Clay Dragons with Daylight Creations!!
By Michele Thymmons and Amanda of DaylightCreations
Have you ever seen an amazing little clay dragon and wondered how he was created? Or been inspired by nature or something that someone else made? Amanda from DaylightCreations is a sculptress deep in the heart of Scandinavia and is surrounded by the amazing Swedish landscape, Viking legends, and in the hills and valleys where ancient dragons once strode. She is building her business and Etsy shop (soon to be live - check back later for the link). Her dragons are creations of love, adorableness, and sweetness :)
In today’s maker feature, Amanda shares her story of how her shop got its name and some inspirations and resources she has used to help her develop her unique and adorable dragons. In honor of her (and mine as well) heritage of Sweden, we’ve focused on Scandinavian dragons as well as resources available around the world.
So, about me - my name in the real world is Amanda and I’m a 23 year old woman living in Sweden. I’ve been working with polymer clay doing dragons since March this year (2018). It all started when I ordered a coffee mug with a dragon on it online. It never arrived so I simply decided to make one myself. I bought some clay and got totally hooked!
When I’m not sculpting tiny dragons I work full time as an IT technician. My best friend is a horse I’ve had for almost ten years so a lot of time goes straight to her care. Her name is Daylight and she’s the inspiration for the name of my (future) company.
I’ve had some Facebook pages and Instagram accounts that has inspired me through this time, and I want to share them with you.
First and foremost I’m in a Facebook group called “Polymerlera för Skandinavier” (Polymer Clay for Scandinavians). This is where I found my reseller to almost all my clay and tools. The group members are also very supportive and can answer almost any type of question.
I also joined a group called “Beginning polymer clay” from where I got a lot of tips and tricks. I uploaded some of my work there to get feedback on it, which was very valuable back then and also now.
Several Instagram accounts have really boosted my confidence and/or has given me a lot of inspiration to keep moving forward.
One of my absolute favorites are Dragons and Beasties. I’ve followed her since the beginning and oh my gosh. Check her out if you don’t follow her already. Her Twitch streams are very educational and every dragon she creates inspire me to practice and get better.
I also adore Cookie and Dinos. If I want a cuteness overload I go straight to her account. I love doing small creatures and this account is certainly the master of those.
My final inspiration is Cassies Clay Critters. Cassie found my account when I was even more new than now and she’s been a huge supporter with her likes and comments on all my pictures. This has really encouraged me to keep getting better and better. Check her out!
Note - This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase.
Everyone creates, designs, and learns things differently. With this in mind, I’ve tried to include a variety of articles/resources below and will continue to add more even after the article is published. Most of these resources are free but others include classes or resources that are paid. Other topics for working with clay and creating dragons and other mythical creatures to be added at a later time.
Dragon and Mythical Beasts of Scandinavia:
Ancient Dragons in the Norse Mythology and Scandinavian Folklore delves into some of the main dragons in Scandinavian folklore and how many of them as well as Norse legends have been inspirational for well known literature such as the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.
Black Drago is a website chock full of information about dragons from around the world, dragon history, mythology, even dragon science (anatomy and physiology) and dragon theories!! There is information about the famous dragons of Scandinavia, Russia, Persia, Australia, North America and more! I’m still working through it all and enjoying finding things out I didn’t know before about Dragons! Who knew there were so many myths and legends from around the world!
10 Creatures in Scandinavian Folklore is a list of 10 Creatures to include the Huldra (troll-like woman living in the woods), Dwarves/Elves, Pesta (created with the Black Death plague), the Kraken, and many more.
Scandinavian Myths, Heroes and Legends in TV and Movies delves into some of the most popular movies/TV shows now that have origins in Scandinavian culture. Of these, the most famous include: Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon (who's excited for the new one coming out soon?!), Beowulf, and the TV show Vikings. Each of the four are shown what myths they pull from and how they compare to Nordic culture and history (How to Train your Dragon is surprisingly spot on with Viking culture!).
Draconika Dragons is another website filled to the brim with all types of dragon information. From the history of dragons, to dragon types, to famous dragons and Dungeons and Dragons. As Kevin mentions in this website, Dragons truly are the king of mythology.
Sculpting Classes Online aka Distance Learning:
Online Sculpture Class is a place where you can learn to make your own sculptures online through three hands-on courses to include Portrait Sculpture, Forensic reconstruction, or Multi-media sculpture. The professor teaches online art at Penn State University and will also work with you to make your sculpturing better. She’s also had her sculptures commissioned by the International Special Olympics, Yale Alumni Association and many more. The courses range in price from free (Introduction to Digital Modeling) to $5-25 and feedback on your artwork ranges from $70-100.
If you’re looking to travel for a couple of days, the Sculpture School in the UK is a great way to spend a couple of days learning to sculpt and then enjoy British culture around Devon, the Dartmoor National Park, and the Devonshire coast. And from what it sounds like, no matter your level of experience, you’ll learn something there. I may have to check this out sometime myself :)
Craftsy has a number of courses and patterns available online and range from how to create silver metal clay , fairy doors , beads , jewelry , and canes for cutting and use in sculptures or jewelry. Some of these are free while others are a small amount (less than $10). I have included links (affiliate links - which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase.) on each of the items above so you can start your journey to make your own clay sculpture. In fact, this link will allow you to save up to 30% on all craft supplies!
Where you Can Purchase these Materials/Equipment:
Consumercrafts has a wide variety of clay brands from plast-i-clay , sculpey , craft smart clay , and other smaller brands. You can also choose from modeling clay , oven bake clay and other types of clay. Equipment needed to create your clay sculpture such as clay tools can also be found on the website. The clay comes in so many colors that you may not have to paint, just use the clay. I have included links (affiliate links - which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you, should you click through and make a purchase.) on each of the items above so you can start your journey to make your own clay sculpture.
If you prefer to actually touch and see (maybe even smell :)) these items and discuss them with someone physically, most of your local craft stores have some of the types of clay described above as well as the equipment. These stores can include Michaels, Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, sometimes even Staples, CVS, Target, Walmart, and other grocery stores may have modeling clay or other types of clay and the equipment needed to craft the base/foundation of the clay sculpture you want to capture.
Thank you for joining us for this 6th Maker Feature! Check out Amanda’s new Etsy Shop (link to come soon!) and her Instagram for amazing and beautiful dragons and other creatures. You can also read more about her and other dragon makers in the article 29 of the Most Talented Dragon Makers on Instagram. Other maker features can be found here about sculpting, pattern writing, blog creating, and wood carving. I’d also love to hear from you about what types of resources you want more information on as well as Makers you would like to nominate for a Maker Feature! Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment on this article! Looking forward to hearing from you and have a great day!