THE TROLL HEAD
Part 1 of 3

Photos Ray Jensen

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Troll by Christal Jensen
Troll (Norwegian): n. A very large creature seen in the woods of Norway. Living in caves in the mountains, with rooms full of gold and silver. Well known to capture the oldest princess for some hero to rescue.

Sculpting a troll face is not that difficult, mainly because the proportions don’t have to be as accurate as when sculpting a human being. You can make funny faces and big noses, and they still look like that's what they were meant to be. The lesson is a good choice for beginners in 'humanized' claying.  I hope you will give it a try.

This head measures 2 inches (5cm) and his full body around 10 inches (25cm). We will only make the head in this lesson.






Materials for making the head:

  • Foil
  • Flesh colored, black, white and translucent blue polymer clay (I've used FIMO® Soft clay)
  • Sobo® or TLS (attaching unbaked to baked clay)
  • Pasta machine or brayer
  • Sharp cutting blade
  • Knitting and wool/yarn needles
  • Brushes
  • Acrylic antique medium, light pink and red-orange acrylic paint
  • Matte and glossy polymer clay varnish
  • Aleene's Tacky Glue®
  • Sheep wool for hair
  • Wire or other decorations for jewelry

STEP ONE:
Start with a aluminum ball. Crumple it together and pack it hard until you have a shape around 1 1/4 inches (3cm) in diameter. Attach three or four needle pins to make it stand on your work surface while sculpting.

STEP TWO:
Roll two balls of clay and three logs. Press them onto the foil. This will make a skeleton and will make the sculpting easier.

STEP THREE:
Wrap the 'skeleton' with a sheet of clay rolled on the number 4 setting on the pasta machine.

STEP FOUR:
Press the clay sheet slightly in place so you will start to see the bumps underneath. Cut away the excess with a sharp blade.

STEP FIVE:
Make indentations with a knitting needle for the eyes.

STEP SIX:
Cut an opening for the mouth with a sharp blade.

STEP SEVEN:
There are several ways to create eyes for dolls and trolls, including using glass eyes or acrylic eyes. This method shows how to make Millefiori eyes. It is a cheap way to make eyes in different sizes, and you don't have to paint them after baking. Start with a thin log of white clay. Wrap it with a sheet of black clay for the iris, rolled on the number 3 setting on the pasta machine.

STEP EIGHT:
Blend together translucent blue with a tiny amount of white clay and make a sheet on the number 1 setting on your pasta machine. Wrap the iris with the blue clay.

STEP NINE:
Wrap the blue clay two times with white clay rolled on number 1 (thickest) setting on the pasta machine. There will be less distortions to the pupils and iris with a lot of white clay around.

STEP TEN:
Reduce to desired size. Bake the cane for ten minutes and slice off pieces for eyes to insert into the troll. If you want the eyes to be rounded, you can either sand the end of the cane with wet and dry sandpaper before slicing, or you can cut and round each piece with your fingers before baking. This can give some distortion to the cane. Tiny eyes shown in the picture are for smaller sized dolls.

STEP ELEVEN:
Put your pre-baked eyes into the holes.

For the nose, start with a ball of clay and shape it into a cone with your finger. Keep the nose big.

STEP TWELVE:
Press the nose onto the face.

STEP THIRTEEN:
Use a combination of your fingers and a knitting needle to blend out the seams.

STEP FOURTEEN:
Make nose wings on both sides of the nose with your knitting needle. Make sure they are evenly placed, include checking from top of the head.

STEP FIFTEEN:
Make nostrils from the tip of the nose and down toward the mouth. Make the mark under the nose narrower at the nose and wider at the upper lip.

STEP SIXTEEN:
Roll out a thin log for eyelids. Press them on top of his eyes. Blend with the knitting needle.

STEP SEVENTEEN:
Make indentations with the knitting needle for the wet line under his eyes.

STEP EIGHTEEN:
Smooth and blend away excess clay.

STEP NINETEEN:
Make teeth from a flattened log of white clay. Bake it for ten minutes and then cut the log into small teeth.

STEP TWENTY:
Put the baked teeth into his mouth. Shape the mouth with your knitting needle.

STEP TWENTY-ONE:
Make wrinkles using a wool needle around his eyes and forehead.

STEP TWENTY-TWO:
You can also add some warts. When finished, bake the head for 30 minutes according to the temperature for the clay you are using.

STEP TWENTY-THREE:
Wait until the head is hard and cold before continuing. It's easier to sculpt further when you can touch the front. Use a sheet of clay rolled on the number 4 setting on the pasta machine. Use a thin amount of either Sobo or TLS for attaching the unbaked clay to the already baked face. Blend the sheet into the baked clay and cut away excess.



STEP TWENTY-FOUR:
Make his ears. Remember, make them big. He is a troll!!

Start with a ball. Use your finger to roll it into a cone-shape like on the nose. Flatten it on the work surface, and shape it a bit.

STEP TWENTY-FIVE:
Press them onto his head. Use the knitting needle to blend them into the front of the head . . .

. . . and also on the back side, so they are firmly in place.

STEP TWENTY-SIX:
Make holes in his ear using the top of a paintbrush.

STEP TWENTY-SEVEN:
Draw a line into the clay with the knitting needle.

STEP TWENTY-EIGHT:
Make a little hole in his ear flap for jewelry.

STEP TWENTY-NINE:
Using a sharp tool, make a hole for his wire armature body.

STEP THIRTY:
Roll out a fat log of clay for his neck around the hole. Attach it to his head.

STEP THIRTY-ONE:
Blend again with your knitting needle.

Bake the head on Fiberfill® facing down for 30 minutes. Let it cool.

STEP THIRTY-TWO:
Apply acrylic antique medium to give the troll an aged look, but don't use it on his eyes and teeth. Use some water to thin the paint. Apply only on a small area and wipe it off with tissue paper before continuing with the next area. The paint dries rather quickly.

STEP THIRTY-THREE:
While wiping the paint off, leave some stains in his wrinkles. Use water on the paper if the paint is hard to wipe off.

STEP THIRTY-FOUR:
Paint red-orange cheeks and nose. Thin the paint with water and give the rest of his face a wash. Wipe off the excess paint with the tissue paper.

STEP THIRTY-FIVE:
Paint his lower lip with a combination of light pink and red-orange paint. Let it dry.

STEP THIRTY-SIX:
Seal the paint with matte varnish. There is no need to seal the back of his head. Let it dry.

STEP THIRTY-SEVEN:
Use gloss varnish on his mouth . . .

. . . and eyes.

STEP THIRTY-EIGHT:
Spread Aleene's Tacky glue on his head. Lay the wool onto the glue and press it in place.

STEP THIRTY-NINE:
Add some glue on top of his forehead, right onto the visible leather the wool is attached to. Drag some of the wool forward and press it in the glue to hide the leather. Trim two little strips of wool and glue them on as eyebrows. Trim also his hair with a scissors. Add an earring to his pierced ear.

I am done!! I am only missing my body!

Remember we trolls have a tail and only four fingers on each hand. Hands and feet will be the next troll lesson in June!

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