Sunday, 28 August 2011

Haw Par Villa

To those that aren't familiar with Haw Par Villa. It is without a doubt, the strangest tourist attraction in Sunny Singapore. It's a park where old Chinese mythological stories are told through statues. These statues are made to recreate scenes in Chinese myth and folklore. It's really quite old, it was built before world war II. You can read a brief history of Haw Par Villa on Wikipedia here. It's displays are going to appear bizarre to those unfamiliar with chinese folklore.

Haw Par Villa was one of the more exciting school excursion destinations for me back then, along with the Zoo and the Singapore Science Centre, (the botanical gardens and the National Museum were the ones I found the most uninteresting), I've learnt to appreciate them now that I'm older. 

"Stay Away! She has crabs!", Or maybe "Let's say no to eating shellfish "campaign.

I remember when Haw Par Villa was revamped as an amusement park back in the 90s. There were boat rides and amphitheaters where you could watch laser shows that told you the Chinese legends of the Earth's creation, the creation of the sun and all that kind of stuff. Although it was very much a family park, I was always a little intrigued by how graphic the depictions of violence, torture and nudity were in this park. There was definitely some rated R stuff going on. The funny thing is, I never really thought about the statues being too gory and unsuitable for a 9 year old at the time, I just looked at them and took them for what they were- depictions of Chinese folklore.  Although I must admit, some of the statues gave me nightmares and some made me feel slightly embarrassed (especially the titty type statues).

A pond of topless mermaids!Well, all except one.
"Grandpa Pai mei, why are you drinking my lunch?" says kid in background. Honestly, I don't know what is going on here.

I found out that there was another Haw Par Villa built in Hong Kong that was pretty much exactly the same as the one in Singapore. The land has since been sold off and only the Mansion (now converted into a museum) and the private Garden remain, what a shame, huh.
Haw Par Villa, Hong kong (Tiger Balm Gardens)

Here's a real fun fact- In Capcom's 1993 installment of Super Street Fighter II. (One of the main reasons why I was throwing all my hard earned part time work money into the slots of the arcade machines. Good times.) Fei Long's Home Ground was actually Haw Par Villa, Hong Kong. The Chinese characters on the ground actually said 'Haw Par Villa'. Neat, huh?

The Chinese characters say Haw Par Villa! Reference the first picture in this post. It's the same words!
My Fei Long impression
 A couple of months ago, I decided to pay a visit to Haw Par Villa to see how the park has gotten on since my last visit, which was easily more than 15 years ago. Parking was paid per entry ($4 or something like that) and admission to the park was free. It was actually a little sad to see that this place didn't attract more people, but then again, it was a Monday afternoon. I'm not complaining cos' I really don't like crowds. If I can help it, the less people around, the better. Walking in the park was very nostalgic, I'm very happy that the Singapore Tourism Board still made sure that the paintwork on the statues were re- touched. Props to you tourism board.

There were more red ear slider turtles than people at the park that day.

I am not very well versed in Chinese mythology and folklore so I didn't recognise some of the scenes in the park but there was a lot of 'Journey to the West'/ Monkey God stuff. There was a very strange area with Australian animal statues like the koala, some frogs and an ostrich that looks completely kitschy and out of place. I loved it!
"Stop him! He's trespassing and wielding a weapon!!"

"Your money or your life! I need to buy me more of these old school Ne Zha styled lingerie"
"Just remain calm, these super barefoot vixens are no match for my prayers!", says the Monk

The park seemed a lot smaller than before and I finished walking about in a pretty short amount of time. I have a habit of always saving the best for last. In this case, the section that I was most looking forward to visiting was the "10 Courts/Levels of Hell" part of the park. It was a section where you see hell and the the depictions of various punishments for the different sins that one commits while on earth. For example, I think there's statues of people with their tongues getting cut off by demons for telling lies. A must see, right?!  So after I finished checking out the whole park. I walked to the 'Main Event', the "10 courts of hell" was closed! Damn it! The park closes at 6pm, and the "Hell" section closes at 5pm! I thought half an hour would be enough time to see it. I'll just have to make another trip to visit the most gruesome, disturbing part of Haw Par Villa.
Sometimes i wish I can have this done and shout out- "Let this be a lesson to you all!" HAHA!

