the making of our wedding cake topper

     I decided I had to make our wedding cake topper pretty early on but i hadn't sculpted anything  in like ..12 years maybe? Its been for ever anyway and i had to figure out how i was going to do this and do it in time .Here is some of that process

1-It was hard to know where to start so i just started with a stick man in Photoshop to establish proportions.
2-next thing i did was copy the stick man 6 times onto a 8.5"x11" sheet of paper and printed it out really light so i could draw and ink over top and do some thumb nails .I used the same figure for both of us even though she was going to be a mermaid and i was going to have a beaver tail.
3-i ended up liking a feature here or there and because they were all the same size when i scanned them in i could easily copy and paste what i liked all together.
4-Here is the cleaned up color version that i worked from .probably didn't have to go this detailed but it did help me work out a few things .I then printed this out to scale to build the wire armatures on top of .It was nice to be able to cut out the scale version and look at it and see if it was the right size for the cake .I guess between the point i painted this picture and the time i painted the topper i figured out i wanted a pink tie .
a quick note: I did a quick side shot of both figures for proportion in Photoshop (not shown)and in retrospect i should have spent more time on this step and figured more out on paper because it was a struggle to figure out in clay. 

5-I created wire armatures and then made segments in Sculpey (an oven bake modeling clay) and then bake them so they were firm and i could then bend and pose them.
6-here they are posed with their joints filled in and baked .this is where i realized there heads were giant and their necks were pencil thin and this was going to be a challenge .pretty much every time i baked it they cracked and i sanded it and filled it in until eventually it was strong enough to hold the heads .
7-this is a few detail bake passes in .we look scary!i think there was a bunch of sanding at this point .
8-were close but were not holding hands! the next few passes were a lot of fiddly bits involving cutting bits off and sanding .for the hands i think i cut all there hands off  and baked new slightly bigger ones separately including the set holding each other.After that i connected them back to the arms and sanded it .
9-primed and sanded and glued to a base !
in the sun !were ready for paint!
10-final paint job! i used acrylics for this which was pretty much a lot of craft paint and some artist paints .this went fairly smooth . Finished with many layer's of gloss coat for protection followed by a few layers of dull coat to cut down on the shine .

 our mermaid and beaver butts!


you look ready for Italy!


    We decide to wait until we got back home to post this up so it would be a surprise for everyone to see when we got there.They survived the trip there and back quite well which was a relief  because repairs would have been very interesting while traveling:)

Now they sit in our home as one of the many reminders of our amazing Day on our Amazing trip and the amazing love we share .