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Author Topic: Making deity figures  (Read 3194 times)

Sorcha

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Making deity figures
« on: January 20, 2017, 11:06:13 am »
Has anybody ever made their own figures of deities for their altar? I ask because I'm having a REALLY hard time finding representations of the gods that draw me that I like. I have a little Cerridwen that I'm extraordinarily fond of and recently picked up a Bast figure (she doesn't fit into my personal practice, but I have cats, and honoring Bast peripherally seemed right somehow), but I can't find a Brigid that I like and the Horned God is even more difficult.

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)

And while I know some people have success with representative objects that aren't actually figures, I'm a very visual person and would like actual figures.

(And the ideas don't have to be specifically related to Brigid or the Horned God; I'm still hashing out what this all looks like so any experience would be fine.)


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Jack

Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 04:22:29 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;201649
Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)

I've used dolls and I've also made figures by needlefelting.



My advice would be to ask them to draw your attention in useful ways, and browse a lot of sources to see what you're drawn to. (Pinterest was invaluable to me for this.)

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Sorcha

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 04:24:15 pm »
Quote from: Jack;201658
I've used dolls and I've also made figures by needlefelting.



My advice would be to ask them to draw your attention in useful ways, and browse a lot of sources to see what you're drawn to. (Pinterest was invaluable to me for this.)

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I didn't even think of Pinterest. And omg, the little Cernunnos (?) is so cute I can't even.

I'm thinking of getting terra cotta clay and making some, but the idea to sort of ask them to show up sounds excellent. That's actually how I got my Cerridwen figure, so makes sense.


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Oíche

Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 06:00:05 pm »
Quote from: Jack;201658
I've used dolls and I've also made figures by needlefelting.

 
Wonderful idea! I love your work :)

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 06:31:58 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;201649

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)

 
I've made my own!

Most specifically, two different prosperity statues at different points, and two different figures of Hypatia (who I honour as an ancestor of profession.) I thought I had shots from the process of making the last one, but apparently not.



Other shots: Larger version of the above, in context on my shrine, same statue on a much earlier shrine, with a prosperity statue, my first attempts.

My preferred polymer clay is Premo: it comes in nice colours (and that includes some things that look like stone, or have pearlescent or metallic lustres), has a few features that make it a little easier to work with than some (it needs less prep work), and it's pretty solid, even for fine pieces, though you can see her thumb has broken off onto the scroll if you look closely. (She's been through three moves, so...)

You can paint Premo or you can do all sorts of other techniques. You can work some kinds of materials into it. The internet has many ideas. Premo stays a little flexible after baking, which I consider more handy than not, but should be taen into consideration when making things.

The torso is basically a chunk of clay, shaped a little, with little lumps to make the clothes lie right where needed. The legs are basically leg shaped but sitting crosslegged, I am very bad at feet and ankles, and the position of sitting crosslegged is very secure. The clothing is deliberately drapy: it's just a fine sheet of clay draped and tucked and cut away until it looked right. The hair is little coils, which I found to be a much more natural look than the others I tried (also, that way, if you want, you can do strands of slightly different colours and get more depth of colour)

I am also not good at making faces I liked, and I actually rather like the faceless aspect: it allows for a variation of implied expression and use.

This size (about 3-4 inches tall, you can get a sense of scale from the items on the shrine) uses about a block of clay for the body, about a block for the exposed skin head and arms, and then maybe a quarter block for the other pieces. (Premo runs about $3 a block, so you can get the bulk of the clay for well under $10, and then it depends on how colourful you want to be, but a sensibly chosen combo pack goes a long way.)

I stared out by getting a combo pack I liked, and buying a couple of blocks to do interesting  bits with as I went. You can get started with really basic tool sets, though getting something that will let you roll clay easily is worth it (a glass bottle without any marks on the body will do fine, though.) I recommend wax paper or something similar on your workspace.

For a statue used for offerings, like the prosperity ones, I found it very useful to have her holding a basket, and to also make other little objects I could rotate in and out depending on my specific needs at the time. (The little blue things you can see are actually runes, but I also did some little flowers, some books (symbol of profession), and so on.)

When you're done making, you need to bake it, and read the directions carefully about timing, because different clays are different here. Some people prefer to get a toaster oven for baking, to avoid issues with chemicals in cooking spaces, other people tent their items in tin foil.  