Apparently, there are a whole bunch of abandoned statues dumped at the back of the park and they certainly make for really eerie viewing. I didn't bother trying to find them that day.

When a place is as old as this, there are sure to be stories of the paranormal that may surround it. Especially so, given the nature of the park's mythological displays... the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI) have a whole section of their website dedicated to the Myths of Haw Par Villa. There are a couple of interesting finds and fun reads. There's a more historical type entry about Haw Par Villa on another blog, read on here, if you're interested. I'll probably go visit the park again in the next few months just to see the '10 courts of hell' that I missed this time.
This is one huge Guan Yin statue that you'll see when you drive out of Haw Par Villa.

I hope this place never gets torn down. It's one of the few places in Singapore that has something that the rest of the world doesn't. It's eccentricity, age and art work should always be available for everyone to see.
Recreating the 70s.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

My Friend's house is way cooler than most.

Over my dark week away from the Festive Grand theatre (that's the theatre where I perform at, in case you guys were wondering. Oh, and a 'dark' week is a term used in the performance world when there are no shows.)... where was I, oh yea, I took full use of my time away from work to catch up with some friends that I have not seen in a long time. I think I haven't seen them in a year! The great thing is, with some people,  even a year away from them doesn't seem so long at all. We have conversations and everything with no semblance of a time lapse in our friendship. I like it when I'm connected to my old friends like that. There are some people that I can think of that have changed so much ever since we were in school that I don't even recognize them anymore, when we chat, we have nothing in common and it almost feels like we're from different solar systems. They've become, for lack of a better word, robotically lame. They've become 'uncles'.

Fortunately, these friends of mine aren't 'Uncle' yet, they bought an apartment together (they're a couple, I'm gonna call em Davy and Starla) and have finally completed renovations and have settled in. I paid them a visit in their new home and it was beautiful, it was oozing with cool. Most definitely a vast leap from the regular apartments that I visit that newly wed couples put together that I find either hideous or boring as hell.

First off, he had a doormat that said 'GO AWAY' which cracked me up, instantly. I didn't even have to call to check, this was surely his house. They didn't have a regular key lock, they had a thumbprint identification access lock! No keys!! I definitely gotta get one of those when I buy my property.  Erm, I have to point out, Davy is a lot like me, we might look like grown up adult men (or at least we'd like to think that) but we're really just big kids. We still love toys, movies and anything cool. I have lots of friends like him. This post is mostly just about how fragging cool the stuff in this house is.

This isn't Davy's mat, I forgot to take a picture of it. But it's the same design. Nice!!
I'm not very good at the whole however many square foot whatever kind of apartment information but it was the kind of apartment that had no windows at the sides, it was front door and then no windows all the way to the end of the apartment. This meant that there was loads of wall space for posters. Davy's an avid poster collector and he has a rather nifty collection. His house is nowhere near enough to display even half of them. I think I might be able to have him put some in my future apartment, no sense in letting beautiful artwork stay hidden in the storeroom. 
This is one awesome, fun apartment! Books, posters, a TV, blu rays, ps3, what more do you need?!

I took pictures of a couple of my favourite posters on their walls...
Really romantic. Till the end of the world.
This bride of Frankenstein is riding a missile in the buff!

This was supposed to be a first of a series of 6. Its characters from the Chinese Horoscope fighting each other. Each character is illustrated by a different artist. I really like the rabbit in this one, he means business.
A beautiful graphic poster of a Luchador.
This poster of a Luchador wrestler with a sacred heart brings back good memories. Davy and I are two of few people that I know who absolutely love Nacho Libre, a film with Jack Black as a priest in training that dreams of being a Luchador. That is, a mexican wrestler who fights in Lucha Libre. Anyone who's looking for a funny film to just relax to, definitely pick this up. Not for those who take themselves too seriously.

