Creating Troll Magnets – part 1

Last year I sculpted up a set of Troll Magnets that sold pretty well.  (I only have two left at our store)  I thought that I would continue the series with another ten designs.  This set is a little larger and will have a different paint scheme than the last.

Last year’s set (original set):

Troll Magnets
Troll Magnets
Troll Magnets
Troll Magnets
Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet

On to the sculpting!

I start these magnets using a method I came up with myself through a bit of trial and error.  I have a large number of tiny neodymium magnets that I’ve been using in these sculpts – 3 per troll.  I start with making three indentations with the magnets in ten flat slabs of clay that I then bake.  I use these as the base that I sculpt the troll on top of.  I could just sculpt the whole thing with the magnets inside, but I didn’t want to take a chance and have the heat of the baking process affect the strength of the magnet.  I know that a heated magnet looses strength, but I didn’t know if that carries on after it cools.  Any science geeks out there know?

Anyways, this method works pretty well.


I also make a ton of eyeballs and teeth/fangs.  Just really simple rough shapes that work well as teeth or fangs.  I then bake those.  Far easier to have hard eyes to sculpt around than constantly fixing marks and dents in soft eyes.  And the plus side to having pre-baked teeth is that when you insert them, you have the gum area bulge around them as they do in a real mouth.


And here we have everything in the early stages.  I used a mix of super sculpey firm and regular super sculpey.  When I do a set of sculpts like this that I will be selling, I want to make sure that even though each face will be very different than the next, I want the amount of clay used to be uniform.  So I start off with a ball of clay that I try to use all of.  I overdid these a bit and ended up using maybe 85% of each.  I still stayed pretty uniform across the board with how much I used for each sculpt.

My first stage of actually sculpting is mainly picking eyes and finding a personality for each troll character.  I want them all to be unique.  And I want each to be interesting.  There’s a bit of going back and forth for a couple, but most come about pretty quickly.  I really enjoy this early stage of sculpting because it’s where all the personality comes out.


After all the forms have been figured out (adding the teeth/fangs and ears along the way), I go back and refine the forms.  And here you can see the rough designs for this new set of Troll Magnets.


In the next post I will show the next steps I take in making these critters.

More to come.  Stay tuned!


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