Paper Clay Hens

The paper clay portions are now done.  I’ve made the wings separate so I can dress my birds more easily.  The wings are on the left chicken temporarily, just for the photo.

Here’s how I made the wings.  I cut the main shapes from cardboard and covered the right side with paper clay.  I made a wire spiral with one end of the wire protruding about 1″ perpendicular to the center of the spiral.  I secured the spiral in place on the back of the wing under a blob of paper clay with the end of the wire sticking out from the clay (- this wire end will fit into a hole in the body, securing the wings in place).  When that dried, I covered the rest of the back with paper clay.  I then cut out individual cardboard feathers for the lowest row, covered them with paper clay, and stuck them in place on the underside of the wing tips.  I drilled holes in the sides of the bodies to accommodate the wires sticking out the backs of the wings.

It was only after I had a complete layer of paper clay on the first bird that I realized the legs were not in the right places for balancing.  So I had to saw through the paper clay and skewers at the base of the legs to remove them.  When the rest of the clay work was done I could determine where they properly belonged.  At this point I no longer had skewer ends to stick into the bodies, so I had to settle for attaching the legs with paper clay.  But there was still plenty of that to add to form the bulges at the tops of the legs, so they should be sufficiently securely attached.

I didn’t continue working on the third chicken that you saw in yesterday’s post – the one that was bending its head down.  When I began making these birds I was going to put them in a local show and sale in October.  But not far into the project I realized that there would be so much work in them that they would be over-priced for the event.  So I turned to an idea I’ve had for a month or so – Punk meets Goth.  The hen on the left will become my Goth hen, and the one of the right will be my Punk hen.  Making the costumes will really be fun – and quite a challenge.

But first, the painting!


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