hard bake clay

deliriousbiznasties  asked:

I'm sorry if I'm overstepping since your faq said not to ask much about the dolls but how do you get your needle felted dolls to stand on their own? is it just like balance and luck? I'm assuming you're using a wire framework so is that the key?

Yes and no!

As loosely felted as the puffs are, the small wire frame absolutely gives them the structural integrity they need to stand.

The real key, however, is balancing the doll and providing them with either a flat, solid surface, or a “tripod” to balance them.  Eridan’s cape is actually too thinly felted to act as a tripod (and he’s actually difficult to balance, though he can and does stand on his own, it isn’t stable like my larger armature dolls)

The real key though I would say are the “half eggs” I make for their feet. They’re baked, hard clay with a flat bottom. The wire from the doll is inserted directly into a small hole [I also bake the feet on the exact same type of wire I use as the felt skeleton, so the hole will fit perfectly when the foot is moved to the doll itself. But baking your hard parts on a wire or a very small rod allows you to handle them and paint/glaze them without ruining them).

The combination of the wire and the flat, hard foot  gives them enough surface to plant them and the wire then acts as a skeletonto support the doll.  They still don’t stand perfectly on their own just due to how small they are (and how light they are, a sigh could knock them over lol) but they stand well enough that I can pose them and photo them. I usually either prop them against something, hang them off of something, have them sitting or use a small stand to display them though.

Last Resort (1/10) - End of the Line

Notes:  No, you’re not seeing things. I’ve actually WRITTEN SOMETHING again.  *le gasp*  

This fic has been percolating in my brain for over a year, and it is apparently, finally ready to be written. It’s kind of my baby, this AU has been near and dear to me for a long long time, I’ve always been a big lover of this particular time in history, and the idea of doing CS in this era … well, I had to. I just wanted to get it right

So I really hope you enjoy it. This is just the prologue, so don’t expect anything major just yet, but don’t worry. This fic is only plotted for ten chapters, so I hope you’ll stick with me for this one.  Because I haven’t felt this way about a fic since I wrote SSTTR.

Can also be read here and here

Keep reading


Last weekend Team AWOL participated in San Francisco Randonneur’s Marin Mountains 200 kilometers mixed surface brevet. SF Randonneur’s informed us:

The Marin Mountains 200K feels more like a mountain bike ride that uses pavement to connect epic stretches of dirt. Most riders will walk once or twice, but the scenery and sense of immersion in nature more than make up for the occasional difficulty.

The distinguishing feature of the Marin Mountains 200K are five long and spectacular unpaved sections.

  1. From Panoramic Highway to the summit of Mount Tam (mile 14). Five miles of well-graded gravel fire roads through mixed conifer forests. On a clear day, you’ll enjoy a commanding perspective on San Francisco Bay. On a foggy day, you’ll break through mist into early morning sun and see the fog roll over the Golden Gate like a giant slow-motion wave.
  2. From Ridgecrest Boulevard to Sky Oaks Road (mile 21). Five miles through mixed forest and mediterranean scrub. Some very steep grades, both uphill and downhill. Mostly gravel and dirt, but also hard-baked clay and challenging rocky sections on aptly-named Rocky Ridge Road. Fine views of San Pablo Bay and the Mount Tam watershed.
  3. From Bolinas-Fairfax Road to San Geronimo (mile 29). Five and a half very tough miles—the most difficult of this ride. Short but steep climbs on Pine Mountain Fire Road precede a long, precipitous descent on Sylvestris Fire Road. Brief sections of loose softball-size rocks are virtually impassable to road bikes. While many cyclists will walk a couple hundred yards of this segment, most will also enjoy a fantastic feeling of wilderness and expansive vistas of northern Marin.
  4. Summit of Mount Vision to Limantour Road (mile 82). Only three miles, but that includes rutted single-track and some difficult rocky stretches. Pause at a sharp right turn in the trail to admire exceptional views of Tomales Bay and west Marin.
  5. Highway 1 to Ridgecrest Boulevard (mile 97). Eleven miles, most of it through wonderful coastal redwoods. One of the prettiest stretches of forest in the Bay Area—a cathedral of big trees. Much of the trail is soft dirt littered with vegetation, and there are only a few short rocky stretches. Two or three short climbs are quite steep: downshift early or you risk walking!

There are also some noteworthy paved climbs, including:

  1. The Marshall Wall (mile 56). 500 feet vertical in a little over a mile, for an average grade of about 9%—but a quarter of that is flat! The road traverses open grassy terrain with hardly a tree in sight, so the wind can make for hard going.
  2. Mount Vision (mile 78). An easy climb (1200ft in 4mi) notable for its remoteness and beauty. In half a dozen pre-rides we’ve only ever seen one car. And on a sunny day the panorama of Point Reyes and Drake’s Estero is superlative.
  3. The “Seven Sisters” on Ridgecrest Boulevard (mile 104). A standard weekend ride for SF roadies, but usually not after a hundred miles and 11,000 feet of climbing. As on Mount Vision, the scenery on a clear day is breathtaking.

The MM 200K is 23% dirt—roughly one mile of trail for every three miles of pavement. The dirt parts are difficult enough that many riders may opt for a mountain bike, but keep in mind that overly knobby tires or excessive suspension will slow you down on pavement. We suggest a suspension-free bike with a low gear close to 1:1 (for example, 50x34 compact chainrings coupled with an 11-32 mountain cassette) and slick to moderately knobby tires in the range of 32-40mm. Also, traditional three-bolt road cleats are not a good idea—bring shoes that are comfortable for walking.

We’re so glad we listened carefully to the advice and brought both wide tires, sufficient gearing, hydraulic brakes, lots of water, walkable shoes etc. The AWOL was the perfect bike for this ride with  a total of 203 kilometers / 126 miles, 4199 m of climbing and an on the bike time of 9:35:20. The shitty pictures above is from a GoPro mounted on the front rack of the AWOL but it gives you an idea of the sometimes disturbingly tough “roads”

More in another post about the gear selection for such a big ride