This Old school Medical skeleton look looks so good with the doodle style red heart
I kept trying to imagine what the speech bubble was saying.

 Damn, even the door stopper in this house is really neat!

A Gold bar door stopper. Stuff like this really makes me smile. It's as big as the real McCoy.

Oh, there's someone else who lives in this Apartment- Judas Hellboy, the cat.(It should be Judie now cos' we found out she was a girl but the name stuck..) 

Judas was really wary of me and watched me from her perch for a long time.

Judas, all grown up and lucky to be alive,

Some of you guys would have heard of Judas through my facebook page or something but for those of you who don't, Judas was a newborn kitten that my cousin found at her void deck. Judas was all alone with no other kittens or a mother in sight. My cousin took her home but had no clue how to hand raise a new born kitten so she called me. Long story short, I nursed the newborn till she opened her eyes, taught her to eat, pee and poop. 

The very first day that Judas was found. Curled up, eyes closed, pretty much helpless to everything. She was smaller than my palm.
Making sure Judas gets her nutrition, I really thought she might die. I remember she was really stubborn about the pooping at first. I've hand raised 4 kittens and I'm proud to say that all 4 have survived the ordeal and grew to be big, strong cats.

Davy and Starla adopted her and she's grown to be a very large, wild and naughty cat. No kidding. She is a fierce one.
The first day that I brought Judas to Davy and Starla. Starla had a pen all set up for her.
Judas had a pretty lucky upbringing with Starla, she gets really spoilt and pampered. Something that my animals never get. It's military style rules all the time.
Judas patrolling the grounds making sure I'm not up to funny business.

 Enough about Judas, going back to the apartment. There were a couple of toys here and there that were just a joy to look at. Toys give me pleasure! That sounds a little wrong to your dirty minded pervos, but they do. I love looking at toys. It's like admiring art, to me. I have quite a few, I might do a post about them next time.

I gave Davy these Futurama toys years ago for his birthday, I'm happy to see they have a place to stand and be admired.
Bender from Futurama watches over the DVD collection
This star wars machine( I don't know what it's called, I'm not much of a star wars fan) is humongous. It comes up to my knee in height.
I've never, in my life. Seen a cooler Tissue box holder. It is made of die cast metal and is really heavy! At least 3kgs! Davy lugged it all the way back from Australia years ago.It looks like it's part of Spinal Tap's stage prop. Really nice!

This lovely poster adorns the head of the lovebirds' bed. Dinosaur bones, another one of my favourite things.
The crowning glory of the house in my opinion is yet to be unfinished, Davy and his friend saw a design of a pixelated skull on the internet and decided to build a coffee table of the same design. They designed it on Autocad, bought the wood, got it cut to sized, assembled it all by themselves. It hasn't been painted yet. But it is really a work of art. I love it when people make things, if only I had the space. I would build so many props and animatronics for the house.

Here it is, freshly made and freshly glued,
Here is the pixelated skull coffee table in Davy's house.Can't wait to see how it looks after it's sanded and painted.
That was my visit to Davy, Starla and Judas' beautiful apartment. Hope you enjoyed the tour and thanks to the two of them for letting me take pictures of all their cool stuff.

Davy, with his full sized desert weathered Stormtrooper helmet.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

I Think I Love Animals More Than I do Humans

Being an only child, I have often had a lot of time with myself. Growing up, the adults around me had their own things to attend to most of the time and more often than not, I'm left with my music cassette tapes, toys, VCR, books, homework (Yucks to that), and my pets. 

I've had many over the course of my life and thanks to them, I have come to love and respect the animal kingdom very much. I've had turtles, dogs, cats, a rabbit, snakes, spiders, scorpions, caterpillars, frogs... the list goes on. 

