Frog

Mothwings
4 min readJan 24, 2024

This softball-sized bastard is staring me down, impatiently waiting for all of his toes to be replaced. I can only hope the sanding doesn’t go completely off the hook.

He’s a mass of polymer clay — Sculpey — and has had corrections to his form before. There are chunks of a different Sculpey on him. Rather, there is one chunk left, as I slipped the others off. Adhesion seems to have been an issue. One of his toes was also air-dry clay — La Doll — and I broke that off easily. He received some sanding already, some scoring, and my attempts to fix him are with Apoxie Sculpt. While I don’t currently see any adhesion problems, it will be interesting to see how things are looking when I wake up. The first application seems to scratch similarly to the Sculpey it’s on, so perhaps it will sand evenly enough that a coat of paint will cover any errant lines.

We’ll see.

My first paycheck comes on Friday. While the income itself covers my bills, it does leave me without much wiggle-room. There is a lot to make up otherwise. Starting at the end of the month leaves me short this month as well, putting a dent in months moving forward. I hope I can fill this out in some other way so I am not stuck playing catch-up for particularly long. Some value I’ve put into my car insurance, but it will be late. I’m not certain how long the grace period is there — a search brings up 10–20 days with a late fee tacked on. Health insurance will also be late, grace period is 30 days and I don’t recall any additional fees.

This brings me anxiety. It’ll get taken care of, but I am anxious. I’m uncertain what the amount of additional payment I’m getting for the work I did either, but it could make things better.

Selling a few chunky frogs is some way off too, and ideally I need different materials to make it desireable. I’ve hesitated in posting about the other little things I make just due to my car being stuck in the driveway with the snow.

I wonder a lot if my instability is related largely to this anxiety or if I am feeling the lower dose of my medication. It is genuinely difficult to tell if the feelings are a result of one thing or the other, but I am noting it. Again.

Clonazepam exists and is available to me.

I have needed something to do with my hands for a bit. Truthfully, after 3.5 weeks laid out over the serotonin toxicity, I am physically exhausted. But with the anxiety comes a need to Do Something. So having some motivation to reassess and readdress this frog was a bit of a blessing.

There is quite a lot to do with it. Most of his toes have broken off through molding him and likely insufficient cooking of the polymer clay. I lament the idea of them breaking off again. There are also cracks from his initial cooking — finally covering those will be relieving. I am also trying to correct some of the asymmetry that bothers me, as well as adding in sufficient material on the bottom to make a cleaner cast. It will lose some of its character this way, where before there’s a nice portion of his butt that was complete instead of flat, now it will be flat; this is hardly a sacrifice I’m worried about. One of the cracks is high up on his back and I haven’t gotten there yet, mostly because my manipulation of him has involved pawing around his head and back to get to the areas on the front and sides.

I don’t think I want to make The Frog glossy. While the effects will be best if he is, there’s a certain charm to a matte finish I enjoy. There are always options in between glossy and matte as well, anything from combining the two for something in the middle, to layering matte over gloss. There is a small temptation to gloss his eyes though.

Beyond the frog I have other sculpts to look at again. One of them is a mound of tentacle, and I am staring at the original, wondering what the right path is. The whole thing is air dry clay. It’s still workable and could be cleaned up, the matter really is what to do to add detail to it. I think I would loathe the sensation of more air dry clay on my hands more than epoxy, but maybe not. There’s also the option of melting Monster Clay and pouring it into its old mold, but having done that with a snail, I was not completely impressed with the results. Too many air bubbles. Although that too is a project to look at. Apoxie would certainly stick fine to the air dry clay though.

Many of my projects fall to the wayside. Always a problem where I never finish anything, or have too many ideas and can never just stick with something long enough to finish it.

The quickest thing is to sculpt digitally, but it doesn’t satisfy the same way. It’s not as tangible, and just ends up exhausting my wrist and eyes. There is also little point in redoing it entirely, digitally, when the piece is sitting here. Art is transformative, in the sense that there doesn’t ever have to be a finalization to it. A drawing can be drawn over. A sculpture can be adjusted regardless of medium. Paintings painted over. There’s no harm in keeping the charm of an old piece and just fixing it a little.

The bastard is still staring at me.

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Mothwings

Someone told me I was a good writer. I'm not, so this is a blog. Tend to one’s own flame, and do not extinguish the flames of others.