Thread: Sheep Tutorial
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Old 2005-09-17, 10:14am
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Join Date: Jul 01, 2005
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Default Sheep Tutorial

I found this in the WC files and thought I should move it over here. Unfortunately, the pics aren't included in the text - they're at the bottom, though. I did this a while ago, the sheep and photography have gotten better in the meantime.

Materials needed:
Base color rod
Wool color rod
Stringers for eyes and nose: white, pale trans., black, and pink
Graphite paddle or other flat shaping tool.
About 1/2 hour worth of time, give or take....

Step 1:

First make a base bead... For the sake of this tutorial, we'll assume you're making a nice innocent sheep with ivory skin and white wool. This is a great time to use up all those nubblies of ivory that you can't tell whether it's light or dark and don't want to mix the two. Mix away, since most of it will be covered!! You'll notice this sheep has a tattoo... It means fire, and it shows that I couldn't leave well enough alone with the basic ivory bead.

Step 2:

Once the base bead is nice and round, let it cool so it won't distort. Put a blob of ivory where the head should be and gently pat it flat with your graphite shaper or tool of choice. Two dots of white, again mashed flat. (I like a metal cuticle pusher for this - it's small enough to not interfere with anything else.) Research has shown that the cuteness factor is dramatically increased if the eyes are not quite even, as it looks like the sheep is tiliting it's head to look at you. Whatever pale transparant color dots you'd like for his eye color - yup, mashed flat again - with smaller dots of black for pupils (everyone together now) MASHED! And a little dot for a nose, I like pink since it again increses the cuteness factor.

It looks like there are legs and a tail on this one. (Probably because there are.) Again, I couldn't leave well enough alone so I added them but they really don't belong in this step. It is good to show where they are for the finished product, though....

Step 3:
DOTS!!!! I start around the face and keep adding more and more and more globs of white. On one of the smaller sheep, I counted 147 white dots before I gave up counting. So... Here we go. Just use a whole rod of glass or a thick stringer. Dot the bead, twirl it once while the rod gets another good dot all melty... Repeat... Too many times. About halfway through this you may think, "I never wanted to make sheep anyway. I always wanted to be a lumberjack." Get past this... The results are too cute to quit on. You might also be thinking at this point, "Wow! What a great way to use up bits of stringer!" I thought that too on the fire sheep on the upper left. It looks very very cool, BUT it took twice as long, so beware.

Step 4:

Once you've thoroughly dotted the sheep so it's all full of nice fluffy wool, take out your base color again. Place 7 dots of ivory on the wool - 4 legs, a tail, and two ears. Let the legs blob up and gently flatten the bottoms so he has a can stand on his own. The tail can be a blob as long as it sticks out from the wool. And the ears can be allowed to blob up, then squeeze them flat and push them towards the sheep so they're folded over. Rotate him a few more times to make sure he's evenly heated and pop him in a kiln or fiber blanket...

Ok, what did I miss?

And of course (warning! shameless plug!) if you don't want to make a sheep, check out my eBay sales....

Good luck!!!
Nikki
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