But please pronounce it Fronkensteen. Yes, I am a fan of "Young Frankenstein". I might even be able to mess my hair up like Gene Wilder's in the movie, but I doubt I could do the wild look.
I'll introduce you to Lizzy now. Lizzy's name came out of nowhere and so did she. Would you believe she started out as a bird cage that had the wrong size? I got asked if I could make a bird cage with a bird inside (which actually rekindled my polymer clay "career" that had got stuck in its baby shoes, but that's a different story). My first attempt was too slim, so I put it away. As with many of my unfinished projects, though (gee, sounds like I have thousands of them lying around while there are only like ... *mumble mumble*), I looked at it again and again. I rarely throw away a messed up piece because I like how failure can be an inspiration for something else.
The more I looked at this "non-cage", the more it looked like a skirt to me. One too many Georgette Heyer books maybe? (Note: Re-read your Heyers once more.) And finally I took a heart and added a little bodice and puff sleeves. Not that bad, but what now? Put it on a wire hanger? Make a pendant out of it? I thought of putting a body in there, but I had no idea how to do it. Polymer clay, yes. But how? How?
The dress spent quite a while on my desk until I finally decided to make a head. I found I am not a great head maker. A little piggy nose, fat eyebrows (I still use to underestimate how big a speck of clay can become if you flatten it, but I'm working on it), and huge hair, but at least tied in a knot. As it had only been my third attempt at a head, I still felt it was ok (don't ask about the two heads still lying around here, I am afraid I won't be able to put them to good use! ;-)
More time went by. Then, on another inspection of the dress, I saw the long wire ends still sticking out of the sleeves.
That's when my "Fronkensteen" genes started to move. Polymer clay around the wire, a neck, ah, you should have heard my mad laughter. Unfortunately there was no lightning and thunder. It would have been nice and fitting.
Little did I know how difficult the process would prove to be. For a trained polymer clay artist it wouldn't have been a problem, I'm sure, but for me - oh my, I can't count how often the wire went bouncing back just when I thought the clay looked good now. I even tried to make a pompadour to keep her hands together, but I didn't like the look of it. To make a neck for the head was easier, but it turned out to be a little fat.
Into the oven she went (had to be the oven, no lightning, you remember?) and out of the oven she came like this.
The wire color was shining through the clay and the poor girl had the "uneven elbow disease". I thought some lace for longer sleeves and some jewelry for the neckline would be a good idea, hm, and something to fill up the skirt. More lace maybe?
When I showed Lizzy - told you the name came out of nowhere - to my online friends, I got a few more suggestions ... and was told whom she reminded them of. Very funny indeed. Lizzy will have to spend lots of time in therapy! And I almost cried from laughing so hard.
Today was the big accessory day. First I made a wire crochet stole for Lizzy. Although I used the smallest hook possible with this wire, it got - hm, let's call it luxurious. It wasn't easy to bend, but I think it's ok even if it hides the bodice and the sleeves.
Then Lizzy got a simple little necklace with a tiny freshwater seed pearl that doesn't look so tiny on her as she is only 2 inches tall herself.
And last of all I filled up the skirt. If you look very closely at the two pictures above, you can see the red wire peeking through. In daylight you can see it better. Now that she is not that lightweight anymore, she also stands better.
There you go. That is Lizzy. I don't know yet if she will get any siblings, but I promise to keep you up-to-date on the subject.
Dr. Fronkensteen ;-)
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