After I saw Avatar, I wanted to add Pandora to my collection of planets, of course. The colors were sumptuous — that’s the only way to describe them. Some were Earth tones; some were like the vivid colors of deep sea creatures, but flying through the air. I was blown away.
I thought I would photograph the entire planet-building process this time, and put it on my blog in case anyone wonders what all I do with my time. This project took most of a day.
I started with some of the same colors I use to make Earth — White, Leaf Green, and a combination of Chocolate and Sand. I left out the Light Blue Pearl, and added Turquoise, and Spring Lilac (Fig. 1).
For the next step I slice off three sections about one third the width of each of those little divisions in the Sculpey blocks. I roll them out into “worms” all about the same diameter (smaller around than a pencil), and cut them all off to the same lengths (Fig. 2).
Next comes the fun part. I moosh (that’s a technical term, yes, but I don’t think you’ll find it in a dictionary) the little worms into one big worm and twist it around some to blend the colors a bit randomly. At this point, depending on just how much blending you want to do, you can keep wadding the colors together, rolling them back out, and wadding them down again. For instance, you probably can’t tell that the brown is really a combination of two colors now — they’ve become almost completely blended. For a lot of my planets, though, I want the appearance of land masses, ocean, and sky/clouds to be distinguishable, so I stop mooshing here (Fig. 3).
Now I need to make a worm about the size of a pencil or a little thicker, so I usually have to cut the big worm into three or four sections. In Fig. 4 I have a Pandora worm and an Earth worm ( I know what you’re thinking — this doesn’t look like the earthworm you dissected in biology lab), the right size to start slicing.
I slice off sections about 1/4″ (0.5 cm) give or take a bit, and roll them into quasi-spheres about the size of peas (Fig. 5). I say quasi because none of them are perfectly spherical. They have lumps and bumps and flat places. It’s called “terrain.”
I usually let the baby planets sit and cure for a few hours before I get out the planetary axis drill (Fig. 6) and poke holes through them. Then in the oven they go to harden up all that molten magma in their little interiors. And Presto! Pandora. You can see some of the other planets and some of the jewelry I made with them in previous posts. Just click on the “planets” tag in the tag cloud.