Polymer Clay Guardian Mushroom Hidden Money Compartment Part-1

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Guardian mushroom polymer clay hat side viewI live in a fantasy world. I love magical adventures and hidden things. Which is why the newest venture in my magical Journey through Fairies gnomes and trolls turns a magical mushroom into a Guardian Mushroom. She will sit on display, innocent but on guard, keeping her eyes on a secret, yet easy-to-access emergency cash fund.

This project is inspired by Theodore Fungy in Maureen’s Carlson’s ‘Fairies Gnomes and Trolls‘ (click to purchase your copy on Amazon)

I debated turning the Guardian Mushroom into an outdoor key guardian but opted against it. However, if you create your mushroom on a larger scale you can simply bury her in a flower pot to safeguard your spare key.

Tools and supplies to follow along:

Guardian mushroom polymer clay assembling toolsYou can grab these at your local craft store or purchase using my amazon referral links below. (If you purchase using my links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you)

The initial challenge was finding something cylindrical as a sculpting base. My goal was something thin enough so the mushroom looks magically realistic, yet wide enough so that the diameter can easily hold a few dollars. I chose my polymer clay rolling pin.

I measured the height of a rolled up dollar bill and added just a bit more foil to cover the pin. I plan to remove the rolling pin prior to baking.

Guardian mushroom polymer clay measuring heightGuardian mushroom polymer clay preparing foil armature

Guardian mushroom polymer clay wrapping foil armature  Guardian mushroom polymer clay bulking out the face

I added bulk for the face the covered with thin layers of scrap clay. I chose to sculpt the Guardian in super sculpey. Since this is a very soft clay it will be easy to manipulate and quite forgiving at my still-learning phase.

Guardian mushroom polymer clay covering in scrap Guardian mushroom polymer clay covering in scrap clay Guardian mushroom polymer clay wrapped in scrap clayGuardian mushroom polymer clay flesh layer super sculpey

I covered the scrap clay with super sculpey, marked the basic facial features, and added half-circle pre-baked eyeballs.

Guardian mushroom polymer clay marking facial features Guardian mushroom polymer clay eyes and nose Guardian mushroom polymer clay lip and forehead side view  Guardian mushroom polymer clay shaping upper lip

And this is where it got interesting. Lots of pushing and pulling, sculpting and squishing. I feel I still have a long way to go when it comes to sculpting realistic faces. But I’m also proud to say that she’s the most realistic sculpture I’ve done so far.

Guardian mushroom polymer clay adding cheeks  Guardian mushroom polymer clay shaping face Guardian mushroom polymer clay building up browsGuardian mushroom polymer clay building forehead  Guardian mushroom polymer clay face right side Guardian mushroom polymer clay sculpted face

My recent though fleeting (2) sculpting lessons have taught me to study bone structure and facial curves. The result is a set of more realistic brow-bones and one very scary looking guardian.

Guardian mushroom polymer clay earsI think my next project ought to be individual studies of the mouth and nose. And definitely ears.  It’s amazing how we have these ‘things’ attached to our faces, things I see in the mirror on a daily basis, yet I still can’t sculpt em.


One thing at a time

I gave the guardian 2 simple pointed teardrop ears.

Guardian mushroom polymer clay face with sculpted ears Guardian mushroom polymer clay face and ears chin view

Guardian mushroom polymer clay face and ears top rightGuardian mushroom polymer clay face and sculpted ears top left

Guardian mushroom polymer clay  Guardian mushroom polymer clay face ears left

I then ripped a very thin sheet of clay into ‘mushroom hair’ , and topped off her look with a magical reddish-brown mushroom cap.

Guardian mushroom polymer clay face with mushroom hat  Guardian mushroom polymer clay hat side view

I’m debating if to refine the face a bit more, or leave her be and bake her as is.

What do you think?

[To Be Continued…]

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  1. Martha Pysher says

    You are so talented, I really enjoy all your work. I am 70 yrs old and just started sculpting(just a little) I find it relaxing and I amaze myself with a face, may not be pretty….lolol, but it is something I can do. Thank you for all your tutorials, I cannot get to a teacher that teaches this so I really get into yours. Many more happy tutorials,.

    • MagicByLeah says

      Thank you so much for the kind words Martha. I still consider myself a beginner but feel that I learn something new with every project. I really enjoy the process, which is really the key

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