Saturday, 12 October 2013

WCC: Clay Furbolg House

   So far, this has been my longest piece of my WoW Crafting Project. It took 3 weeks to complete, and I'm very pleased with the outcome. I only have one complaint, and that's that the colours are all a little saturated, but I've never been very good at mixing acrylic paints.
   This Furbolg house was modelled off of the houses in-game. There are in fact only about two of these houses you can go into - one is in the north of Felwood, and the other is in the Grizzly Hills. It was very difficult to make, but I am so surprised by how it turned out. Also, it opens.
   It is made mostly of air-dry clay and paper.

   First of all, I gathered my necessary screenshots from within one such house and then set to work. I took my air dry clay - this took an entire pack, alone - rolled it out and draped it over a wine bottle covered in a bandage to prevent it from sticking to the glass. It actually took two days to dry. Once it had firmed up a bit the next morning, I used a needle to cut the sides open, and I used a bottle lid to cut the windows. I used the blunt handle of a paint brush to add the wooden tree trunk detail.

   Once it had dried two days later, I took it off of the bottle and carefully removed the bandages that the clay had dried to. I took some scissors and carefully cut away the rough edges at either end then sanded it down. I then set about cutting more wet clay. I rolled some out then took the two pieces of the log, lined them up and pressed them into the clay. They didn't line up perfectly because the clay shrinks as it dries, and I rather noobishly (honestly, I should have known better) removed the top part of the log once it had dried and turned the bottle over so that the base could get more air and dry quicker. As such, they only just fixed together, but this could be fixed later. I cut around the wet clay that had the intend of the edges of the log and did the same for the other end, then took a larger bottle lid and cut a circle from one piece for the door. I added some jewellery wire I had lying around to create a hinge. I rounded the larger pieces out and let them dry. Once it had done so, I used more clay and used it to fix the ends to the log. I didn't fix the top of the end to the top half of the log, as I wanted to be able to remove the 'lid', so instead I rolled some clay, placed it on top, then put the 'lid' back on so that it would flatten out. I tidied up those edges and let it dry.

   By now I had the basics of the Furbolg house done. I took some more clay and evened out the ends of the log, making them rounder and helping them line up. By now, as well, with the two ends in place, the top and bottom of the log lined up no problem, but the bottom piece was a little wider than the top, so I added more clay and thickened the sides of the lid, and then added more still to fill in the gaps between the two pieces. Once this was done, the whole thing looked muuuuch tidier, and though the door doesn't open as freely as I'd have liked, it opened as wide as I had expected. I also used clay and a piece of cardboard for the flooring, which I then covered in a little more clay to maintain texture.

   I painted the furbolg house and turned my attention to the interior. Since the Furbolg settlements were redone in Cataclysm, I love the beehive lamps that are everywhere, though they were present in Northrend, too. I don't really recall them before, though. So I created the log, and the beehive, and fixed them together temporarily with a wire running through the hive. I didn't fix them together immediately because I knew that I'd either get orange paint on the wood, or brown paint on the beehive.
   I created another lantern to go inside, and then the log plant pots for the indoor garden thingy, and modelled them to stand straight in the curved base. It was flattened, but I didn't want to go too high with the floor, so it wasn't wide enough for the three stumps to be totally flat-based themselves, but by modelling the bottoms inside the log, it worked pretty well.
   I then made the cooking pot and its stand, and the coals, and once it was all dry, I set about painting them, and the outdoor lamp.

   The plants were a different matter, though. My little jewellery shop has lots of necklaces with tiny animals in glass jars, each about 5mm in size, but I didn't think I'd be able to make any flowers out of clay - air dry or otherwise - that would be suitable, so I tried something totally new to me. I took some thin 28 gauge floral wire, cut some strips of paper, and glued two strips of paper together with wire running through the middle. I painted them different shades of green (yes, different shades - I told you I was bad at mixing acrylic paint) and cut them into leaves, and used the wire inside to both stiffen and shape them. I did the same with the flowers, and I actually can't believe how well they turned out. I cut the petals individually, then used a tiny bit of hot glue on the end of an unglued length of wire and stuck the shaped petals down to it, keeping them appropriately arranged while it dried. I did two of these flowers, then painted their stems green. I made a small hole in the middle of two of the log planters and used more hot glue to secure them in, and added more leaves. For the mushrooms, however, I did use clay.
   I then also made sacks of vegetables using scraps of canvas and bits of green clay, and the apples with clay, wire and paper, and, using the same method as I did for the green plants, I made vines to cover the floor in the planted area.

