I'm often asked how my clay figurines are made. Well, please let me show you!  Here is a wee friend that I am sculpting in polymer clay. You can judge his size by the coin to the right.
The process of sculpting is not all additive, in which the clay is applied in sections and modelled into the desired shape and form; it is also subtractive as in carving or taking away. But first, the clay must be baked to a medium hardness so detail can be added. Too soft, it will not carve well and crumble. After this, any corrections must be seen to and he is baked again. The polymer clay can be carved, lightly sanded, tooled and smoothed to the proper finish. 
Once baked to the final stage, the clay must be allowed to cool and then can be painted with acrylics.  Some pieces are first painted a white or a solid colour to give it a distinct hue. Others, like our little lad here, is left in the natural shade to add more realistic undertones. 
 As you can see, the painting is done by hand, as well. The various layers must dry before the finishing details can be added. A bit of gold dust is sprinkled into the greens for this leprechaun and it catches a sheen that sparkles like his mischievous personality !  
And here he is presented, as sure as t' green of t' clover and for your own lucky eyes,
 Casey Séamus O'Toole O'Malley, himself !  

               Casey Séamus O'Toole O'Malley - ©2010 Weird Contessa Studio Creations™

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