Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rolling Out the Rodeo

Please welcome our latest sponsor, Fox Henderson's The Monkey Rodeo.  His work has been featured here numerous times, most recently the Norse Cthulhu that's currently for sale at his site.  There are also some Mythos makeup appliances in the pipeline that should be warmly received.

His Cthulhu idol is something I'm really looking forward to, since I've been planning on doing a Viking-themed assemblage of props for a while.   One of the pieces I'd like to include is an Elder Sign inscribed in amber.   After browsing some polymer clay craft sites I banged out a quick test piece.

I used Sculpy III Translucent clay with a touch of Super Sculpey for color.  Unfortunately, I baked the clay directly on a cookie sheet.  That caused some scorching that transformed the clay's translucent white to translucent brown.  That said, it's not bad.  The color is still within the range of Baltic amber despite the hue shift.  The baked clay polished up to a dull shine with a cotton rag, giving a serviceable facsimile of amber's warm glow.  I brought out the inscribed Elder Sign with wax-based schmutz.

For a first effort I'm pretty happy with it.  For the next go-round I'll use a ceramic tile as the baking surface in order to avoid the scorching issue.  I also need to come up with a version of the Elder Sign that's a bit more Norse-ey. 

1 comment:

CoastConFan said...

I like that look for your Baltic amber. It looks really old, which isn’t easily achieved. You may have stumbled on a useful technique by accident. That technique might be used in making sculpy faux ivory objects as well. As for a Norse-y Elder Sign, there is a lot of creative symbolism from Nordic art from the bronze age onward that can be co-opted as I am sure you know. Lots of luck in your prop making.

Here are some Neolithic amber objects that have the same color and feeling as yours: http://www.ambergallery.lt/en/disp.php?itm=en_museums_3%2Fen_museums_3_10

A nice overview of ancient amber at the Getty Museum, also click on the introduction tab to find some nice mini articles: http://museumcatalogues.getty.edu/amber/intro/1/

An article about the colors of amber for the general readers: http://skywalker.cochise.edu/wellerr/students/amber-part/project.htm

Turkish Black amber, known as Oltu stone or Erzurum Stone in Turkey is a favorite of mine due to the subtleness of color shifts in different lights. It is actually a form of jet and not amber, however.