   I fixed parts of the vines down, and the two planters on each side, but that is all that was fixed down. The lantern can still be removed, as can the smallest planter, the sacks of vegetables, the fishbone, the cooking pot, the apples, and the 'skin' on the floor for sleeping, made frm scraps of fur fabric I had left over from a previous project - I always keep these little bits because you never know when they'll be useful!

   I took some twisted rope used for card making and wrapped it around the Furbolg house and the outdoor lamp, then fixed it down. I had to cut the rope around the house to enable me to remove the lid and see the interior, however.

   I did buy some glow in the dark orange paint for the lamps, but while the paint glowed in its pot, and was advertised as being strong regardless of layer thickness or number, it didn't remotely work. So, sadly, the lamps won't give out any kind of light at all, but, to be honest, I think it was asking a bit much of myself.


  1. Oh, jealousy! You are one talented woman! I love this!

  2. Thank you! I realised afterwards that I had forgotten to slope the ends a little bit, because it's quite straight, but I'm SO proud of it! I was expecting it to go wrong so many times through out, but it just didn't ^^ I know I could never do it again xD

  3. That looks absolutely OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!

    Now, I don't do any crafting, so the following thoughts might be totally off...but...

    If you ever endeavor to create another one of these, the following might be helpful in getting your door to open a little wider:

    - Instead of using the lid to actually cut the piece for your door, press it in slightly to give you a guide line. By hand, use a pencil or something to draw a straight guide line at one side or the other on the inside of your circular guide, about 3/4 to one inch in length (depending on how large your door/frame are of course...could be smaller if needed), that connects the top and bottom circular guide line. For a better mental visual - think of a capital letter 'D', but the flat edge of the 'D' will be smaller allowing more curvature for the rest of the shape.

    Then use an exacto knife, or something, to cut the door out making sure to cut along that straight edge and not the full circle shape. By having that flat edge on both the door and door frame/log end you should be able to use actual tiny door hinges...I would assume these could be found for/on dollhouse doors. Again, I don't do any crafting so I'm not sure if those kinds of hinges exist.

    If they do exist, and before removing your door from the clay after you've cut it's shape, slide your closed hinges down into the slit between the door and the door frame/log end. This should give you a small indentation to use as a guide so you know where to hotglue the hinges on after the clay has dried. (For a visual, look at normal hinges on normal doors).

    By having the flat side of the door/frame, it should allow for easy opening/closing like a normal door does...even though your door is rounded.

    - If none of the above is feasible, you could still create your 'D' shaped guide lines like I described above, but instead of cutting along the straight edge use it as a guide for threading a piece of wire (about the thickness of a sewing needle for stability) through the door. Cut your circular door out, thread the wire down through the clay from the top end of your guide to the bottom leaving about 1/4 of an inch sticking out each end of the door, or more if needed/desired for more stability. Press your door back into the hole you cut it from making sure the exposed ends of the wire go down into the flat side of the frame. Fill in the gap this just made on the frame with clay and allow it all to dry in place.

    By doing the above your door should pivot open and closed on the wire. You may need to sand off/trim a little of the door, after it has dried, around the entire thing to allow it to open/close more freely....or it may shrink enough as it dries.

    Again, not a crafter here, but these were the first thoughts I had when you mentioned your door didn't open as much as you wanted.

  4. That is all EXTREMELY. While I probably won't do another Furbolg house, I HAVE toyed with the idea of a Hobbit Hole, and, of course, they have circular doors, so I expect that if I do go ahead with it that these tips will be hugely appreciated. Thanks so much for the suggestions! :D I craft a lot but I do so many different things that I'd not actually adept at any one thing, so most of it is sub par, but I do my best ^^ thanks so much for the help.

  5. Absolutely wonderful. The level of detail, especially inside is amazing.


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