Monday, 12 July 2010

Ok I Give up............What am I Doing Wrong?

Oh dear! What a mess....I have been very intrigued lately by the use of wire in creating vines and branches. As I am in the process of making flowers for Ira of Merry Jingle as part of the garden swap I thought I would have a go at the wire technique.
As you can see it has been a complete disaster.
In my mind I thought I would twist together strands of wire, then press air-drying onto the twisted wire and it would bond together making branches and vines perfectly. As can be seen this has not worked out quite how I imagined. I could not get the clay to mould or stick or show any impressions from the twisted wire
I did, however, manage to make some small trunks for topiary style trees by wrapping lengths of dowel in wire and air-drying clay. These I will paint and then decorate.
I also put together these plants from bits I had lying about as practice for adding foliage to clay. Again I will paint these and see how they look. Not a lot of success here today but......
I did mange to decorate various boxes for the toy shop. These will be for displaying and for show. I like the way they have turned out so now I will try and make some carrier bags too. As I complete a little bit at a time I am beginning to get a feel for this project, it's beginning to represent me more now, the bonding is progressing!!
I have also acquired my first witch, a  very friendly, jolly lady who is staying in my witch house at the moment.
Isn't she gorgeous!? I was lucky enough to purchase her from Joy of  Adora Bella. I love her plump, rosy cheeks.
Here she is in the study sweeping up after a less than successful afternoon with wire and paper clay!! Thanks Joy she fits in perfectly.


  1. Your tree trunk looks a bit like a mad moose, there are the horns and I can also see the eyes, just paint it brown and flock it :D I completely understand how you feel, I have to give it go also so you can see my disaster :D

    Those boxes look great and the jolly lady really looks happy - if she likes that much cleaning, wonder if she would clean my house also :D

  2. I cant help you with the plants Janice but I can say its so nice to see you have one of my dear friend Joy's excellent Witches. She looks right at home xxxxxxxx

  3. Doesn't Joy do the most wonderful faces on her sculpts. She's lovely..

  4. Oh my....well, as Thomas Edison said... "I have not failed; I have just found another way it doesn't work..."

    I have never used air dry clay over my wire but I have had some success with polymer clay and Nikki Rowe (from Witch and Wizard Minaitures) uses just white glue and paint with excellent results!

    Perhaps your wire was too thick to start? I texture the clay once it is applied to the wire but Nikki gets the effect by wrapping the wire multiple times until she is satisfied with the texture. I would think air dry clay would lend itself to the same technique as the polymer clay. Don't give up!!


  5. I love your witch, with that kindly face she could never cast mean spells. Love your boxes too. I look forward to seeing progress with the branches, something I'd like to try sometime.

  6. Can't offer any advice on the wire dilemma but your boxes turned out well and I love your very benevolent looking witch.

  7. Hi janice, I use florists tape to wrap round my wires,it sticks to itself so no need for glue :0) and then you can paint it with paint mixed with texture paste to give a realistic effect. Cheap,simple and actually really easy !!
    Love Joys happy witches :0)
    julie xxx

  8. Perhaps I can help you.
    Have a look to my trees:

    The branches of the first one are made with plaster and the second one (inside the witchy bookcase) with Prosculpt (polymer clay).
    If you want write me and email I would try to explain you as detailed I can.
    My email
    Or I can write here, whatever you want :)

    By the way, the witch is wonderful :)


  9. Las plantas te estan quedando preciosas!!!!
    Muchas gracias por el enlace, las brujitas son una maravilla!!
    besitos ascension

  10. Your new witch is so sweet ♥ I'm pretty new to mini making, but I wonder if the paper clay would stick to your twisted wire better if you gave the wire a coat of glue first? I've heard when some people put paper clay on the walls of houses they put glue down first? I love the trunks and the foilage you added to the clay :)

  11. Hi ladies as usual I have receivesd such generous and useful advice. I think the main problem has been that I have tried to run before I can walk!

    I think I have been suffering from a dose of 'I am sure I must be able to do that'and of course I forget that I need to learn clay basics first.

    I will definitely give Julie's method a go first as this will teach me how to use the wire and develop some painting techniques.

    Thank you Tabitha I will also be trying out these techniques also.

    Eva, so generous of you and I have looked at and admired your work. Your trees have such lovely expressions. I would be grateful for any tips and advice. Thank you.

    And yes, my witch is fab!

  12. Joys witch is adorable Janice. Lucky you.

    As for the trees....I think perhaps you are starting with the wire too big and with too many gaps to start with maybe ? I twist mine to within an inch of it's life so it is real tight..

    I've never use paperclay on wire but I think maybe if this is how you want to do it try adding glue to the wire first.

    I use a molding paste over the wire but only after I've wrapped it all in floral tape. Then i go in with a pin and make the bark shapes.

    But all is not have some fab fantasy trees there :-)

  13. Hi Jayne, I think you are right, too many gaps in the structure to begin with. I have to realise that getting it wrong is learning and not failure!!

    Just like Tabitha's great quote.

  14. Yup that is pretty hard to learn...especially when you have little patience like me lol.

    But really, you should see some of my first tries - at least you have some usable experiments there :-)

  15. Just use pva glue in several thin coats over the wire... its all you need! Then just paint in various browns.

  16. Forgot to say if you were making a massive tree then clay for the large area, but blended into the twigs that come off and then just pva. You can also get modelling pastes and then forget the glue and clay.

  17. I thought the branches were dinosaur bones! maybe you can make them into that! I'm sure all the miniaturists will have a solution. And you boxes are adorable!!great job!

  18. Thanks Nikki, such helpful advice as usual, I must get one of the techniques right eventually!

    Good idea Mr Pineapple man!

  19. I see that others have already advised you! :o)

    You can also use polyfiller mixed and PVA and apply that to your wire too (build up in layers).

    I've not had a good time with mini's either, my exterior doors for Hogwarts have or were causing me problems, resolved now thankfully!

    I love your witch, just a fabulous face and just perfect!!! :o)) Joy really does make some truly quirky characters! Have you seen her blog?! :o)

    Michelle xx

  20. Hi Michelle, sometimes you put aside a good amount of time and it seems to disappear with nothing to show for it except failure.
    Next time I will remember Tabitha's great quote.


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