A few weeks ago, I found myself visiting someone I hardly knew, it felt like Lunar new year where you get hoisted all over the place by your family and brought to various people's houses, people you don't really know and hardly care for. I started feeling that familiar sense of boredom and my mind was looking for something to do. 
Moon used to be really overweight and neglected, I'm happy she has a new loving home now.

Thank goodness there were two lovely dogs there, one was also visiting and the other belonged to the house. The only 'toy' that I had with me was my Canon and I decided to do something fun. I love taking animal portraits... they are beautiful at any angle, maybe because they aren't self conscious and don't try too hard.
Kami, the Siberian Husky. I like this bluish look to the picture, it looks like he's in the evening snow.
Moon looking very attentive. She has this mustache look going on that's less than feminine. :)

I excused myself from the group and proceeded to play and photograph the two lovely dogs at the house with me. One was a Siberian Husky, called Kami (I have the feeling that this guy lacks affection and attention, but I might be wrong), and a miniature Schnauzer, named Moon. This lucky bitch was recently adopted by friends of mine and has been given a new lease of life (she wasn't so lucky with the previous owner, being confined, overfed and left alone most of the time). 

A note to all you would be owners of animals, please adopt. Don't buy pets... there are many lovely animals looking for new loving homes all the time. They aren't machines or toys, you don't need to get a 'brand new' one. It doesn't mean the more expensive or 'pedigree' your dog is, the more you get to share his 'royal' heritage. If you have pets, don't neglect them or mistreat them- you'll get your karma. 

Anyway, needless to say, I was happy to be able to find something creative to do for the rest of my visit. :) (Note to self: always bring a book, my ipad, my camera or some work with me everywhere I go.)

He might look like a wolf, but he's as friendly as they come.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Catacombs of Paris

A wall of skulls, This isn't a sound stage! It's fragging real!

Paris, France has one of the creepiest tourist attractions, ever. The l'Ossuaire Municipal, also known as the catacombs of Paris.  This series of underground tunnels is covered from ceiling to ceiling, wall to wall in human bones. I kid you not. Real life human bones!
Who dares drink from the fountain of death?

The catacombs holds the remains of approximately 6 million people.The reason why these skeletons and bones are put there is due to the old, old practice of burying the less wealthy dead in masses without coffins. If you're interested, a quick google search will  give you lots of info. Looking at the photographs, this place reminds me of a very elaborate horror film set or some level in a video game. It is UNREAL! I can almost see The Cenobites from Clive Barker's Hellraiser appearing out of  the corners.  I would love to take a trip there and see this place for myself... it's Eerie but really cool! They must sell really cool souvenirs there.

Seeing that I can't take a trip there in the near future, I decided to take a 'digital' trip there with my dog ,Toto. Oh yeah, I doctored the photographs so that we fit into the surroundings nicely. We don't usually look this... erm... sinister. Although, there are times where I wish I could turn into this guy... I'm sure people would shit their pants and give me what I wanted if I looked like a skull zombie dude with a hound from hell.

"Look, boy.. They've come to say hello..."

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Frankenstein For Kids!

These Books by Adam Rex called "Frankenstein takes the cake" and "Frankenstein makes a Sandwich" have such AMAZING Artwork.
I love his self satisfied expression, what a beautiful piece of art.

He has the Groom figurine in his mouth, check out the cream skulls on the cake. What a nice touch!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Clay Pegasus "How To"

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting my blog. This is my very first entry, I’ve decided for it to be a quick “How to”. Working on clay has always been a hobby of mine, it takes me away from all my worldly problems. Haha! Performing does that for me, but on my days off...  I try to save my voice for show time. Here’s one of my latest projects that I did a couple of weeks before Christmas 2010. Hope you have fun making your own! Let’s get started..
.Make your own Clay Pegasus.

In Greek Mythology a Pegasus is a winged horse and is a symbol of wisdom and especially of fame from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, he became one symbol of the poetry and the creator of sources in which the poets come to draw inspiration, particularly in the 19th century, Carl Jung and his followers have seen in Pegasus a profound symbolic esoteric in relation to the spiritual energy that allows to access to the realm of the gods on Mount Olympus. His colours and overall look was inspired by 80s cartoons, namely Skeletor from “Masters of the Unverse” & “My Little Pony”. He’s my homage to retro cartoons! 

