Forest Warrior

Here’s a ceramic piece that I did that is, by now, mixed media.  The concept evolved.  I knew I wanted to sculpt a squirrel and make him/her a character of some sort.  Inspired by my favorite TV show, “Vikings,” I decided to make a Viking warrior, a defender of the forest.
After I was started on it, I decided that it would be my entry to the KVIE Art Auction.  KVIE is the Sacramento public TV station and every year that have a fund-raising art auction.  Artists donate their pieces, but it’s juried.  The idea is that artists will get valuable publicity.  You know how that argument goes.  I wasn’t that keen on it, but finally decided to go ahead.  The “in person” jurying is tomorrow.
So this afternoon I visited KVIE’s website to get the application to fill out and saw that 3D pieces have to be at least 12″ in one dimension.  My squirrel was 7″ tall!  Yikes!  What to do?  I was going to forget about the whole thing, but my friend talked me into improvising some additional height.
So I attached him to this slab of oak branch that I had lying around from tree trimming a couple of years ago.  Adding the feathers to his hair boosted him to the required 12″.
The base was no problem for me.  I had been considering putting him on a base to add stability.  In fact, I put holes in the bottoms of his feet for just that eventuality.  But the feathers are sort of an issue.  I thought he looked quite Viking-esq with his round shield, battle-axe, and, most especially, his braided Mohawk – just like Ragnar’s in my beloved TV show!  But the feathers just don’t seem very Viking.  Oh, well.  I guess I sacrificed “authenticity” (as if a Viking warrior squirrel had any authenticity to begin with) for “height.”
By the way, the shield is paper clay formed over cardboard with a button in the middle and then painted.  The battle-axe is a polymer clay ax head (finished with antique silver mica powder) secured on a piece of tree root.  (I think tree roots are even better than branches!)  There’s a hole in the ax head so I could slip it onto the root.  It’s glued in place then wrapped with artificial sinew.  His hair is felted and braided wool fiber.


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