Pringles Tower: Part 3

 

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Okay, so we’ve poured our foundation and applied our first sheath of pressed clay. Now it’s time to start sculpting. Again, the first thing I do is to use a flat edged thin tool to mark out my grid for the stone work. I press to tool into the clay right down to the can surface.

Here’s a pic of the foundation in progress. The red circle shows what my initial grid work looked like.

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I went with irregular shaped stone work. You can see how my corners started out sharp. Later I came back with a tapered wooden dowel and massaged each ‘stone’ to get various heights/depths on the stonework while at the same time round off the corners a bit. On some stones, I took little bits of clay and actually built them up a bit so they really protruded. The goal here is to fool the eye into believe each stone was layed by hand and is a separate piece.

You’ll get the hang of it as you move from stone to stone. I wanted deep/wide mortar lines but you could do then tight and shallow.

Here’s another photo showing further progress. Here I’ve added steps which lead the the door to the tower. You could go in a different direction, say hang the door on level two with access by a wooden ladder that can be pulled up.

As I mentioned previously, Sculpey is very forgiving. Once you grid out your stone work, some parts may not look right to your eye. For example those really wide smooth sones in the center of the picture? I ended up rubbing those lines out and breaking them into smaller stones.

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As you massage/detail each stone you’ll want to add some texture. For this piece I wanted a rough surface, as though the builders were working hastily or never got an opportunity to come back and dress the stone to a smooth surface. I wanted some character.

After some experimenting I went with a rough chiseled surface with tool marks that provide some contrast to the finished piece. Here’s the next WIP photo.

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At this point, I decided to based the piece on cardboard. As you can see I have extended my clay sheathing up to my second level line. Most of the detail/texturing is finished and by this point I’m getting a feel for things. I’ve also added height to several stones randomly (later I decided some of these were TOO high – and shaved them down with an Xacto blade).

Now — at this point, I baked the ENTIRE piece at 270 degrees. And I repeated this process once each subsequent level was finished. Just makes it easier when sculpting, you don’t have to worry about grabbing the soft clay, bumping it on the table edge, etc.

Here’s the piece out of the oven.

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I hate making doors from scratch, so I used a Hirst piece here. I decided to use some green stuff (miliput) for my door jam. And having mixed too much, I used what was left over to do some pavement stones leading up to my steps. BTW green stuff can be baked.

To fit the door, I just layer it over the soft my stone surface, scored with with a blade, and peeled off the needed material. Now we just repeat the process by building up to each of our level lines, baking, and repeating the process. Here level two’s been added.

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You’ll notice the band of stone to show the floor level. I used an Extruder to make ribbons of square which I applied and then sculpted. You could do this without an extruder but they are very handy things to have. Here’s one on Amazon economically priced.

Now for the windows, I wanted them to be uniform in appearance. Four on each level, but rotated on their axis 45 degrees each level. You’ll notice I drew some vertical lines to show my center points for the window. I also realized to make them uniform, I would need a tool. This is what I came up with.

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I cut the end off a popsicle stick, drilled a hole in it and glued a little handle into the hole. I used this as a stamp on my clay sheathing to make indentations for my windows. Once stamped, I used an Xacto knife to peel away the clay exposing the can surface underneath.

And that’s it – repeat the process for each level. Here the piece has been baked three times (for the foundation, level 1 and level 2) and I’ve just applied my clay sheathing for the top level.

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Next installment we’ll talk about what goes on top to crown our piece.

** Note, I mentioned it in Part One but be sure to put a small hole into the top of your tower. (seen above) before baking. You don’t want any nasty surprises.

 

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