been a fan of his work for a long time.  When I first started reading Lovecraft's short stories, I wasn't sure what to expect.  The underlying psychological horror in all of his stories is amazing, though some are much more entertaining for me than others.  If you decide to read Lovecraft, I highly recommend reading his work in chronological order, since many of his stories will build on his earlier fiction.  

So, when I was debating on what type of mask to submit to the guild's ball, I thought what a fun way to celebrate my enjoyment of Lovecraft's work than to try to craft a mask.  Here are some raw photos before baking:

After many hours of sculpting, fixing, retexturing, I finally attempted to bake the piece.  On the advice of a guild member, I used cornstarch to cover the piece to prevent the clay from burning.  It worked wonderfully, though it took me an hour to just brush the cornstarch off of the finished product! :D

This is the finished product that I now have listed on my Artfire and Etsy shops.  I carefully painted over the piece using a mixture of metallic yellows, greens and blacks to achieve a wonderful shimmer to the mask and add depth to the piece.  I hope I was able to achieve it.  

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."