This fella's name is "Grimmi".

What you will need... Materials.

Armature Wire
You can use whatever wire you like from your art supply store, e.g. garden wire, etc. Make sure it’s malleable enough to bend into shapes. You will use this to make up the basic “skeleton” of your sculpture. I bought a two whole reels for future use. One is more malleable than the other.

Polymer Clay
My choice of clay is almost always Sculpey III, it’s easy to work with and doesn’t dry until you bake them in the oven. It's kind of pricey to buy lots of them at once, but they make your life easier.
They come in boxes of 10/12 pieces or  single 2 ounce pieces and have a very wide selection of colors.

Grimmi has just a few basic parts, I’m listing the parts just in case anyone decides to buy individual sculpey blocks from the store instead of getting a box full of assorted colors. This way you can plan the colors you need. 
Main body (I used Brown)
Hood (I used Purple)
Mask ( I used White and Black)
Tail and Fringe of Mane (I went for pink)
Wings ( I used Brown, same as the main body)

Basic Sculpting Tools
Just a simple set is more than enough... to be honest, I don't even what some of them are for.

Wire Cutters
The wire cutters are only for cutting the wire for the armature! Be careful using them.
Wear gloves to be safe when working with wire! The wire ends can be really sharp!

Styrofoam board/ block piece. (any old styrofoam block that comes with most electronic product will be fine)

Toaster/ Oven- You might want to use an oven that you don’t use for food for hygiene and health reasons.

All these should be easily available at your local art supplies store.

After you’ve got all your materials, it’s time to get down to it.  Enough of the boring stuff.


Step One
Build your armature. Be careful when you are working with wire/ wire cutters.  I really went with gut feel for this part, it’s not really vital for your armature to look like mine, not like mine is that great, anyway. 
This is the first time I built an armature, so it’s far from perfect. What the armature does is that it works as a skeleton for the horse. It gives the “meat” (which is the clay) something to cling on to. That way the soft clay won’t crumble and it would stand sturdy.

I cut a piece of wire, twisted and winded it around and made the basic shape for the head and the trunk of his body/midsection. Next, I cut 2 wires of the same length, bent them both into a U shape, put them together and twisted them together at the ends. This would be a pair of his legs. You would need to make 2 of these for his 2 pairs of legs.
To attach the pair of legs to the head/ midsection part, I cut pieces of wire to wind them around together.  Again, don’t be too worried about how your armature looks, as long as it’s sturdy (meaning it can stand on four legs) and doesn’t come apart when you shake it, you should be good to go. It’ll all be covered by clay anyway, so no one will see it’s 'ugly' bones.

Step Two

Prepare your clay. Sometimes, the Sculpey comes out of the box perfect for use. But most of the time, you would have to knead it. This process is called conditioning.

Conditioning is the process that makes polymer clay ready to work with.

The simplest way to condition polymer clay is to work it with your hands for several minutes. Take a chunk of clay of a size you feel comfortable working with, half an ounce to an ounce or so, and begin squeezing it between your fingers. As the clay warms and softens, start rolling it between your palms into a worm shape. Then move your hands against each other in a circular motion to compress the worm back into a ball. Repeat this kneading process until you feel that it is malleable enough for you to work with. I found that if kneading doesn’t help. A few tiny drops of oil will help soften it. I use johnson’s baby oil but I’ve heard that even cooking oil works.

 Put your clay onto the armature one section at a time. I started with the midsection/ trunk/ stomach area and then I went on to sculpting the front pair of legs. Use your fingers to make sure the clay is firmly pressed onto the armature just so the figure will be solid and can stand on it’s own. It will take some time to make all four legs of similar thickness, so be patient

Here's how it looks after putting on all four legs.
It kinda reminds me of the old Gumby Cartoons. As you work on the figure you can smooth out the clay on the body so it doesn’t look creasy (like you just stuck layers of clay over each other). I used my fingers to do this mostly, but clay smoothing tools came in useful. For example, if you look at the picture above,  you can see wrinkles and creases all over the body and the neck area. These are the lines that you want to smooth over so the body surface looks clean and nice.

