Tag Archives: figurines

More figures emerge from the glue and paper…

I mentioned my experiments with papier mache figures a little while ago. Here is the next step in the process. Once again, I constructed a body framework for these women in the same was as I have been (though with practice I am refining my methods and getting better results at how they look and hold together).

This time, I made their outfits out of papers I had on hand. Each person is about 9″ tall or so. Let’s take a look at each individual.

This lady has a dress made of strips of painted paper, dictionary arms and legs, and paper bag head and feet. And you can see she has a more elaborate hair-do. That’s something I am experimenting with too.
This lady has paper bag legs, head, and shoes. Her skirt is painted paste paper. I used scraps of various failed or partial doodles/sketches/drawings in India ink on white sketch paper to make her abstract-patterned blouse.
This figure has paper bag head and shoes, dictionary arms, and India ink print legs. Her dress is made of overlapping layers of different papers, including a list of items, I don’t know what, but it might be groceries. Her hair-do kind of looks like a hat in this photo, maybe, so how nice, two looks in one.

OK, that’s where we are with figurines right now. I really like this method of finishing them. I found painting outfits on them a little tedious, but collaged outfits? Whole other story. We’ll see who comes along next!

Vial People Travel the USA

Remember these little people? I make them from the vials my eye drops come in. I’ve shown you how I create them back in this post from a year or so ago. Since that time I’ve assembled a lot of them and they have gone places.

These people are part of a group who have left Pennsylvania and are now living in California by way of North Carolina. What do you think about that?

Trying out a new persona

You may remember some earlier figures I made of papier mache.

Their creation was an outgrowth of the techniques I learned in various Tiny House classes, specifically, using papier mache. Like these small houses.

In both these cases I created the structure, applied papier mache, and then painted with acrylics.

The idea struck me that I could try something different. I could use the paper itself not only as the method of covering the structure but as the decorative element itself. I tried it out on this lady here. She is built the same way as the figures above but “dressed” in dictionary and magazine print. Her face and feet are from a grocery bag. She’s about 8-9″ tall.

I really think I’m on to something here, figurine-wise. I found it much easier to construct a look I liked in this one-step process as opposed to painting later on. I think I will have a wider range of choices about how the figure looks.

Hmmm, I thought. Next step – try it with some of the papers I have created myself.

Here are some more views:

Stick Ladies Travel

I’m a big fan of Pittsburgh Orbit and its perspective on lilfe in that city. I have a fondness for the city, though I’ve never lived there; my son was a resident for some years and it is where he met his wife and where they got married. We made quite a few trips there over the years. You may remember Knit the Bridge back in 2013? And guess what, Mrs. Orbit is the person who taught me punch needle embroidery online last year, and you know where that’s taken me.

Anyway, I read in a recent Orbit post about a new venture: the Silver Apple Gallery. It’s still forming its identity but one of its missions is to spread art into the community, sort of like the Little Free Libraries do for books.

Well, I felt I had to participate and I had an idea what to contribute. Some stick ladies! I haven’t made any for a while. So – I was more than ready to create. I had some sticks already prepared and I got out my woodburning tool and got to work. Here they are:

I kept the big one for myself. Yes, I did.

The others I put in the mail and off they went to Pittsburgh, where they received a warm welcome. For which I am grateful, since they (I) sort of invited themselves (myself).

But wait, you say. Isn’t one missing? Yes. One of these figurines went somewhere else. I’ll tell you more in another post!

Clay Creatures

Here are some clay creatures made in September, 2020.

First up, this three-legged insect creature. He’s maybe 8 inches tall or so.

You may remember the puff people I used to make – in the dozens, if not hundreds. Here are a couple, to remind you.

Here is a variation on that theme.

For both of these new creatures, I used sgraffito and scratching techniques as well as using clay stamps I made myself. The eyes in particular were made with a stamp.

How about a drama shot, to end the post?

Stick Ladies Update

Back in 2016 I did a thing called Claudia McGill Art Camp. My goal was to use supplies I had on hand, finish up projects, or try something new. One thing I did was to pull out my wood-burning kit and make these figures:

Stick ladies woodburned 8-16 #1 small


Here’s the post that describes the event – take a look.

Well, these ladies have been rattling around for – almost four years. I decided recently it was time to do something about this state of affairs.

My husband cut some @ 3″ square wood blocks from a scrap piece of lumber we had at home. I got some double-ended screws, the name of which I have already forgotten, but no matter. I painted the blocks black. My husband drilled small holes in the blocks and the figures and screwed them together.


Stick Ladies on stands with stand 5-20


Voila! So much better to be vertical, these ladies say.


Now, for the glamour close-up shots:

I said back in 2016 I would love to do more of these figures. Well, life intervened, and I have not done so. Things are different these days, though. I plan to check out some locations in the park for new sticks…

You may remember other stick ladies I have made. Painted them, is what I did. I don’t have any of these left – I distributed them through my art drop-off system that you know if you follow my Sometimes You Get So Confused blog. But here are some photos, anyway – it’s nice to revisit these little entities, I think.

Half-Circle Animals #1 – Terracotta

Recently I made some animal figurines incorporating the circle shape.

To make them, I cut a circle shape in the clay and then cut that in half. I then joined the half-circles along the curved edge, added a bottom, legs, and a head. Next thing you know, clay animals. They look like this:

The largest animal’s body is made from about a six inch diameter circle. The clay is quite stiff and held up well to the process. I decided not to put my usual colorful decoration on these creatures as I liked the simplicity of their black and orange scheme.

Made in July 2019, terracotta clay, fired at cone 06, colored with Velvet underglazes. Here are some more photos showing leg styles – I made some with tubular legs and others are formed from slabs.

Everyone says hello!

Clay terracotta half circle animals group #3 7-191

Medium Cylinder People – Low-Fire White Clay

Some more medium cylinder people from June 2019. They are made with low-fire white clay fired at cone 06 and colored with Velvet underglazes.

A close-up portrait:

Clay Medium cylinder person flounced skirt 6-193

and a couple of back views.

Medium Cylinder People – Terra Cotta

Here are some medium cylinder people – about 5″ tall or so. I made them in June 2019.

Terracotta clay, fired at cone 06, colored with Velvet underglazes.