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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet Guppy ~ From Plushie to Focal Bead

Meet Guppy. Guppy is the favorite stuffed animal of one of my customers' little girl. Apparently, Guppy isn't allowed to go everywhere the little girl goes, so her Mom decided to find her a stand in who could.

So she contacted me through my etsy shop and sent me a variety of photos of this beloved pink seal. I was touched. Obviously this is a well loved "friend" and as a fellow Mom, I have my memories of how attached my kids became to certain toys.

So let's talk about the process a little. How did I get from step A to step B?

I looked at the shape, the texture and the face on Guppy, to decide how to form this and where the hole needed to be.

Then I picked my colors, which you fellow glass artists know are limited, when it comes to pinks.
I used the Effetre pink and CIM's Gelly pink for the two shades.

My first two efforts, (not shown) were pretty scary. I had tried to give Guppy some texture, so she'd look more like a plushie, but she looked more like a seal wearing a lion costume, as I added fur around her little face. Needless to say, those two got scrapped, but they were helpful in figuring out the body shape and flippers.

On to a smoother and more refined Guppy. No textured fur. I built the body like a large donut shape at first. I wanted to get my height of the body with that. Then I started adding on to parallel sides. A little bit on the side where I would attach the head and face and a lot of glass onto the back side. It looked a little like an asymmetrical torpedo. I wasn't worried about the exact shape at first on the back flipper end, but wanted to get the mass of glass in place.

I added the head in the Effetre pink and flattened the part where the CIM pink face would go. Two dots where the eyes would be added and then the face. Just a bit of black stringer for the simple eyes and nose. I chose not to make the whiskers, because when they're fine lines, they tend not to look very least when I make them.

I shaped the front flippers with a little bit of detail made with pliers and then heated the back flipper side and slightly pulled it out for the elongated shape. I added to large dots of CIM and gently mashed them for the back flippers. A little more plier work for details (and maybe a touch of razor blade for more definition and we were good to go. Guppy is on her way to be wrapped for Christmas. What a fun gift and an everlasting memory.

You can see more angles of Guppy in the sold section of my shop. Just click here to get to it.

Do you have family favorite items that can be translated into glass memories? Or have you done it already? This was my first custom order like this and I really enjoyed making it. I could easily imagine a little girl loving that pink seal.