Kinda like this...

Step three

Take a ball of clay and attach it to where his muzzle would be and blend the clay into the head so that it looks like one unbroken piece. Here, you can put the ears on as well, just whip up two triangle pieces with the clay and, like the muzzle. Put them in place and then blend the clay together with the head. This is how it should look like-

Step four

The coolest thing about Grimmi is his Skull mask, to be honest, I’m not really into the cute pie shit so he has to have some rock n roll edge.
Use the white clay and knead a chunk of it and flatten it. Take the cutting tool (the one that looks like a spear) and shape the outline of a skull. Once you are happy with the basic shape of the mask, dig out parts of the clay of where his eyes, nose and teeth will be. I used the needle tool to draw an outline of the eyes, nose and teeth and then used the spatula tool to dig out the clay on the inside of the outline to make space for you to insert the actual eyes, nose and teeth. At this point, I also decided to give Grimmi his mouth. Use the cutting tool, slit the bottom part of the muzzle to do this. It’s pretty easy stuff.

The actual eyes nose and teeth are made from black colored polymer clay, just pinch out small bits of black clay and stuff them in the holes that you just made with the spatula tool. This may be a little tricky because you it’s quite a mess if you don’t put them in properly, you don’t want the white and black clays to mush up together and mess up your color separation.

With your finished skull position it on your figure’s face and press it gently to join the 2 pieces. They should hold quite easily, I was a little scared that it would fall off during the baking process so I actually blended the edges of the skull mask to the main body. That actually made the edges a little messy on closer visual inspection but i was willing to let that slide instead of dealing with the mask not holding on to the face.

Let’s leave the main body of Grimmi alone for the time being and work on something else. Now let’s work on the wings! You can choose not to sculpt the wings, of course, you’ll just have a wingless Grimmi. It’s totally up to you.
To start making his wings, have an idea how long you want the wings to be.
Using the wire cutters, cut two equal lengths of wire and bend them into a slight arc, this will be your wing curvature.

Once you have decided on how long and curved you want your wings, then you can lay on the clay and start sculpting your wings. It works pretty much like putting clay on the armature for Grimmi’s body, the wings are easier because there is less clay to work with. I went for a real basic design and carved in the details of the wings with the needle too.

It would help to get a block of Styrofoam so you can stick the wings into it as you sculpt so your hand won’t mess up the shape of the wings, also it will keep your wings free from contact while you work on other parts of the figure. If you just let the wings lie on the table it may get all mangled up.

Grimmi's Tail

I wanted Grimmi to have a really cartoon looking tail much like the one’s in the 80’s cartoon, “My Little Pony”. Looking at the old Little Pony cartoons, I saw that the tail was kind of chunky and flowy, a little like octopus tentacles without the suction cups. I decided to use more wires to make the tail, it’s basically the same techinque as the wings but with a little more work.

Decide how long you want the tail part of Grimmi to be and cut the wires accordingly (remember to gauge the tail ratio length with the main body that you have made earlier. If not you’ll be stuck with a tail that is too long/short). *Note: I wanted the tail when finished to be the same height of the main body so that it would act as an extra point of support (in addition to his four feet/hooves) for the finished sculpture because I wanted the tail to be big and heavy. If you’re tail doesn’t touch the ground your finished sculpture might have balancing issues.

Put a few pieces of armature wire together (I used about 8-9)  and tie them together at one end with another piece of wire. I did this by winding a wire round and round the end of the 8-9 wires. the idea is to hold them together, like a small bouquet of wires. This was slightly tricky as they kept moving out of place. but the clay will cover it all.

The important thing is to just make sure they are secure and the individual wires won’t fall off. Once you have got a sturdy wire ‘bouquet’, stick it into the styrofoam board and slather on the clay.

