I’ve decided to take a break from sculpting bunnies to create this tiny fairy baby in honor of Mother’s Day which is just around the corner.
And when I say tiny, I mean microscopic ‘I need a magnifying glass to see’ tiny. Just to see how small I can go.
Sculpting on a Microscopic Scale
While sculpting on a microscopic scale isn’t that different compared to sculpting fairy babies 3 inches or larger, there are some major differences and challenges on this small scale.
Sculpting tiny details onto a face smaller than my thumbnail can be a problem when my sculpting tools are far too large for the individual features. The clay’s inability to hold so many micro details, and the fear of ‘squishing’ the face at the slightest touch are daunting, not to mention the frequent squinting when trying to get the little details just right. Perhaps I need one of those jeweler magnifying lenses.
All that being said, this little baby was a lot of fun to sculpt, and hey, I got away with some simple details that would perhaps look awkward on a larger sculpture. No pun intended when I say ‘It’s the little things’ (ok pun intended)
Tools and Supplies to Follow Along
To follow along with this microscopic fairy you will need to assemble the following supplies from your studio, or click the individual links to purchase supplies through my amazon affiliate links:
- Thin wire for the armature
- Living Doll Sculpey Polymer Clay
- Dedicated clay oven – I use the Deni-tabletop convection oven
- Genesis heat-set oil paints
- Colored craft wire for the wings
- Angelina (fusible) film for the wings
- Glitter to embellish the wings
The Micro-Sculpting Process
Just like with my larger babies, this sculpture began with a simple sketch followed by a wire ‘skeleton’ armature.
While her tiny size doesn’t actually call for an armature, I chose to create one for the simple reason of having something to hold on to while sculpting the facial details.
When sculpting the face I simply focused on the major details – eyes, nose cheeks…
Starting with a set of the tiniest pre-baked Premo sculpey eyeballs, I added balls of living doll sculpey to build up the rest of her facial features right down to her large baby forehead.
Her tiny figure was given a few torso ‘folds’, a small protruding belly button, and anatomical details so tiny that my camera can’t even pick it up.
Her legs were sculpted similar to my July Fairy Legs, but instead of adding the toes individually, I created an overall ‘toe shape’ and marked indentations with a tiny blade. A pinch here and another (hundred) squeezes there resulted in micro knees, calves, and thighs.
Her arms were sculpted like the legs, with one closed fist, and another small ‘mitten’ to hold the Mother’s Day Rose.
Two tiny tear-drops, with the help of a sewing-needle tool formed her little fairy ears.
Rose, Paint, Wings
Her baby fuzz comes from tiny cuttings of red mohair, added 1 strand at a time to her raw head, ever so slightly pressed into her scalp.
In a sculpture this tiny, where shadows are non-existent, it’s all about the paint to give her life-like features. Using my genesis heat-set oil paints, I used a brownish-red wash to bring a blood-glow to her skin. I then painted the individual details like eyes, eyebrows and lips using the smallest finest paintbrush I own.
Her wings are made of colored craft wire with a fiery-colored Angelina (fusible) film covered in glitter. I discussed this method in detail in my Valentine’s Day Goblin post.
I used the completed wings to make the wing holes between her shoulder blades ensuring a perfect fit. Once satisfied with their placement, I set them aside while the little fairy baked and cooled in my Deni table-top convection oven. Once cooled the wings were inserted (perfect fit, woohoo) and she is now ready to face the world. Her wings are not glued into place allowing them to be moved around and ‘posed’.
And just in case you forgot how small she is, take a look at her photo with the ruler, US coins and my hands. I tried to photograph her on my fingertips but she kept crying out for hugs (tipping off).
I’d love some feedback
Let me know what you think of this baby by leaving a comment below