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The Storyteller Wreath
Part 2
By Dar Beck
Dar won second place in a large competition with this gourd! Way to go Dar! This gourd includes paint, fabric and polymer clay.
Step Eleven:
Prepare the poncho for the ‘storyteller’.  Because she is quite large, I put a piece around her middle as a skirt, then another piece around her shoulders as a shawl. Finish her off with flowers in her hair and earrings.  Again, when using Sobo glue covering the bare gourd, the glue gives the polymer clay enough ‘tooth’ to stick there until it can be baked. (I put her into the wreath while unbaked so the form would fit better and her poncho would bend where necessary before baking and becoming hard.)
Step Twelve:
With scissors cut fringe around bottom.  Put little bit of beige clay at sleeve opening for a hand or fingers. 
Step Thirteen:
The little feet will be sticking out from below. Edges do not have to be even.  Put the ‘little one’ on the poncho piece to make sure it fits around the middle.  Start it centered at the back of the head and roll the collar part so the face can be seen.  Match or overlap the centers.  Squeeze the poncho clay in the center to stick onto the body (red scrap) clay.  Smooch it around to give some character.
These little ones are ready for the oven.  I use a toaster oven for small items like these and use my kitchen oven for larger items.  See how each ‘little one’ is very different.  In this total group of 15, I made 2 of them sitting, couple with their feet crossed, and some have hands holding their ponchos closed.
When baking be sure to follow the manufacturers directions as listed on the package.  These were all baked in my toaster oven at 275 deg. For 1 hour.  I also put a piece of parchment paper over the top of the little ones.  Just to guard against any close up heat that might change the color of the gourds.
Take out of the oven and cool completely down. 

Click on thumbnail for larger image
Step Fourteen:
Here is the ‘storyteller’ coming out of the oven, just cooling down. I use aluminum pans (like a turkey roaster), one for the bottom pan that has a tile in the bottom (for constant heat).  I rested her on top of polyfill stuffing material so her fringe wouldn’t get messed up and the ruffles would stay in place.  Then cover with a top pan and fasten together with clips like you see in the picture on the far right side.  Into the kitchen oven she goes.  Because of her size and following manufacturer’s instructions, she was in the oven for 2 hours.
When cool, remove earrings and reattach with instant glue.

Click on thumbnail for larger image
Step Fifteen:
Using 3 coats of Future floor wax (it is compatible with polymer clay) all the ‘little ones’ and the ‘storyteller’ have been covered and dried.
Alternative:  Also compatible is Varathane Diamond  Wood Finish.  Other types may become sticky or tacky over time.

Click on thumbnail for larger image
Step Sixteen:
Nellie is trying to help me check on the wreath.  And this is one reason I do most of my layout directly on the wall.  This was done just for the photo and I just couldn’t keep him away.

Click on thumbnail for larger image

The ‘storyteller’ was glued into the wreath first using Weldbond glue and left overnight – at least 12 hours.  She was very firmly in place prior to setting up the ‘little ones”
Armed with the hot glue gun and glue sticks together with the Weldbond glue, the little ones were placed accordingly.  The hot glue was used just to place the ‘little one’s’ into a fixed spot, so they would stay while the Weldbond dried. Feathers were added to soften the twig wreath
All Done At Last

© 2002 Dar Beck