"The Essence of a Dragon"

Completely Articulate Polymer Clay Dragon Dolls

Steampunk - and other styles taught!

Kudzu will walk you through the project suggesting tips for "Do's and Don'ts"

"The Essence of a Dragon"

We are going to do something different this time. I'm not going to write a silly story about Sophie (my dog) and I going out for a walk. Nor am I going to tell you about what these silly creatures have been doing lately. I'm going to tell you how and why these dragons came to be.

The first dragon in this series, Shalot the Key Keeper, was born out of great frustration and perseverance. I have always been a doll maker, started when I was about 4. Short and skinny version...parents split up, grandmothers didn't know what to do with me. One taught me to read, the other to sew. Ta-dah...a life long avid reader and doll maker!

I have always had a love of dragons. Not sure if Pete's Dragon, Smaug or Puff started it, and I suppose that doesn't matter! As a doll maker I was always wanting them to move. Ball-jointed, full porcelain became my favorite in no time. are so limited! Pouring someone else's mold just doesn't produce the satisfaction that I was looking for. Soft sculpture didn't really do it for me either.

I had played with clay on and off for many years but never thought of polymer for dolls. Why? Beat's the tar out of me! Finally the idea came about to make a dragon "doll". A year of many failed attempts followed. I'm here to tell you, ball joints are more trouble than they are worth!! Shalot was a last ditch effort. I was looking at some hand-made furniture and admired the dove tail joints used. It was one of those "Holy Cow, Great Gadzooks!" moments. I knew it would work on the dragon and it did.

It took me the better part of a week to sculpt her. (Now, it takes a day or two, maybe three...ha ha ha.) She and I went slow and got to know each other.

During the time of her birth a wise woman (Umm....Trish, you know I'm talking about you!) asked "How do you tell a girl dragon from a boy dragon?" I'm going to now tell you this great and sacred secret....lift up the tail and ....OK, just kidding. They tell you. As I sculpt and see who is being born they slowly hint at who and what they are to be. More often than not, I have a sketch or idea when I start but that doesn't mean changes won't happen, certain details may be added or taken away.

Shalot became very apparently female in my dragon's mind eye. Her body is thinner and she just looks feminine. This style of sculpt meant a lot to me and was a great accomplishment. In one of those rare quiet, philosophical moments I pondered how a bit of me, my essence, goes into each creation that I sculpt. Then I decided that these large "jointed dragon dolls" would all be themed around something important to me. The Essence Keepers where born...

In this class you will learn to sculpt a completely articulated dragon doll. They move at the ankle, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, shoulder, the head turns and nods, and last but not least the tail. You can make your dragon from 10" tall all the way to 2 feet tall. Plenty of extras are included.... walking sticks, charms, decorations and embellishments, molded shoes, basic clothingitems and wings. There is also a gallery of different dragons made in this style to help motivate and inspire you. The sky is the limit!

This class includes 20 Parts and over 400 photos with step-by-step instructions.