My sister is probably the biggest Dave Matthews Band fan to walk the face of this planet. She’s been to so many of his concerts I think that she’s even lost counts, following him all the way to the east coast and back!
With that in mind I decided to sculpt a Fire Dancer ornament to give her as a Christmas gift this year and I think it came out pretty amazing considering it was made from aluminum foil, sculpey and acrylic paint.
I separately sculpted the legs, torso and arms and pieced them together by smoothing out the clay together the same way I did in my Bumble sculpting (Mini Sculpting: The Bumble). I screwed a small eye bolt into the head area to hand it before baking it.
After baking it and allowing it to cool off, I painted it red and yellow allowing the paint to bleed into each other to make an appearance of flames.
When I think of the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie, it’s not just the iconic Rudolph that is important to my family. My favorite is the Bumble and my husband’s is Yukon Cornelius, so of course for my festive Christmas display that I am creating I just had to sculpt him. This has been a project that I have thought about doing for such a long time and now that I have a dedicated crafting space to work on each piece in my spare time it has been a delight to watch them come to life.
I always make rough forms of my characters with aluminum foil after seeing this tip on Pinterest a while back – it helps the sculpture keep it’s form while your shaping it and it also doubles your supply of modeling clay! If the clay gets too soft you should put into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to allow it to harden a bit for easier sculpting.
- Sculpey modeling clay
- Aluminum foil
- Azure blue acrylic paint
- White acrylic paint
- Brown acrylic paint
- Light pink acrylic paint
- Golden Brown acrylic paint
- Black acrylic paint
- Red acrylic paint
- Light yellow acrylic paint
- Gray acrylic paint
- Start by making a stump shaped torso and a oval ball of aluminum foil for his head and body. Cover each piece with modeling clay and then add bake and bond to secure the head to the torso, smoothing the seems out with the side of the needle sculpting tool and your finger tips.
- To form the bearded chin on the face, add a layer of bake and bond to the indented area between the torso and the head and then add a thick layer of clay smoothing it out with your finger tips and side of the needle tool.
- Add a a flattened ball of clay to the top of his head and create a seem using arrow tip tool for his hat. Scoop out the slightly flat shape with the scraping tool for the top of the hat creating the brim and then add a ball of clay for the pom pom.
- Form the base of the arms and legs with aluminum foil and then add clay over the top; leave a small balls of foil to make feet on the legs. For the legs add a generous amount of clay and use the scraping tool to separate the pants legs from the boots.
- Add bake and bond to the area where each arm and leg is to be attached before each application of appendige. Push into place and then use the side of the needle tip tool and finger tips to smooth and attach the arms/legs without seems.
- Roll out a string of clay for his belt and apply after adding bake and bond. Then make a flat square and add to the front for his belt buckle.
- Roll out two more strings of clay thinner than the belt for his backpack straps and secure around his arms with bake and bond.
- Make a ball of foil and cover with clay for his backpack and attach the same way as the head, but no smoothing out of the seems needed here.
- Roll out some aluminum foil and cover with clay for the handle of his pick axe. Roll out more clay keeping the center wider and create points on each end. Secure to the handle with bake and bond and smooth the edges with the side of the needle tip tool and your fingers. Add a square of clay to the top using the same technique.
- Roll out two balls of clay and flatten for his ear muffs, roll out a small string of clay to attach the muffs on the back of the head and attach with bake and bond.
- Roll out two small balls of clay and flatten on a table, using the straight tip tool create a flat line and apply to his chest with bake and bond for his shirt pockets.
- Make a small circle for his nose and cut in half, add bake and bond and smooth on the nose with the needle tool and the flat side of scoop tool.
- Roll out two stings of clay to twist in place on his face for his mustache and attach with bake and bond.
- Roll out a ball for his free hand and cut four fingers spreading them slightly. Add bake and bond to the wrist and smooth out with the needle tool and finger tips. Add a small stub for his them attaching it the same way.
- Roll four rolls for fingers for the other hand and attach the same as the other hand, wrapping the fingers around the pick axe handle and then add a thumb.
- Use the metal brush to tap the beard and hair on his head to make the curly textured look.
- Use the needle tool to make round dots for his eyes.
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
- While baking, mix golden brown, light pink, and white paint together to make his skin color.
- If you have color left over from the bumble, add a little dark blue paint (I mixed azule blue and white together), otherwise just mix white blue together for his coat.
- Mix red and brown for his beard and hair.
- Mix brown and black for the pick axe handle.
- Once out of the oven and cooled, paint him according to the picture below.