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Submitted on
July 19, 2011
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What are your sculptures made of?
It's called Premo Sculpey. It is just my preferred brand of Sculpey. It is an oven bake, polymer clay. You can bake your pieces right in your home oven, so you really don't need any big expensive equipment! You can pick up Sculpey at most arts and craft stores. I get mine at Michaels and Joanns. I don't buy online so unfortunately I can't recommend any sites.

Why Premo Sculpey? Isn't it more expensive than normal Sculpey III?
It does cost more, but I usually stock up when there are sales. It is much stronger than regular Sculpey, and has a firmer consistency. Normal Sculpey tends to be too soft most of the time and really likes to hold fingerprints.

What about Super Sculpey?
I use that too on occasion. It is the strongest Sculpey, but only comes in that ugly beige color. I prefer to work with colored clays whenever possible. I only use Super Sculpey when I really need the extra strength on a delicate sculpture.

Ok, so why colored clay? Why not use the strongest clay and just paint it?
I used to do just that! But I found that painting can be extremely time-consuming, leave brush lines, and is never quite as vibrant as the colored clays.

Do you ever use paint then? What kind?
I do paint details on. Tiny details that would be just insane to try to do with clay I prefer to paint on. For instance, my ponies hooves and cutie marks are all painted. I use your basic craft acrylic paints. Ceramacoat and Americana are my preferred brands.

Where do you get your gems and beads?
I get most everything at my local beadshop, and some things at Michaels. The crystals are Swarovski and can be baked right into the clay.

Do you bake everything into the clay directly? Like the D20 dice?
I prefer to use things I can bake right in. So no acrylic gems or beads, they get pretty melty. You want to use glass beads, and swarovski crystals. The D20s don't melt in the oven because the temperature is low enough. They do get a tiny bit matte looking though, so I will usually put some glaze on them after.

How do you blend the parts together so well on your sculptures, like the neck to the head?
My sculptures usually start as a head and neck/body in one piece. Then I attach the limbs to the body, and blend them gently with my fingers. I have never liked connecting a head separately. It's lame and I like my way better!

How do you keep finger prints from showing on your work?
This simply comes down to practice, knowing how and where to hold the sculpture, as well as clay consistency. If the clay is too soft you will be fighting fingerprints the entire time, and have a terrible sculpting experience. Most Premo has excellent consistency, which is why I recommend it to people with fingerprint troubles. Super Sculpey is even better, but it only comes in beige so you have to paint it.

How do you keep white clay so clean?
Throughout your sculpting, wash your hands a LOT. Seriously, every 5-10 minutes is best. Then when you are completely finished sculpting, you can apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to problem areas. It helps pick up lint and can even help smooth out fingerprints. Use a q-tip to apply it, but work very quickly. Too much and the alcohol will actually start to eat the clay! It also makes the clay completely unworkable, which is why you only do this after you are completely finished sculpting. I ruined several sculptures with this method until I got the hang of it, so try it on some simple sculpts until you get a feel for how the alcohol works.
I've also heard some people use simple scotch tape to pick up lint! I've yet to try it myself but it's worth a shot if you don't have rubbing alcohol on hand.

Do you ever use gloves?
I've tried a few times, but really they drive me crazy, so no.

What tools do you use?
Mostly my fingers actually. They are my best tools! Otherwise, an exacto knife, something to roll out sheets of clay, and a couple random tools I've picked up over the years. I've used the ends of paintbrushes, butter knives, pins, sewing needles, toothpicks… really you just need to try a few different tools to find what works for you!  

Do your sculptures have an inner structure? An armature?
Yes. Most do have a foil armature. Mine are small enough that the foil is sufficient support. I do use wire on some parts, but in general, plain old aluminum foil works great!

Your dragons are so shiny…what glaze do you use?
It's Varathanes water-based polyurethane. You can find it at any home depot. It's normally used for wood floors I believe, but it is fantastic for polymer clay.

Will you make me a Toothless???
No. I get asked this A LOT. I'm flattered everyone finds him so adorable, but he was just made as a gift. I do not plan to make anymore. Ever. In fact I no longer make ANYTHING copyrighted. It's much better to come up with your own unique ideas!

