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Creatures of Autumn

Last Autumn I was overtaken (mostly) by Halloween, and churned out many pumpkins and pumpkin beasts, all of Sculpey III, the colored version of the oven-baked clay, Super Sculpey.  I made well over 30 evil jack-o-lanterns, plus a handful of the less-evil versions.  And the Pumpkin Beast?  I was imagining a Jack Pumpkinhead in a bad mood, and went with the idea of a malevolent pumpkin vine attempting to "grow" into a human form.

And for Thanksgiving, I was asked to make a cartoony turkey.  The design is not mine.  My customer looked up images on Google and sent me the one she wanted.

The turkey!

The Pumpkin Beast is all wire and Sculpey III.  For the main body I used a thicker wire, but for the fingers, I used floral wire and wrapped clay around them, then stretched and twisted them into as thin a shape as I could.  The "vines" wrapped here and there were made with a garlic press.  Yes, a garlic press!  Stick in some clay, close the press, and you get a nice set of clay noodles.  Obviously you would not then use the press anymore for food.

Above is the very first evil jack-o-lantern that I created, apart from the one on the Pumpkin Beast.  For this photo I made a caption on my flyer that read something like, "A pumpkin SO! EVIL! that it devours other pumpkins, then displays their remains as a warning to others."

That said, all of the jack-o-lanterns were created the same way.  I started with a ball of black, baked Sculpey III.  This made it hard for carving later.  Then I rolled out some translucent Sculpey III, and also rolled out various kinds of orange Sculpey III.  I tried to make that thinner than the translucent clay, but it didn't always work.  First I wrapped the black ball with translucent clay, and then wrapped the orange over that.  Once the wrapping was done, I used a hobby knife to "carve" the jack-o-lantern design, then carefully remove the sliced pieces and fixed any areas that had been stretched out.  Raw Sculpey doesn't stick very well to baked Sculpey, so it wasn't difficult to remove the uncooked translucent/orange pieces.

Then I added the pumpkin texture and a brown stem, also textured and then sliced at top.  The jack-o-lanterns were then baked again.

Also attempted was a half-pumpkin/half-snowman beast.  This was inspired by the Haunted Mansion Holidays, when the various Disney parks overlay their Mansions with a "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme.  In the hallway where there are usually transforming portraits of, say, a tall ship at sea (into a ghost ship!) or a woman on a chaise lounge (into a were-tiger!), the gallery has NBC-themed effects.  One of them shows a pumpkin dissolving into a snowman, and back and forth.

I pondered for a moment how I could do this is 3D, and decided on the back-to-back figures shown here.  The effect is pretty good when looking at them head-on.

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