I ALWAYS loved yard art when I was a kid. The casual Deer Family, staring Comatose at the neighbors, A line of friendly little ducks that would NEVER quack. Well, I started my Funky Armadillo about 7 months ago. And even up to the last day, he's giving me trouble! BUT I still love him. Last minute pictures have completely disappeared and instead of griping about it, I'll just USE MY WORDS to explain the best I can how to make your own lawn ornament out of clay, and whatever else inspires you to stuff it into and onto an armature.
Step 1: Construction Begins, and I Meet the Armadillo Whisperer
I'm very sorry. These are not the right kind of pliers, I had the right kind in one of my disappearing pictures, plus some flexible steel screen, and some gloves. Because it isn't bending the screen into shape that will hurt your hands, its all the little barbs, (picture chicken wire, but not rusty or as thick) that tend to give your hands, your hide, your legs, anything a good poking as you shape your armature. This is also where some planning ahead goes miles and miles toward the finished product. I had always had trouble with this kind of thinking, but my husband, in explaining it to me, grabbed the pliers, (the big jawsy right kind) made a few cuts in the steel mesh here and there, and before my very eyes, he had shaped out an armadillo, effortlessly. The feet were separate from the body when he bent them and toes separate from the feet, the domish shape was in place, the ears, the wedgy snout, and the long tail. His tail was skinnier, but in reality, they are. I really like armadillos, I think they mainly just eat grub worms, but since I started working on mine, I found out they have a song in Brazil called the "Funky Armadillo" and a few bars across the South and Southeast.
My next step, of course, was to add meat to his bones, a lot of meat. I started out with one of the Ultimate Paper Mache Recipes. If they have one with Plumbers Caulk or Putty, that's the one I used. I worked in the front yard, so it dried pretty quick, but I had a problem with the feet supporting the body, the heavy, overly thick tail staying on, and the thin ears falling off. So I would work a couple of days, get frustrated, and then say, "I'm going to work on my Armadillo again. I also used a small jar of putty (epoxy sculpt) and then one quite a bit bigger for $5 more. It was finally hard as steel, and heavy, and ready to be painted, and you can see, I painted it exactly like a
Funky Armadillo should be painted. With 9 bands of Mardi Gras Beads around its middle. I want to make a giant dancing chicken next.