Just Monkeying Around

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Introduction: Just Monkeying Around

About: Here to learn from the amazingly talented people on here.

I'm one of those people who see something, get obsessed and MUST HAVE IT!

I am also a monkey fanatic.

Well, I saw a monkey lamp on Ebay. $549? Pfft, they're dreaming.

Being crafty, I knew I already had a few things lying around. 1kg block of air-dry clay. Yes! Wire? Check. Foil? Gotcha.

So here is what I started with.

  • 1kilo (1/2lb) block of air-dry clay.
  • Salt lamp globe holder with cord (Ebay $11)
  • Foil - Monkey is only 10" high and used almost a full 5 metre roll
  • Wire - mine was 16 gauge left from another project, but you could use any gauge that will hold some weight.
  • Wire cutters & pliers
  • Clay tools - scraper, ball roller, brush.
  • Dremel with small sanding attachment. Or sand paper if you prefer that to the electric drill.
  • Water
  • Optional - 8mm doll eyes.

Step 1: The Armature

I started with a basic armature.

Wire twisted to make up the body frame. He needed a head, torso, limbs and a tail.

Then came the foil. I wrapped this as tight as I could around the wire frame. I wasn't too sure at this stage whether I wanted to suspend him from the ceiling by rope, or have him sitting. I have included a couple of steps ahead why he ended up in a squat. If you're going to hang something, ADD THE HANDS TO THE ARMS FIRST.

Ah, lesson learned. Did I tell you this is my first attempt at a clay sculpture?

Step 2: Taking Shape

I actually enjoyed this part.

I can't tell you how many times his position changed, but trying to keep the movement looking natural was a learning curve. Here, I was trying to get upward sweep of his arm to look natural. Fail. Ha.

Step 3: Taking a Break

If you need to take a break, be sure to keep the clay moist.

Here he is in the bathtub after being sprayed with water and covered in plastic wrap.

Step 4: Oops

Now here is the breaking moment where his final position was decided (it came with a DUH and a few face palms).

His hands and feet.

These are just wire cut to length and bound tight with wool. You could use tape, wool, string, whatever you have handy.

TIP: Make these and attach them to the armature BEFORE you begin doing anything else!

I left this in the order I followed so my mistake doesn't happen to you. Without his hands being made (firmly) into the armature, there was no way he could be suspended without them (the hands) falling off with the weight of his body. The fingers (should) be a continuation of his arms and the rest of the hand built up around them. I used two wires in his arms, so if I'd done it right, then the two arm wires would have been left untwisted at the ends to be made into fingers.

Step 5: Hands & Feet

Now that his hands & feet are secured to his body, the clay was pressed into the palm and fingers formed. Making tiny clay sausages and feeding the wire through was how I did these, but being a beginner here, I'm always happy to listen to how you guys do it.

Step 6: Fitting the Lamp

While the clay was wet, I fitted his hand around the globe holder. A few final adjustments to his fingers, and he holds it firmly without it wobbling around.

Step 7: His Eyes and Face

If the clay is too dry, you can wet it and score it. The new clay (if needed) adheres better to a rough surface.

Here, I have created holes into his face and inserted the 8mm doll eyes. If you're handy with a sculpting tool, these aren't really needed. You could easily carve his eyes.

I've added a bit of facial hair and roughed up his body using the brush tool and also the scraper.

Once dry, the dremel made the sanding job easy. Again, this isn't needed as sanding paper does just as good a job.

Step 8: Where to Put Him?

As is clearly visible in my photos, I am a beginner.

This was so much fun and I have learned from both my mistakes and also from making this instructable.

I see his hand needs to be fixed. And the lamp holder cleaned.

I had to laugh when reading up on 'How to make an instructable'. They suggest finding a "clean" area to work. Ha! They have obviously never worked with clay before. It's messy. It's dusty, but it's fun.

Happy creating.

Kaz.

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    16 Comments

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 12 months ago

    Thanks, Carolina.

    0
    Bjbass19
    Bjbass19

    12 months ago

    This is awesome! Love it! You should be so proud of yourself

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 12 months ago

    Thank you. I am quite happy with how he turned out. :-)

    0
    LibbyPace
    LibbyPace

    12 months ago

    I think you have to stop calling yourself a beginner after this! Wonderful monkey lamp.

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 12 months ago

    Thank you. He was fun to make. x

    0
    WUVIE
    WUVIE

    12 months ago on Step 8

    Bravo! This is so very cool! I read previous comments asking if you were going to paint him, and instantly thought of the spray product that makes things look like stone. What a great Instructable, thank you! Well done.

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 12 months ago

    Thank you, and thanks for the tip! That really would look good. :)

    0
    emason
    emason

    12 months ago

    That's going straight to the pool room. Well done.

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 12 months ago

    LOL I love that saying. Thank you. x

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    1 year ago

    This is great! Do you plan to paint it or finish it somehow? Because that could be good, but I also like it just the way it is! : )

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, and thank you. He has since been painted in a white chalk paint so doesn't look much different bar a few touch ups and a clean. I will spray him in Modge Podge once I'm completely satisfied, just to seal him. x

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you. x

    0
    beginner69
    beginner69

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you!