Today we are dissecting Devil Claw Gargoyle by *ART-fromthe-HEART
First off, please introduce yourself?
My name is Cara Bevan, Im 20 years old and I live in the heart of North Carolina. I adore animals, any kind from cute to creepy, and the mythical creatures that have been inspired by them. Since I grew up, and still live on, the untouched woodland my parents bought it has only made my passion grow. Also, since Ive been an artist for as long as I could hold something, with a supportive family, my arts have grown as well.
Please explain what we are viewing.
This is a devil claw sculpture of a gargoyle. A devil claw is a dried seed pod from a weed called the unicorn plant. This plant, native to the deep south of the USA, is an unusual weed because of its fruit. The fruit is edible, but when it dries the fruit becomes a hard, durable, seed pod. These pods have two sharp horns that are so dangerous they can draw blood thus the name devil claw. The plants have been outlawed in cattle country because the sharp points can injure the hooves and legs of livestock. If used for the right purpose, however, these hardy seed pods made durable and interesting sculptures. This devil claw gargoyle is one of my smaller devil claw creations, being 8.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches long.
Can you describe for a layman how its made?
After gathering dried devil claws, you need to gather the materials to work with them. Wire cutters is a must, along with hot glue, a wire bending tool, and other sculptural materials you would like to add to it. I start with a subject in mind and build the legs first. Taking thin sticks from devil claw stems or horns, I glue them together to look like leg bones in the position I want (bent, straight, etc.) Once the legs are glued, I make the body. Using two or more devil claws stacked together end into end I make the desired shape. I often cut off horns or stems to keep the body smooth (although it helps that the devil claw has a naturally curved form anyway.) I glue the legs to the body and use devil claw halves or fourths to make the shape more defined. I add shoulders with a half piece, arms, just like the legs, and then the head using a single devil claw. To make the sculpture unique I take the cut off horns and add details such as wings, spikes, tails, ribs, and other features. With most of my devil claw sculptures I add organs on the chest and stomach. This is done using a dried flower called a Cockscomb Celosia. Some cleaning and fine tuning and the sculpture is complete.
What tools did you use?
I used everyday tools in an everyday place. I mostly sculpt in my parents unused dining room (my unofficial studio) or on the kitchen island/bar. My tools are hot glue (medium heat) and small wire cutters. Making devil claw sculptures is a relatively easy and cost free pastime.
What was your inspiration in creating this?
Most of my art is inspired by animals, but I also love fantasy. Since the devil claw itself is a rather unusual thing, I wanted to make my sculptures out of mythical creatures. With a large list to choose from (thanks in part to this book: Mythical beasts by Alexandra Bonfante-Warren) I wanted to make a gargoyle for the wide range of appearances it can have. I made my gargoyle sitting, waiting, holding his side as if in pain because he wants to be free.
How long time did it take you to make this?
This piece may have taken about 2 hours
Did you run into anything unexpected while creating?
When working with devil claws you have to expect some trouble I dont use gloves when working and that led to many painful pricks. Getting the gargoyle to stay balanced was a challenge. Several other sculptures still have problems with that. Thankfully, I had freedom with the gargoyle and gave him a long tail to compensate. Other than that, he was surprisingly easy going.
Are you happy with the result?
I didnt know how it was going to turn out. After all, I dont have a solid notion of what a gargoyle actually looks like. I was pleasantly surprised when it was finished and it ended up a lot better than I could have imagined.
Where have you learnt your skills in this area?
Trail and error. When I was still in school I had a LOT of spare time and that led me to experiment. I practiced with sculpting the most, creating all sorts of new projects and ways to make crafts with new objects. I guess playing with pipecleaners when I was experimenting gave me most of my skill today. Although theyre a more forgiving medium than the hard seed pods, the techniques are similar.
Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?
Yes, I take my own photographs. Im not a professional, but the high-tech cameras and computer programs would make it seem that way. All one needs is a nice digital camera and a good place for photographing. The way to get the best pictures is to have good lighting (natural if present) and white. White countertops, white backdrop, white cloth. White reflects light and makes any art stand out and look more presentable.
What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?
Experiment, thats the greatest advice I can give. You can never go wrong with it, and you always learn something new. Sure, what you try may not turn out, but the losses still give you ideas on what to try, and what not to try, next. You just may surprise yourself.
Are you selling your work?
Yes, I am selling my work. I am taking custom commissions on devil claw sculptures due to an overabundance of them. Im also selling the seed pods themselves for $2 each if you want to make a sculpture of your own. Please check me out and see my other artwork, too. Right now devil claw sculpting is just a hobby, but Ive been surprised before!
More of *ART-fromthe-HEART's devil claw sculptures
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Thank you *ART-fromthe-HEART for participating and taking the time to answer my question!
I'd love recive suggestions for next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.
Also, let me know if there are any questions you are missing in this type of interview!
The blueprint of... Spippo's 'My Little Alien'