There’s a blizzard blowing outside my window – my very first official snowstorm in South Dakota. The blowing snow made me think of Santa for some reason, so I decided to make a Santa for my wall.
Santa would probably look nice mounted on the outside of the door, too – but I’m not sure how I could attach him to the door so the wind didn’t blow him into the next county. (Not that I’m complaining – it’s kind of fun watching the storm, for today at least. Tomorrow I might change my mind.)
I started out by stuffing some crumpled paper inside a plastic bag, and then I taped the bag to my worktop. The shape was somewhat Santa-like, with a wider bottom than top because of the beard.
Then I added a thin layer of wet clay from the pottery supply store to the basic form, so I could work out a bit more detail before starting in with the paper mache clay. If I was using the techniques from my mask book I would have done much more work with the clay. However, I had some paper mache clay left over from the dodo, so I decided to use that instead.
The wet clay was covered with some plastic wrap to separate it from the paper mache clay that will go on top.
The paper mache clay then goes on over the plastic wrap. I used a very thin layer, except where I sculpted the eyes.
To make the eyes, I just made a balls out of some paper mache clay and stuck the balls on Santa’s face. Then I added a thin strip of PM clay for the upper eyelid, and used a knife to create a thin lower lid at the bottom of each eyeball. I was able to make balls with the PM clay because I added 1/4 cup of wet pottery clay to the recipe. If you don’t have any pottery clay, you can still make nice eyes but it isn’t quite as easy.
The last step was to add some texture for the beard.
I’ll probably play with him a bit more, smoothing the cheeks with a damp knife, and give him a playful curl on the tips of his mustache. We’ll see — with the snow blowing as hard as it is right now, it looks like I’ll have plenty of time in the house to mess around. (My poor dog hates plowing through the snow for his bathroom run, but I guess he’ll just need to get used to it.)
I’ll let Santa sit near a heater for a few days, and then I’ll be back to show you how he turns out after he gets a coat of paint.
[Edit: Santa is now done. You can see the completed project here.]