I want to do at least one or two new ones sometimes soon, but I pitched a bunch of old clay two moves ago, and need to restock still.
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Sefiru

Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 06:47:41 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;201649

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)

 
I have made all of my deity images: currently on my main shrine are framed watercolor paintings. I've also made figurines of Sokar out of painted salt dough, and some figures of Bes out of ModelMagic foam (which acts kind of like no-bake Fimo).

Sorcha

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 06:59:17 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;201668
I've made my own!.


Thank you! This was the sort of thing I was thinking I might do. I've done some work with Sculpey, fairies and that sort of thing (it's been a long time), so it's good to see somebody else has done it. Maybe I'll order some clay with the remainder of my Christmas money and try it. (I've been staying with my parents for a month while my mom recovered from surgery; I can't WAIT to get home and dive in on things.)



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Eastling

Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 09:35:13 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;201649
Has anybody ever made their own figures of deities for their altar? I ask because I'm having a REALLY hard time finding representations of the gods that draw me that I like. I have a little Cerridwen that I'm extraordinarily fond of and recently picked up a Bast figure (she doesn't fit into my personal practice, but I have cats, and honoring Bast peripherally seemed right somehow), but I can't find a Brigid that I like and the Horned God is even more difficult.

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)

And while I know some people have success with representative objects that aren't actually figures, I'm a very visual person and would like actual figures.

(And the ideas don't have to be specifically related to Brigid or the Horned God; I'm still hashing out what this all looks like so any experience would be fine.)


I'm one of the people out there who has success with non-literal representative objects, since I come from the strongly aniconic tradition of Judaism, but when I do use figures...

I use figures. That is to say, action figures and PVC figurines of characters from comic books, movies, anime, and video games.

This is the Lilith section of my shrine, and that's a small standee of a character from a semi-obscure fanservice anime that happens to be very suitable for my purposes. You can find a huge variety of humanoid images in this kind of figurine (although I would caution anyone against getting too attached to the more popular characters' figures, as they are endless and expensive). Often, some of those images will serve well as representations of a deity.
 
That said, it sounds like making your own figures will serve well for you, and I wish you luck with that.
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Kylara

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2017, 12:12:00 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;201649

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)


 


These are the ones I have made.  The wolf and cat were made from sculpy (I think the cat was....if not it was made of salt dough like the others).  The wolf is still unfinished (just baked), while the others are all painted with nail polish to help seal them in (Odin was painted with only clear polish).

I found it really interesting to make these.  I knew kind of what I wanted, but am not that experienced with working with clay, so I kept them on the simple side.  Odin is sitting in a little throne (basically a few blocks) and his body is just an oval pressed into the right shape.  I made the little twisty hair braids, then stuck the cap on top of them.  

The cat and wolf are more impressionistic.  I was mostly going for the idea of them and not trying to make them look realistic.  I love how my little cat came out (she has a tail behind her that curves up her body).  I made the basic shapes for these, then just pinched the few details onto them until I felt they looked right.  The cat honors both Bast and Freyja for me (not a deity statue per say), and both the wolf and cat are long time animal allies of mine.

The snakes were mostly playing, though I did end up painting them with a light/dark theme.  I love nail polish for painting the salt dough (as it can take on moisture over long periods).  I have tons of different colors and it was pretty easy to work with.

The salt dough I used was a basic recipe (like 1 cup flour, 1 cup salt, about 1/2 cup water...you just kind of add water until it's the right consistency).  Salt dough is kind of fun because it's so cheap/accessible...so you can really play around and there is no stress if things don't come out right at first, you can always make more!
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Sorcha

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2017, 02:37:32 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;201689


These are the ones I have made.  The wolf and cat were made from sculpy (I think the cat was....if not it was made of salt dough like the others).  The wolf is still unfinished (just baked), while the others are all painted with nail polish to help seal them in (Odin was painted with only clear polish).

I found it really interesting to make these.  I knew kind of what I wanted, but am not that experienced with working with clay, so I kept them on the simple side.  Odin is sitting in a little throne (basically a few blocks) and his body is just an oval pressed into the right shape.  I made the little twisty hair braids, then stuck the cap on top of them.  

The cat and wolf are more impressionistic.  I was mostly going for the idea of them and not trying to make them look realistic.  I love how my little cat came out (she has a tail behind her that curves up her body).  I made the basic shapes for these, then just pinched the few details onto them until I felt they looked right.  The cat honors both Bast and Freyja for me (not a deity statue per say), and both the wolf and cat are long time animal allies of mine.

