I had already envisioned a pendant, a sort of tribal design with mini-wings and wire-wrapping but decided to add a face. I've never done faces but I have altered commercial face molds so I started with that. The result was interesting but my little man wasn't at all scary! I had added some pieces of other texture molds to his face and he looked kind of Mayan--not the look I was going for.
My sister was here visiting from Berkeley last week. She had taken a class with the legendary performance artist, Sha Sha Higby, where they made several jewelry-sized masks in some sort of plastic/resin. So we copied them using the RTV mold stuff I love, Alley Goop. Then we made some faces in polymer clay and some in resin. I liked the results but since they weren't my own original designs, I kept going.
Sha Sha Higby molds, done by me in polymer and antiqued
Even before I worked in polymer clay, I had notebooks for my fiber ideas and drawings of outfits and textile techniques. The most potent design trick I know is to revisit my old sketchbooks and mine them for idea gold. And so I found myself searching in them for some pictures I drew of the avenging Morrigu--a triad of goddesses of war and death, from the Celtic epic poem, the Táin Bó Cúailnge. (It's a fascinating story and there's a very good fictionalization of it by Greg Frost if you're not into heroic poetry).
The Morrigu, from the Táin - from my notebooks, circa 1996
My original idea was to hook a large tapestry rug illuminating scenes from the epic and I had made some sketches in preparation. They were scary and primal and came right out of some dark place in my imagination where humankind holds a terror of avenging spirits. I decided that a face based on these spirits would be perfect for my Something Wicked. After free-sculpting the face in polymer, I painted it with Genesis heat-set oil paints.
Something Wicked This Way Comes - detail
I pulled the face and the base together with some coiled Whim-Z Wire, patinated it and chemically bonded the whole assembly to a long piece of mammoth fossil bone. Now I can stand it up in a corner of the window facing my bench.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Hope your Hallowe'en wasn't haunted by something this scary-- in terms of evil spirits or calories from too much trick-and-treating!