One of the pieces of graphic art I created for my Photoshop class was a composite image of a tree over a woman. I called it Yggdrasil Dying. The intent was to convey a sense of mother earth (Yggdrasil in Norse mythology) suffering.
I decided to try and convey that same sense of suffering only through a sculpture this time.
The sculpture began as a bundle of wires that I twisted into the form of a tree.
Once I had the basic form down I started adding polymer clay. I use a blend of Sculpey medium and Sculpey Firm. I like the way it holds and the malleability it retains. I needed to use polymer clay for this sculpt as molding and casting this complex of a figure is WAY beyond my capability and resources.
After filling out the base with aluminum foil, I started blocking in the sculpture. I did an initial bake to harden the inside form so that I wouldn’t have uneven baking with varying thicknesses of clay. After the basic form was baked, I started on the figure.
Detailing the bark and adding the peels and cracks was very tedious, but I was very happy with the results.
After all the detailing, it was time to finish it. I baked the whole thing off in the oven once again and then filled in some minor cracking with lightweight Spackle and some glue mixed with baking soda.
Since the theme of the piece was death, I wanted the finished sculpture to look very aged. I opted for a bronze finish with a heavy, heavy blue/green patina.
I started by painting the sculpt in a flat black primer
After the Primer had dried, I used black Kiwi shoe polish and bronze powder to give her a dark bronze finish.
Next came the patina. I was worried that I had gone too heavy, but after drying, buffing and finishing, I was quite happy with the results.
This one challenged me quite a bit. It’s been a while since I worked with polymer clay, but I think I genuinely prefer it to other oil based clay that I have been using. It is cleaner and cheaper!
Yggdrasil Dying is my homage to our planet. We are killing her everyday with our carelessness and overuse of resources. I hope for my children’s sake that we right this wrong sooner rather than later.
Thanks for reading!