I love October. The weather has cooled down but it’s not too cold – just perfect sweater weather. Even though the days are getting shorter, the vibrant colours of fall are in full development and it feels like everything and everyone is busy getting ready for something. There’s is a lot to be thankful for in October. For me, my studio is a disaster of activity – but all in a positive way. Being an artist is often a vulnerable path, but I’m very grateful that I am able to pursue my creative passion and share it with you.
I can’t talk about October without talking about Halloween. It’s right up there with Christmas as one of my favourite holidays. This is the month I get to show you my sculpted witches – but not the ghoulish horror movie witches. My witches are kindred spirits, intuitive witches that many women can relate to. They represent nurturing, the healing power and spirituality in women. Mature, experienced, but beware, when needed, strong, intimidating and defiant.
I get a lot of questions about my sculpting techniques, especially with more realistic faces like the witches. Although I like and use Super Sculpey quite a bit, when I sculpt more realistic faces like the witches I usually use Living Doll. Both polymer clay products are made by Polyform Products and are similar in many ways, but it’s the differences in the products that makes more realistic sculpting techniques work better for me. For example, Living Doll is a little firmer so it holds it’s shape better and doesn’t soften and distort while I’m sculpting and holding it in my hand for longer periods of time. It also holds up to the pressure I use pouncing and dragging my tools across the surface of the face creating fewer little pillings. The other important difference is that with Living Doll you get fewer, or no “white moons”, a problem most polymer clay artists struggle with. White moons are little white spots or lines that show up in baked clay, especially the flesh tones. Caused by trapped air or moisture that you may have inadvertently introduced in the kneading and conditioning process, or even from the humidity and moisture in the air. Living Doll also comes in a range of skin colours which gives me a choice of base skin tones to start with and when I add colour to the wet clay, the colour doesn’t drag and collect as easily.
Let’s get back to witches now. . . Just in case you are not sure if you are a witch or not, here are a few guidelines that were posted during the 1693 Salem Witch Trials to help them determine if you were a witch. One offensive and you would be marked a witch. A couple of offences and you would be burned at the stake. While you’re reading this I’m going to go check on the expiry date on my skim milk.
- You are a female.
- You are poor and cannot support yourself financially.
- You are rich and financially independent.
- You have one or more female friends.
- You had an argument with another female.
- You are very old.
- You are very young.
- You are a midwife.
- You are married and have too many children.
- You are married and have too few or no children.
- You exhibit stubborn, strange or forward behaviour.
- You have a birthmark or mole.
- You have green eyes.
- Butter or milk has spoiled in your possession.
- You had a premonition.
- You planted more than one type of seed in the field.
- You wore your hair in braids.
- You built a fire on the Sabbath