Monday, February 11, 2013

An old work of art turned up recently

Pocket Watch with cover removed to show detail.
Going through a drawer of jewelry I was tickled pink to find this pocket watch nestled in a corner. Seeing it again took me back to the 80's where it all started.

After discovering  Fimo and having fun with it making miniatures and then selling miniatures, my customers soon began to show a preference of the tiny, whimsical teddy bears that were dressed as characters.  These little character bears soon had their own name - PenniBears. 

Over seven years of designing and making them I eventually held copyright on close to 100 designs from 1/8" tall to nearly 3 inches tall. They grew more and more detailed as my skill improved until you could set up an entire wedding from Bride to Ring Bearer Or a Christmas scene from Santa decorating the tree with a tiny mouse helping, to elves, Mrs. Santa with a cookie sheet of gingerbread cookies to a little bear with stick tied to his head for antlers and wearing the jingle bells that the other PenniBears were hanging up as decorations.  

An empty watch case from a garage sale was languishing in a drawer until the Three PenniBears idea came to mind. 

Since I'd been a painter using both oils and acrylics the natural thing seemed to be that this watch case should be painted in clay and a three dimensional scene added to it. 

Background first: The pale blue sky color was smeared thinly over the entire back of the watch. Fluffy white clouds were shaped then smeared into the sky leaving a rounded edge on one side.  A row of tiny muted green trees were put across the bottom where the horizon line would be.

Papa PenniBear with Honey pot on his left.
Middle ground: a field and some larger trees were added, grass texture was very small and a tiny fence set the boundary of the middle ground. 

Foreground: Larger trees on either size gave scale to the change between the middle ground and the scene in the foreground. 

To make the gingham tablecloth I used slabs of clay, cutting and stacking the three values to make a block of gingham. Note that Papa Bear is wearing a blue gingham ribbon.
 After adding the richly colored green grass the gingham tablecloth was pressed into the clay and the tiny figures and foods were sculpted. 

The table cloth has a cherry pie on it and the super tiny ants are after it! Each ant is two incredibly tiny balls of black clay. I tried to make them of three balls, like a real ant, but the two balls were more effective so two it was.  

Momma PenniBear is getting a little shut-eye in the beautiful weather.

 Baby PenniBear is flying a kite. His kite has a PenniBear face on one side and, if you turn the knob, you'll see the kite sticks on the other side. 

It was created back in '86. 
The opening of the watch is 1 5/8 inches.

Below is a detailed image with notes.

Penni Jo Couch 
creator, designer and sculptor of 


Trina (Trina's Clay Creations) said...

Oh Penni Jo, this is so wonderful!! I love all the details, what a sweet scene!

Wendy said...

wow. This is just stunning, I can't quite get my head round the scale!

Penni Jo AKA Claylady43 said...

Thank you both so very much.
Penni Jo