How does one go about commissioning you?
Sorry, but I no longer take commissions. There were simply too many requests to sift through, and it really stressed me out. I am much happier working on my own ideas and selling those. I am always open to suggestions though, so if you have an awesome idea and share it, it might get made eventually! 

Wanna do a trade? 
Sorry, but I do not do trades.

So then do you have a pricing guide for when you do sell stuff?
I sure do! dragonsandbeasties.deviantart.… Mind you this is a very rough pricing guide. It really depends on the complexity of the sculpture. 

Why are some so expensive when they're such small sculptures???
Just because they're small doesn't mean they were easy to make. In fact working small is quite challenging! I base my pricing on complexity, time spent, and consumer demand. I've spent my whole life perfecting my craft, and this is now my full time job. I make every single one of these sculptures by hand, so you also pay for that professional handmade quality.  

I want to make sculptures too! Where did you learn to do this?
Honestly, I just taught myself. I have been sculpting as a hobby for several years. Like anything it just takes practice and study. The internet is absolutely full of great tips and project ideas to get you started!

Will you make some tutorials please???
I did make a video tutorial of one of my dragons: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vCiPn… I'll make more in the future when I have some time.

Can you at least tell me how you make the curly pony hair?
There really isn't much of a trick to it... I roll out tiny strips, grab either end and twist gently. Then stick them on one by one. My first ponies didn't have perfect hair. It really just comes with practice!

But how do you make the hair stick?  Glue? Mine always fall off!
Unless your clay is too hard, the clay should stick to itself just fine. I never use glue.

  • Mood: Lazy
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:iconmissrandomesque:
Hi, this was really cool. I watched the video too, and it was amazing to see how you make the dragons. One question I do have after watching the video and reading the FAQ though is where do you get the dice from? Maybe it's just me, but I've never run in any dice like that before with all the pretty colors. Thanks!
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:iconlady-onikara:
Thank you for posting this, and for the pictures of your work. They're beautiful!
Reply
:iconember-eyes:
Ember-Eyes Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:wave: Hello! I don't see this question addressed anywhere and I'm really curious to know what you do about shipping your stuff to your buyers. (Not that I will ever sell any of my crap and have to worry about it. Ahem.) But! You're a professional, and obviously you sell tons of your creations, and I would like to know how you package and prepare your dragons and other beasties for shipping to ensure that nothing is broken or damaged in transit. If by some chance I manage to become half as good a sculptor as you are before Hell freezes over, the info would be incredibly useful and I'd sure appreciate hearing from a pro about how it's done.

(If you'd be so kind as to share that info, of course. Or if you even see this dumb question and answer. I'm well aware of the sheer amount of comments and stuff you receive... )
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:iconanya-romanov:
you must be tired of answering it but i need to know some of your dragons are no only varnished but they also look almost transparent, and some other looks like there is glitter on it but on a very discrete maner. how do you made it? (please answer)
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:iconpardalis-costantine:
I hope you don't mind me asking but what exactly the color name of the blue clay used in pieces like this? I'm assuming it is a pearl?dragonsandbeasties.deviantart.…  I have a small bit of it left from some time ago(least I think it's the same) but I haven't been able to find it since and have a few ideas I want to do with it. I have looked in stores but haven't had any luck and I can't be 100% sure going by pictures looking online.
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:iconroyal-phoenix:
royal-phoenix Mar 8, 2014   Traditional Artist
do you have a youtube account? (please respond)
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:iconvfxkeido:
VFXKeido Mar 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
You can find her under "Dragons and Beasties" or "Becca Golins"
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:iconroyal-phoenix:
royal-phoenix Apr 3, 2014   Traditional Artist
takk
Reply
:icontheyarnbunny:
theyarnbunny Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love Premo Clay so much. I've only gotten to play with it a few times though and my sculpting skills are still at a "oh my god, look at this newbie, she thinks she can use clay" level. I'm glad I bought up as much Premo Clay as I could with the budget I have because the craft store I work at has done away with it and I'm sad that it's gone now. :( Looks like I'll have to travel an hour away whenever I need to get more or order online.
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:iconangelheartthewarrior:
AngelheartTheWarrior Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, that's useful. I was trying to figure out how I could put some shiny thing into the clay without having to glue it on, and here it is~
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