In addition to the house I'm making for my degree show, I'm also making a second piece that features a tree.
I've made a tree before and I was pretty proud of it -someone even bought it- which is why I thought I'd be able to successfully make another one.
Confirmation on that statement is still pending.
Here's how it's going so far.
I started with a lot of wire wrapped round a piece of wooden dowel which then branches out into..well..branches.
I bought a whole heap (yeah, that's a technical term of measurement...) of Sculpey for this project, but only ended up using a quarter of it. More Sculpey for me!
I covered all the wire in Sculpey and I added some foil around the trunk before adding the Sculpey to bulk it out a bit.
Then, as you may know, Sculpey needs to be put in the oven to harden.
My tree only just fit in the oven! I had to take all the shelves out and was then worried that the tree would tip backwards into the flames.
The required time is between 15 and 30 minutes but when I opened the oven door after 6 minutes to check on it, a lot of smoke came out. So I thought I ought to abort the mission.
The 6 minutes was actually enough time to harden most of the branches but the trunk was still squidgy.
I put the tree back in the oven twice more with the door slightly open, but the trunk didn't get any harder.
So I gave up and went straight to painting it.
As I was painting it some of the bigger branches near the trunk started to fall apart a little bit.
Slight panic, but then I grabbed some small strips of newspaper and some watery PVA glue and papier-mached the tree Neil Buchanan style.
The Sculpey is still squidgy under the newspaper, but at least it's not falling apart and I was able to finish painting it.
I'm not sure if the colour's exactly right yet, it's looking a bit grey, but trees aren't exactly brown. I like the texture I've got going on.