Anyway, finally got there and I was the only person to have turned up to the open studio, so I got a huge table full of tools and a kiln all to myself, yay!
At the weekend I'd made some small head shapes out of wood clay (which burns away in the kiln) to sculpt my little crash helmets on, but it turned out that the semi-dried clay helmets were pretty easy to remove from the heads, so ended up just using one and sculpting all of the helmets on it and removing them:
So... I made a pivot helmet, a jammer one, and a vaguely LRG related one with a little Union Jack logo on the back. They are a wee bit wonky, but I was aiming for slightly cartoon-like, rather than super-realism, so I have decided the wonkiness adds to their charm. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway....
Sanded them all down, took a deep breath and plonked them in the kiln. Having never used a kiln before I was expecting explosions, melting and all sorts of carnage, but they happily emerged after 10 minutes of firing mainly intact, save for a couple of cracks. Yay! I really, really want a kiln now...
Anyway, here they are.
This is the little jammer helmet. My 2 years work of cake decorating tools are coming in super-useful for the silver clay work :) Can I still use them on icing now I wonder...?
This is actually pure silver! Doesn't look like it right? Things emerge from the kiln a kind of matt grey/white colour, then you scrub them with a stainless steel brush and the silver shine starts to come through.
This is the little LRG inspired one:
And the pivot one:
This is what they look like once they've been scrubbed with the stainless steel brush. You can then make them proper shiny by rubbing them with a burnisher.
I really want to now add a chin strap to the helmets, but I fear this will scupper any chance of making a mould and casting multiple copies. Arse. Do they look a bit funny without the chin strap though...?
But, anyway, the little helmets did turn out much better than I was expecting, given that I've been using silver clay for less than a week and given my utter fail at sculpting practice with the Fimo. Silver clay may now be my new favourite thing :)
Did I mention that I want a kiln...?