"Peace of Pond" Clay and Resin Sculpture
Gene L. Hamilton shapes his "Peace of Pond" sculpture from polymer clay -- including fish, lily pads and plant life.
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Materials and Tools:
large package white polymer clay
acrylic paint, aqua, green, dark blue, light blue, beige, pink, gray
polymer gloss finish coat
1. Condition a large package of white polymer clay by kneading it together in your hands.
2. Form part of the clay into two balls, reserving the remainder of the clay for later, and flatten each ball into an oval shape for the top and bottom of the pond using a rolling pin. Each oval should measure approximately 4" x 6".
3. Form another ball of clay and roll it into a long thin strip about 2 inches wide by the circumference of the ovals to form the wall of the pond that joins the top and bottom oval shapes.
4. Place the wall strip perpendicular to the bottom oval and join the edges by smoothing them with your fingers. Join the top oval to the wall strip the same way.
5. Press one side of the wall in with your fingers to create a flat area for creating the clay fish scene.
6. Form lily pads made by flattening small balls of clay into circles. Cut a small V shaped notch out of each circle with a sharp knife. Press the circles onto the top of the clay pond in clusters.
7. Form little plants made from snakes of conditioned clay and press them along the wall attached to the bottom edge. Flatten some of the plants with your fingers. Overlap and bend the plants in realistic looking configurations.
8. Make a small ball of the clay and form it into a fish shape. Pinch the top edge of the fish to form a dorsal or top fin. Shape the pectoral or side fins, the two bottom fins and the tail fin. Pinch the front of the fish to create a mouth and the gills on each side. Press the fish onto the flat part of the clay wall.
9. Overlap part of the fish with the clay plants.
10. Attach a clay-shaped bobber to the top of the pond.
11. Place the sculpted clay pond on a piece of foil or a cookie sheet and bake following the product guidelines for temperature and length of baking time. Remove the pond from the oven and let it cool.
12. Apply a coating of gesso to prime the surface for painting. Let dry.
13. Paint the primed pond sculpture using acrylic paint, selecting aqua for the top, light and dark green for the plants and sidewall and various colors for the fish.
14. Refer to a photo for color composition as desired. Let dry.
15. Protect the painted pond sculpture with a polymer gloss finish coat.
16. While the clear coat is still wet sprinkle green glitter over the top of the "Peace Pond" clay resin sculpture, indicating pond pollen.
17. Let the resin or gloss dry overnight.
As a character double for Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt," caricaturist, and drawer of cartoon characters, Gene Hamilton of Des Moines, Iowa, could be called quite a celebrity himself. He's also a ventriloquist, printmaker, painter, independent filmmaker, husband to an illustrator, and father to a fashion designer daughter and a visual artist son. But how does he spend his spare time? Paying homage to the under-the-sea species with his series of colorful canvas and resin hanging fish sculptures and polymer clay lake sculptures.
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