I’m a present-making machine

bottlesI am also a procrastinator.

I’ve know that I wanted to make presents for friends and family since last Christmas. I do it every year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. And yet just like last year I find myself sculpting, gluing, baking, drawing, and crafting every evening in the week leading up to the holiday. I always panic, freak out, make a couple last-minute trips to Michaels, and manage to get done with a day or two to spare.

This year was no different. After a final trip to Michaels and a crafting session that ended shortly after Midnight, I am done with all but one of my presents (and that one can wait as I wont see that person until a couple weeks after the holiday).

This year I did a bit of a cop-out. I only sculpted one of what I would consider a “large” sculpture, in that it was more complex than my usual fare. I sculpted my grandparent’s dog, Charlie for them. Everyone else got dragons, and not even particularly impressive or detailed dragons, not as well as I know I am capable of doing.

So I feel a little “blah” about this holiday. I know my family will love whatever I give them, they are a loving and honestly caring bunch like that, but knowing myself that I could have done better will make their appreciation of my gifts bittersweet.

For my D&D friends I made the above potion bottles.  There is a potion of plant growth for the Druid, a healing potion for the Cleric, and invisibility potion for the Rogue and a Mana potion for the Wizard (2 of those potions don’t actual exist in D&D but that’s OK). For the DM I made a dice box. It is a book sized and shaped box that I’ve put felt and a divider into to create a compartment for dice and an area for rolling dice.

I still need to do some decorating work on the box, but that’s the one that I’ve got time on, since we won’t be meeting for D&D until after the new year. I need to create a way to lock the box closed, and also decorate it with the tentacles and beedy eyes of a sea monster for the Cthulu-loving DM.

I also got a large D20 mold that I plan to use to make chocolate D20s for everyone. I already have the chocolates and will work on that today.  But after that I can sit back and relax, because another year of presents are done!

greemstiffWhat I am really excited about though, what I can’t wait for, is for the Green Stuff to arrive.  It is this small amount of clay, and what you do is take an equal bit of the lime green and of the blue, blend them together, and they make this super sticky putty that you put on the armature in a thin coating before applying the grey sculpey firm clay.

Because it is super sticky, it sticks to the metal wires, unlike just the polymer clay that does not stick at all to the wires but slides around and creates air pockets. It is pretty much impossible to sculpt miniatures without this stuff.

I am excited to try, but also nervous. I’ve never sculpted something small before. And none of my sculptures really have any small details. I also do a lot of sculpting with my fingers, but for this I will actually need to utilize my various sculpting tools, something I am again unfamiliar with.

For my first attempt I plan to try sculpting the character I’ll be playing in the next D&D campaign. It will be a Kenku Warlock, they are a kind of humaniod crow creature, and I feel a beak will be a lot easier to sculpt than a person’s face. Also this character will wear flowing robes and carry a staff, two relatively simple characteristics to detail, so hopefully this first attempt will be an easy one.

If I am successful I will go on to sculpt my Aasimar Paladin Sopheriel, and my friend Alabama Gandalf’s Furbolg Wizard. I am sure my other D&D friends will want miniatures as well, and I will love getting more experience, and sculpting things to add to my gallery. Once I have finished sculpting the free ones for my friends, I can put examples up on Etsy and potentially sell custom miniatures!

I’m not sure what prices I’d charge. There is a website where the cheapest one you can get is $15 and that is for 3D sculpted plastic with minor details. This will be hand-crafted, and optionally hand-painted, but at the same time I’m not sure people will be willing to pay a lot for such a small item.

Also, the dice box I am making for my DM is practice as well. I intend to make one for myself as well, and come up with a few design options that I could potentially create.  Though I’d want to craft even the box myself, and I’ve never really worked with wood before. I may need to enlist my Dad’s help with showing me how to use some of his tools, and with what woods to use.

But I am getting ahead of myself. I may utterly fail at sculpting miniatures. But I cannot wait to try!  Amazon says I will get my stuff tomorrow, but as it is the holidays and most of the things I’ve ordered have arrived late, I will not expect it tomorrow.

I fully intend to post a blog with some progress pictures once I do start though!

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