Clothespin Art

So I was finishing up an elephant sculpture the other day and after cleaning up shop for the next project, I sat down and brainstormed new materials for sculpting. I love working with clay, often using a variety for different reasons but, I wanted something different.

I found my bin full of wooden clothespins and began experimenting. Working with clothespins is not new to me. Many years ago, I found a better use for these little marvels. Taking the pins apart, I cut them up and put them together. The result was a fleet of wooden star ships, crude but effective in my gaming hobby.

But my previous clothespin adventure lacked an important tool: an electric dremel. With this new tool I have been able to go beyond the star ships to create different work.

I wanted to make dragonfly themed sculptures for my online shops, the clothespins were perfect.


The project I was planning involved the life cycle of these awesome insects. The clothespins seemed to work nicely with the anatomy of the dragonfly adult and nymph.

A couple of wooden beads for eyes, wire for legs and there we have it, wooden dragonfly.

Well not yet, the most important step is shaping and carving with the dremel.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

After shaping and engraving a few segments, I needed a piece to pull it all together. Something that would convey the life cycle of the dragonfly. So I got my craft sticks together and carved away and glued until I had a few grass blades mounted on a wooden base. The dragonfly and larvae now had a perch to hang from. Next I painted the components.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

The base is the heart of the piece, so I spent some time decorating with textured paste and colored saw dust to represent algae, added clay eggs and finally a layer of resin for water. The components were now ready for assembly. Dragonfly wings were cut from sturdy clear plastic and all components were then put together. I used epoxy to strengthen the wire legs and the attachment points to the grass. I liked the results.


The piece had all the components I wanted for my nature series and is stronger than anything I could come up with using polymer clay. I hope to continue experimenting with this new medium, already making a frog on lily pad, and plan much more. For now this is it, until next time….




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