If you're waiting for me to apologize for the terrible title, don't hold your breath. I'm not sorry!
If you're wondering why this isn't the blog post about my Air Elemental, well… that's a good question. I was about to move on to the next element when I remembered that I had meant to make a birthday gift for someone. I had intended on having it done by… oh, yeah. Today.
So… my original plan had been to make a detailed wall hanging maybe five inches tall. Instead, I made it smaller and less detailed because — and I cannot stress this enough — I done forgot how time works.
I still wanted to put in some fine detail, though, so I went for a variation on the mold method. I was hoping to add in some extra steps and modify the mold itself, rather than put all of the detail into the original piece. I made a blank in the basic shape, baked it, made a mold, and then carved in details with a needle tool. I was rushing and maybe not as steady as I'd like, but, my friends, it worked! It worked really well. It worked so well that I am psyched to try this method on a bunch of other things that I've been wanting to do… but this isn't about those projects. I need to stop.
Because it's hammer time.
I'll share the progress photos with you and give brief explanations, but the idea is the same as yesterday's sculpt, so I won't go into detail.
Make a Blank and Mold
I didn't use a form or template, but you could. However you do it, roll out clay to at least 1/4 inch, cut out your basic shape, and smooth edges. I added an indentation in the center. Bake that, cool it, then roll out more clay for a mold. (Use chalk pastel to avoid sticking.)
This is the important part. With a needle tool, draw in fine details. Try to maintain uniform depth and watch for clay caving in it falling over. This part may take some practice. Remember that anything that you do at this stage will be reversed on the final piece. If you want to do letters, you'll need to do them backwards.
Bake and Mold
Bake your mold, cool it, dust it with chalk pastels, press in more clay. Trim your clay and smooth the edges. (If you want to stop here, apply mica powders and make a hole at the top. If you do a horizontal hole, keep a thick piece of wire in the hole during baking.)
Sculpt a Head
Lots of Mjolnir designs have a head of some sort. I went with a bird. It's not necessary, but I wanted my finished product to be extra thick at the top. I'm hoping that this will make it sturdier. Your sculpted head should be about the same size as the top of your hammer.
Use liquid clay to connect the main portion and the head, then smooth the edges to blend the seams. Bake.
Make Your Final Mold
Again, using chalk pastels to avoid sticking, make a mold of your final design and bake it.
Create Your Hammer
Dust, press, release, trim, color, and make a hole!
I'll probably need to do a video eventually. In the meantime, I hope that this helps!