Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Rat is Ready!

Last post I promised many things. The Clockwork Rat was amongst them, so here he is!

As a small reward for actually bothering to read my blog, I'm letting you see the rat before he is uploaded anywhere else. Take that, Etsy and DeviantArt! Also, as I get to be more long-winded here, I will explain him in greater detail than I would have the opportunity to, elsewhere. Also, for those more impatient than I, news about new projects is at the bottom of this post.

The rat is about six and a half inches tall, and is the first sculpture I've attempted that uses so many different techniques and materials. He has some paper mache, some polymer clay, some brass piping, some watch parts, an antique key, some screws, some glass, and some two-part epoxy. Hopefully, I blended the different parts in such a way as to not be 100% clear as to where one material ends and another begins.

The rat's head is mostly polymer clay, as are his paws, the front of his feet and his heels, and most of his upper arms, upper legs, and chest. His legs and arms are connected to the body with glue and a two part sculpting epoxy, "milliput". There are brass pipes in his arms and legs, and one acting as his neck.

The glass gauge in his chest is a glass pebble that is flat on one side. I painted the gauge directly onto the back of the pebble, then wrapped it in polymer clay. The winding mechanism in his back is an antique key that I sunk into the clay and glued into place. No, it doesn't turn, and he doesn't actually work (though, that'd be really cool, and I'd be a toy-maker, not a sculptor if I were able to do that!) The sphere that makes up the rat's belly and hips is paper mache, and has some milliput and brass added here and there for effect. The tail was made of a brass pipe and some brass wire.

The rat's surface was covered in wax based brass (rub-n-buff), some 'antique copper' mica powder, some silver and gold acrylic paint, and given a wash in green, black, and brown acrylic paints. He was then sealed with acrylic sealer.

The rat is definitely not as elegant and classy as some steampunk stuff, but I've found that I like the grungy side of steampunk quite a bit.

Now for some real news: I'm trying to move my jewelry making skills to the next level, so I've taken to doing some wrapped wire things. I've also ordered a ring mandrel, so I will be able to add rings (made of actual metal!) to my jewelry. Also, the cloth and clay dolls group that I belong to started their next challenge, which is Birds, so I am now working on a bird art-doll as well! The ducky and the ostrich will be less lonely now!


  1. That's so sweet, the amount of detail is crazy!

    I'm loving your steampunk "adventure", it definitely suits you very well and I believe you should continue to develop your style within it, I mean look at that mouse!

    All the materials you used blend perfectly into both the steampunk movement and the piece itself, you did a wonderful job getting all of those very different elements together in perfect harmony, yet still making it... well, steampunk!

    Looking forward for more, I'm a fan.

  2. Thank you!! I'm working away at making more steampunk stuff and refining the style I use. It's coming together, but kind of slowly. I'm impatient, and want it all to look awesome right away.
    As a side note, I'm working on a spider too, but it's a secret. Hehe

  3. Hey Coy!

    This is (#1.) a late thank you for posting a note at our blog about the prims cover and #(2.) a note to say "Ditto" to the comment that the whole steampunk movment suits your style... you have found a pretty creative niche that works really well for you. I am trying to envision a "steampunk Duckie!" Tsk...tsk Daryle