Mg0930mg-oyle Gargoyle




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Oogly moogly.  Need something to ward off or protect from evil spirits? Sculpt your own personalized gargoyle.  On Instructables there are some unique avatars that can be adapted for a personalized gargoyle such as this one .  You would have to ask Instructables member, mg0930mg, about his.

The term originates from the French word gargouille, originally "throat" or "gullet".  They are traditionally found in architecture to divert to runoff water from the roof.  This is technically a grotesque figure because it does not work as a waterspout of a rain gutter and only serves as decoration.

So get a hunk of clay and make your own gothic piece of sculpture to adorn the parapets of your cubicle wall or rest upon you desk.  Create in any scale you need.

Step 1: Don't Be a Sitting Pigeon...

I had this 5lb chunk of self-hardening modelling clay that I found on sale one day at a craft store.  You can use any hardening clay whether you just air-cure it or put it in the oven or actually fire it in a kiln.  You could probably make do with play-dough but it will not take the handling if you move it about and probably cracks or sags when it dries out.  You can do this on a larger scale with papier mache but you will not have the details you can carve into clay.

I am not a sculptor but it is fun to work with any kind of art medium. 

I guess you could build some sort or wire armature/wireframe as a supporting structure but I made my gargoyle small enough to be self-supporting.

The only tools you will need are:

Your hands, easier to work with latex gloves
All purpose spatula - paint scraper
Anything else to make patterns or cut lines in clay

I have also seen various extruder/syringes and pasta machines used to form shapes.

Step 2: Get Ahead...

I guess you could build some sort or wire armature/wireframe as a supporting structure but I made my gargoyle small enough to be self-supporting.

The procedure is to:

Work the clay until it is pliable and get all the air bubbles out to minimize cracking when it dries.  You can add a drop of water to mix with the clay to make it more workable and to help it stick to another piece.

Make component parts of the figure.

Attach component parts and build up the figure.

Reinforce and smooth out seams with more clay.

Paint to effect.

Get started by making small pieces first.

I made some round eyeballs attached to the head shape.

Keep on building up layers like the teeth and then covered by a lip portion.

I used an awl to scratch in details.

Step 3: You Need a Leg to Stand On...

Create a torso.

Create two legs.

Gargoyles are usually in a squatting position so bend the legs.

Attach to the torso.

Try to press parts together so they will bond.  You may need a drop of water as the "glue".

Use additional clay to fill in gaps at the joints or if a part needs reinforcement if there is not enough clay.   Smooth out all the joints.

Form the feet and add details.

Step 4: Getting the Hang of It...

Now form a set of arms.

Attach it to the torso.

Create a shelf or ident for the head.

Test fit the head.

Add details to the arms.  You can do a better job of making the arms either more muscular or hairy.

Step 5: I Believe It Can Fly...

Create a set of gargoyle wings.

Try not to make the wing panels too thin or else they will be very fragile when it dries.

Attach to the back of the torso.

Step 6: The Business End...

Fill in the torso with more clay to give it strength.

Attach the back end.

Check for stability and add clay where needed to prop it upright.

Step 7: Final Countdown...

Add any final details.

Position everything.

Note that I added a piece of clay to bridge the hands together to provide some support.

Set everything aside to dry.

Step 8: Watcha Looking At?

Since this is not glazed as a ceramic work, I don't think there is any problem with it not having a protective finish on it.  You could spray on some clearcoat but I do not intend to place it outdoors.

The clay does dry to a natural stone-like color but you can colorwash it in grays to simulate an old granite or limestone gargoyle.

As always, mod with constant-on or flashing LED lights in any color. 

Step 9: Gargoyle Sightings...

So you should look up more often to see what other gargolyes are out there. 

The one below is at the peak of some office building in San Francisco.



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    4 Discussions


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     It was an after dinner project. It takes a few days to really dry's still drying...