This National Badger Day I came across probably the cutest photograph I've ever seen on the Twitter machine, taken by Victoria Hillman at Secret World Wildlife Rescue. The photograph was of two adorable baby badgers playing in some primroses and hyacinths.
The image totally captured my imagination and I had to have a play. I wanted to create a unique piece of three dimensional wildlife art which not only captured the cuteness of the baby badgers, but also the bright colours with the grassy greens, and deep purple-blue and soft yellows of the flowers.
I started with the badgers, the tough part was getting the impression of perspective with one behind the other. They have the same cute little faces that often pop up in my work, made by laying strips of white clay onto a black head, and finished off with tiny white tipped ears, shiny glass micro marble eyes and a cute little nose.
The background of the picture is made using a Skinner blend, a technique of repeatedly rolling and folding two or more colours of clay to give a gradient effect from one colour to the next. In this case it was my own blends of glittery green and yellow clay.
For the flower stems and leaves I used a blend of green clay, rolled and flattened by hand, then gently curled and teased into position on the background.
The primroses were made from another Skinner blend of bright and pale yellows, this time rolled into a sausage with bright yellow at the centre to give a soft transition from bright to pale. I took slices of this and shaped the individual flowers from these.
The hyacinths were made with a rich blue-purple blend of clay, rolled into tiny balls which were positioned around the stem, the centres marked with a needle point (I needed a magnifying glass for that bit).
For a boarder I used long, thin rolls of the green clays from the background, twisted around each other to give a neat finish. It was all topped off with a glittery green bow.
This was baked to cure it then a hanging loop attached to the back using more of the background clay and some liquid clay to bond it all together. I had to bake this again, face down, which was pretty scary but thankfully I managed not to damage any of the delicate leaves.