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Monday, May 31, 2010

Highcroft Castle - Week Sixteen

I started this week making rugs as mentioned in my previous post.  I won't go back over how I made them here, so if you missed the last post and want to know more please go back and read the post titled "Faux Rag Rugs".  The main focus this week was on polymer clay.  Working with polymer clay has never been a particular skill of mine, but I am quite pleased with the results of this effort.  As I made a range of items from food to kitchen knives to crowns there are too many bits and pieces to list each and every item I made over the past few days, but if you are interested you will find pictures of eveything on Flickr here.  The most notable items I made include the main feature of the dessert course.  It is supposed to be a "subtlye", a dish that looks like one thing, but is infact something different.  Mine is a swan and although it looks like a swan, it is made out of "sugar" and instead of having swan inside it it is stuffed with stawberries embellished with gold leaf.  The white clay swan was dusted with fine white sand before baking to give it a slightly 'grainy', sugary look.  As it is a centrepiece, I used liquid gold leaf to paint the swan's beak as well as on the strawberries and the tray upon which the whole lot sits.   Everything on the table in the above picture was hand made from clay apart from the pile of plates in the bottom lefthand corner, the candlearbra and the plates on which the poached pears sit.

For the treasury I've made about a dozen varied heads for pole weapons (spears, axes, etc) for the weapon rack and a spiked ball for a mace. There are also seven assorted crowns in gold and silver and decorated with jewels.

For the kitchen I made a range of rather dangerous looking knives, a ladle and strainer, a small cauldron/pot, trays, plates jugs and other kitchen necessaries.  The one item really worth mentioning is the "rubbish bin", of which I have yet to take a good photo.  I used a pre-bought hollow barrel and packed the bottom with alfoil so I only had the very top to fill.  I then filled it with leaves, bones both raw and cooked, carrot tops, some grey slimy things that are meant to be eels, some gravy and topped it off with a broken goblet.  I also made some mice who will be added to (and around) the barrel.  I will also add a hunting cat on the bench beside the barrel.  For the washtub I made one third of a pot to give the impression that the water in the tub is deeper than it is and then 'submerged' it in 'water'.  The water is Senic Water and I added suds by injecting it with real suds while it was still liquid.  I filled the bath in the bedroom in the same manner.

The only other item I've worked on this week that's not polymer clay related was the bird in the Sorcerer's Study.  I made the basic bird previously, but this week painted it in a pale lavender and gave it wings and a tail of real feathers dyed vibrant shades of purple.  He still needs his beak and eyes painting, but is looking quite spectaular already.  This week I hope to sort out the Mystery Room.  I'm now pretty sure it will be a throne room, so I need to make a dias and finish off the throne and find some suitably plush and regal fabric for upholstery and curtains (etc).

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