Thursday, 25 February 2010

Making A Dragon Skull.

Yesterday i started making a dragon study table, but it just seemed to be missing something. So, i decided to have a go at making a dragon skull.
This is the skull so far minus a few needed alterations, and still got to add the teeth.
Last night i started the teeth but this morning have had to remove them so i can make them more in line with the bottom part of the skull.
When complete i will age it to look old.
The table it's going on has a pile of dragon study books, lots of scrolls, jars and bowls of bones, dragon wing bones, hide, blood etc, plus a display of dragon eggs on display stands.
Realy pleased with the skull and if it looks difficult to make then really it's not. It's just a matter of patience and a vision.
Its kind of like the pattrn for a box. I just imagined it in that way and its helped loads.
Here's a few pictures to explain.

I found the images on various sites and have been using them as a reference.

What i did was to imagine each skull taken apart, and then each part rolled flat.
Then from that i made a rough flat shape with my clay, added most of the details and shapes.
Once happy with the shape and layout i then started to curve all the edges up and do a bit more smoothing and shaping. Then baked.
Once out of the oven i have added further small bits of clay to enhance the bumpy skull.
Quite often i doubt i can actually make something, and never in my dreams thought i'd be able to achieve this. I look at sculpture like this in awe and spend too much time studying pictures rather than having a go myself.
Those i study tend to be really big, and didn't think it was possible to convert to miniature.

Its now baking (again) and once baked can add the teeth and then paint and age.
As you can also see i'm terrible for keeping clay clean. I'd never be able to make dolls and things like that for sale because i seem to be a dust and dirt magnet. But in this case the dirt and dust added has enhanced the sculpt... lol.

I've also been making skulls. I made my own moulds of various skulls ive been collecting. Quite often the miniature skulls that are really cheap to buy tend to be a bit too big. Mostly it's the top part and back of the skull which is the problem and so have got round this by making a mould of the front from each bought skull, minus the over bulk at the top and back.
I've made just 4 as a tester so far and need to work on the backs now to see if i'm happy with them. Plus i will add some more little bits to the front to make them more realisic, then bake again and paint.
Even though i have used a mould, they still need some scultping and reshaping once released.

If you fancy making your own moulds sculpey mould maker is what i used. I think its on and not ebay uk.

The packs goes a long way if you are using it to mould miniatures.

Sometimes when i make a tiny miniature that could snap easily, like a mushroom stalk, i add a tiny bit of this to normal fimo or prosculpt. It can make the clay ever so sticky to work with so can't be used for everything. But for mushroom stalks its perfect because they are simply just a little sausage shape.
It can also stick to a shiny surface like glass or a tile, so when i make the stalks i work on paper to prevent the sticking as i roll and work.
There are other products out there available to strengthen clay and promoted as such, but this i like because it gives the clay some flex.
I've not heard of anyone else using this to add strength, more than likely because it can make the clay sticky.


  1. Nikki your little Dragon Skull looks wonderful. Really looking forward to seeing it finished.
    Here's a link for the Sculpey Mould Maker in the UK:-
    Its from the Polymer Clay Pit here's the link to the home page:-

  2. The dragon's skull looks great!Can't wait to see it with teeth:)

  3. Nikki the skull is amazing. A wall mounted dragon head on a plaque like you have wall mounted deer and moose would be cool for a wizards room too! Sure once you can skulpt this you could skulpt a dragon head for real! Kate and John xx

  4. I know exactly what you mean about the commercially available skulls. I have an entire skeleton that is nicely in scale but I didn't want to cut off the head...what a dummy not to think of a mold (and I even have the Sculpy mold maker!) My son has suggested an anthropologist or archeologist table so I am in the market for a nice skull. Great suggestion, Nik!

    As always, your sculpting is fab. You just keep getting better and better and it is really hard to believe you've not been at it all that long. Love the dragon skull!


  5. Your dragon skull is amazing, Nikki. Would love to see a wall mounted dragon's head on a plaque like Kate suggested. Brilliant :0)
    Julia xx

  6. Love the dragon skull and such great information on the mold maker. I really want to learn to make molds, silicone, ceramic, and for polymer clay.