The snakes were mostly playing, though I did end up painting them with a light/dark theme.  I love nail polish for painting the salt dough (as it can take on moisture over long periods).  I have tons of different colors and it was pretty easy to work with.

The salt dough I used was a basic recipe (like 1 cup flour, 1 cup salt, about 1/2 cup water...you just kind of add water until it's the right consistency).  Salt dough is kind of fun because it's so cheap/accessible...so you can really play around and there is no stress if things don't come out right at first, you can always make more!

 
I ordered some terra cotta clay and it should arrive at my house the same day I do (I've been staying at my parents house for a month while my mom recovers from surgery), so I'll post results when I have some. :)


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Sorcha

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 02:26:36 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;201649
Has anybody ever made their own figures of deities for their altar? I ask because I'm having a REALLY hard time finding representations of the gods that draw me that I like. I have a little Cerridwen that I'm extraordinarily fond of and recently picked up a Bast figure (she doesn't fit into my personal practice, but I have cats, and honoring Bast peripherally seemed right somehow), but I can't find a Brigid that I like and the Horned God is even more difficult.

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)

And while I know some people have success with representative objects that aren't actually figures, I'm a very visual person and would like actual figures.

(And the ideas don't have to be specifically related to Brigid or the Horned God; I'm still hashing out what this all looks like so any experience would be fine.)


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Well, here's my first attempt. A little Gwyn ap Nudd looking properly mysterious in his cloak. I drew some trees on his chest and he has a dog on the back of his cloak. I also wrote his name (roughly) in ogam on his cloak edge. We're not going to talk about my very sketchy ogam skills; I'm sure it's all wrong.

I gave him an offering bowl. I'm going to pop him in the oven; I'll let you all know how he comes out.



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Sorcha

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2017, 10:37:39 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;201902
I'll let you all know how he comes out.

 
Ta da!

Here's his front, looking basically the same if less shiny:



And his back. I used a ballpoint pen to do the details, which is why he looks like a toddler scribbled on him, but I'm okay with it as a first attempt:






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Kylara

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2017, 10:22:45 am »
Quote from: Sorcha;201921
Ta da!

I used a ballpoint pen to do the details, which is why he looks like a toddler scribbled on him, but I'm okay with it as a first attempt:


 
I like him!

If you don't want ink on future statues, you can use a toothpick for details.  I have a metal dental pick (I bought for a buck at a fleamarket that had a whole stall of dental tools) I use for inscribing things.  Or a wooden skewer (like for use in the kitchen).  Or just save an old pen that has no ink left in it!
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Sorcha

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Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2017, 10:26:45 am »
Quote from: Kylara;201934
I like him!

If you don't want ink on future statues, you can use a toothpick for details.  I have a metal dental pick (I bought for a buck at a fleamarket that had a whole stall of dental tools) I use for inscribing things.  Or a wooden skewer (like for use in the kitchen).  Or just save an old pen that has no ink left in it!

 
Yeah, I got to the point of doing any inscribing I was going to do, and I didn't have a toothpick. :( I'll have to get some.


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Mysticsageart

Re: Making deity figures
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 09:41:39 am »
Quote from: Sorcha;201649
Has anybody ever made their own figures of deities for their altar? I ask because I'm having a REALLY hard time finding representations of the gods that draw me that I like. I have a little Cerridwen that I'm extraordinarily fond of and recently picked up a Bast figure (she doesn't fit into my personal practice, but I have cats, and honoring Bast peripherally seemed right somehow), but I can't find a Brigid that I like and the Horned God is even more difficult.

Ideas? Brilliant sources for statuary? "I made my own and it worked out well" stories? All would be welcome. :)

And while I know some people have success with representative objects that aren't actually figures, I'm a very visual person and would like actual figures.

(And the ideas don't have to be specifically related to Brigid or the Horned God; I'm still hashing out what this all looks like so any experience would be fine.)


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Polymer clay is a wonderful medium for creating statues how you like. I too had the same problem with finding statues that were personal to me. I make custom ones using polymer clay and can paint and embellish to my liking. Polymer clay is very forgiving.

You could also make tiny paintings and frame them to see on your altar or shelf. My son has tiny water color ones that a friend made on his altar.

-Karen

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