Totem Fox – an Art Doll?

After making a few birds from the paper clay I wanted to try something a bit more complex so I began this fox totem piece.  You may recognize the body as an empty lotion bottle.  My “jumping off” inspiration point was an article in a Somerset Studios magazine about making human figures from dish soap battles.

I began by sculpting the head and neck, working around the threaded neck of the plastic bottle.  The problem was that the piece was very top-heavy.  No good.  So I cut off the head – preserving the sculpting as best I could – and filled the bottle about 2/3 full of sand – very good ballast!  Then I replaced the head and smoothed the seam.

I wanted a little niche in the chest as a place to put something special and mystical, so I cut down a matchbox and attached it to the chest area of the bottle with glue.  When the glue cured, I began sculpting the belly around it with paper clay.  The tail is paper clay around a core of aluminum foil wrapped with masking tape.  The paws are paper clay glued to pieces of dowel.  There are holes in the ends of the paws and the dowels and I put a wire in those holes to splice the paws to the dowels and add strength to the glue joint.  My plan is to rigidly attach the tail and legs to the body but to “hinge” the arms to the body so they will be moveable.

My question is – what’s next?  And that question illustrates one of the things I so enjoy about these little 3D projects:  I never quite know where I’ll be heading when I begin.  It’s almost as if the creature  begins to emerge and guides my bringing him/her into full being.


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