I apologize that I don’t have pictures documenting in great detail every step of the way, I hadn’t planned on making a ‘how to’ at first... that idea was suggested by friends after I was done with the entire sculpture.
Anyway, the wires for the individual tail ‘tentacles’ were generally the same length... I only started cutting them after the entire wire bouquet was bounded and sturdy. Giving the tail ‘tentacles’ varying lengths will have a nice ‘layered’ effect, lending the tail a more lustrous kind of look.
I hope you can see the wire process just looking at the above picture. I covered the bouquet of wires with pink clay, some of the individual thicker tail ‘tentacles’ are actually 2-3 wires put close together and covered with pink clay.
Keep piling on the clay and sculpting the individual pieces of the tail giving it curls and some texture. As I sculpted the tail, I kept taking it to place next to the main body of the figure to make sure that it would look good when it was attached. That would save you trouble later on It will be hard to adjust and sculpt the tail once you’ve attached it onto the main body.

When you are happy with how the tail looks like stick it into position at the rear of the main body. Again, as I mentioned before, I measured the tail to extend to where Grimmi’s feet/ hooves touch the ground so that the heavy tail won’t upset the balance of the figure and it would act as an extra point of balance for the sculpture.
The picture below shows you more details of the tail and how the length helps the figure to balance. *Note: If you notice the part where the part of the tail attaches to Grimmi’s bum you can see that the bum now looks a little out of shape. Touch it up with tools to make Grimmi’s butt perky and nice again, you may need to layer more brown clay to aid this process. It’s just a little detail.

Left Side

Next, because Grimmi was inspired by “My Little Pony” and Skeletor from “Masters of the Universe”, I decided to give him the trademark of the Little Pony. A logo on one side of his bum.  This part is easy, just cut a heart shaped outline on a flat piece of pink clay and stick it on Grimmi’s behind. Inscribe something on it with a needle if you wish.

Right Side

Making Hood

The hood is what gives Grimmi the air mystery and mischief. To make this simply get a piece of purple clay, knead it and flatten it out. Cut the flattened purple clay into smaller pieces and put on a small piece at a time, filling the space around Grimmi’s neck, shoulder and head area, slowly blending in the pieces as you go along, that’s what I did.
After much trial and error, I finally got the shape and positioning I wanted for the hood and blended the bits where I joined parts of the hood together, so it looks like one continuous, connected piece. Take care when joining the part of the hood that goes near his ears, they were really fragile and I didn’t want to mess up his pointy ears.

At this point I also decided to give Grimmi some mane to match his bushy tail. This should be a piece of cake if you’ve gotten to this point. Just take more of the pink clay that you used for his tail and put it on his forehead, making it seem like it peeked out of his hood. It looks more a few strands of fringe rather than mane, to be honest. I also used a needle tool to give him ear holes to hear out of. Easy peasy stuff. *Note- I really wanted to try to give the hood the details of a real, cloth hood, meaning sculpting in the folds that cloth material have, but I was tired and decided I’d try that on another project. I must admit, I lost some steam at this point because I was pressed for time and got lazy and I wanted to finish this in one day.

Finishing Touches

Remove the wings from the styrofoam stand and pierce them into the midsection of the trunk area (where the wings should be)

Smooth the areas that need touching up, you know, get rid of bumps, dents, fingerprints and all that.
Stick Your Grimmi in a toaster oven... Just follow the instructions on the polymer clay packaging box. What I do is I preheat the toaster and just heat it up 2 minutes at a time, letting it cool, and then repeating it about 3 times until I feel that the clay has been baked and hot enough. 
Putting your sculpture in the over for too long at once will cause it to burn!

Now you’ve made your very own “Grimmi, The Phantom Pegasus”. Enjoy, he makes a great gift. And because there’s so much time and effort involved, I think it will be appreciated compared to something you pick up at the stores. I hope you have fun! Send me pictures of your version of Grimmi at