  7. I think the table will look fab with that skull on it and the human ones are great too! :o)) I've only made a human skull, not a dragon one. I have a wonderful dragon skull made by an artisan and it's very detailed etc. I have bought most of my polymer clay, etc., from The Polymer Clay Pit, but not seen the above kit (as yet).

    I’m sorry if I sound a bit dense, but are you also saying that different types of polymer can be mixed together? I have about 3 different makes and I have wondered whether I could mix them....especially as Sculpey still make a translucent colour and I‘d love to be able to mix with Fimo .

    Michelle xxxx

  8. I love your dragon skull. On the human skulls I have the hard time fining something that looks like it's not smiling. If your making molds of skull also try looking at metal charms. Some can look very realistic and just the right size. Just make sure you powder it good to catch all the detail when you make a mold out of it.

  9. Wow I love the dragon skull and the little skulls are brilliant too :-). I cannot wait to see them when they are finished. I have an idea why don't you do a few with moss etc so they look like they have been left for a very long time in the undergrowth. Or a vampire skull I would love that one tee hee!

  10. Hi Debbie.
    Thank you for tha UK link. Will be useful because i have almost run out.
    Nikki xxx

  11. Hi Old Maid.
    Will try and finish it and the skulls asap. Been feeeling tired today so decided to watch tv and be lazy.
    Nikki xxx

  12. Hi Kate. Knew you would like it. I will have a think about making one for wall mounting and design one that will look right. Going to finish this one and if i can finish it well then will make others and do the wall mount one too.
    Thank you for your email with the link. So sorry i have not replied but have not been able to use the comp. Have to share this one since the other blew up.
    Nikki xxx

  13. Hi Susan. Yes, the mould maker is great stuff. I sprinkle talc in the mould and shake out nearly all of it leaving just the finest of dustings. But you can also wet the mould a little with a damp brush first.
    Your sons idea is great and would be good to work on, the possibilities are endless and the themes too. Can i borrow him to throw ideas at me too?
    Nikki xxx

  14. Hi Julia. Glad you like it so far. Will do the wall mount idea if this one workds out well. I looked on ebay and you can pick up tiny animal skulls and bones which could also be used for skulls, or even with clay added to them. Would look great with a variety in a spooky room.
    Nikki xxx

  15. Hi Michelle. Thank you for the email with the picture of the skull... its fantastic and really pleased i got to see it.
    You can mix different clays, although a lot of people advise not to since the changes in some of the clays and the need to bake at different temperatures.
    But i do mix clays especially if i need a translucent and add sculpey translucent to a variety of polymers. Sometimes it takes a bit more effort to mix them but ive not had any problems. I'm also not one for knowing the temp of my oven since the numbers wore off it and so always tests some scrap if its a new clay or a mix of clays. I just keep nudging the heat up and test that way. Not very pro i know, lol. I should really get a thermometer.
    I would suggest if you are never sure just to run a test on mixing clays. Im terrible for experimenting and the way in which i do.
    Just mix the sculpey in and it will be fine... i promise!
    Nikki xxx

  16. Hi Jody. I too want to make a variet of moulds but just never going to find enough time. But i think you would like this products and its great for not just minis. I used it when making christmas decorations for my real house.
    I also want to start making texture sheets from polymers and moulds for flooring and wall surfaces.
    Glad the link and product will be useful for you. But there are other equally as good products out there especiall for mould making.
    Nikki xxx

  17. Hi Midnight dreams. Thank you for that advise. I just had a look at metal charms and beads on ebay that could be useful. Ive spent all my mini spending money and so cant buy anything for a while again, but once i can metal charms and beads are on my list.
    Glad you like the skull so far too.
    Nikki xxx

  18. Hi Kat. Thank you for the fan idea. would look great mixed into grasses and weeds.
    Vampire skulls would be great but i bet tricky. Will have a go when i can and post here if they work.
    Hopefuly will finish them tomorrow. Ive been really tired all day and so have not worked o done anything.
    Nikki xxx

  19. Nikki that Dragon skull looks great. I agree with you on the commercial skulls and yours look great as well. Its nice to see your WIP's

    Debie xxxxxxxxxx


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