Hi everyone! Today I am going to tell you about … Wind in the willows‘ clay figurines I’m making!!! Oh yes, clay! I have just come back from a week in Austria, a lovely holiday, and in Austria they have GORGEOUS diy shops!!! I bought tons of cute buttons, lace, paper, crayons, acrylics… oh god, those wonderful shops (Libro, Nanu Nana…LLLLOVE!!!)!!! And so I also did buy two packets of red clay, although I didn’t know yet what to create with it… And today, well, the sky was so blue, soft white clouds, a happy sun, the green garden was calling and I just took the clay, a glass of water, a pen and a knife (I forgot to buy some clay tools) and began. And of course what comes to the mind when thinking of clay? … well, erm, Shaun the sheep… or Wallace&Gromit… or Coraline… Well! I didn’t! I actually thought about the tv series The wind in the willows!!!!
I simply Adore this show, it embodies all the greatest things: great characters, a wonderful setting, the coziness of winter, the lush of summer, the lovely things we love in our homes, the nature, the music… it is just a masterpiece, perfect!
Inspired by Kenneth Grahame’s book The wind in the willows, these animated shorts show us the adventures of beloved Ratty, Mole, Toad and Badger in an old fashioned, natural, simple and sweet english landscape by the River, where all our friends have their cozy houses and comforts. Animated using the stop motion technique, these “cartoons” are luckily quite numerous: there are five seasons of series, inspired by the book, and even a full movie, entirely based on the book The wind in the willows.
I really love the book, I always keep it on a near shelf, just to look at it or read a little bit when I don’t know what to do. It is so peaceful, relaxing… And I simply adore the illustrations of my edition, by great artist Inga Moore. They manage to make the book even more precious and poetic and adorable!
And it’s precisely from one of my book’s illustrations, by Inga Moore, that I’ve decided to create a little 3D clay image. The scene is the first pic nic that Ratty and Mole have when they meet, on a warm springtime morning. Yesterday I started with nice mister Mole, who is eating a crunchy and bread-perfumed piece of toast!
I started with the body and the head, shaped like a pear, very mole-esque! Then I added the legs and covered them with trousers.
The arms then, holding onto the body with two pieces of thin wire, just like a little hidden structure to keep it together more easily.
The arms needed little hands and also the little piece of toast, which was so cute to make, especially cutting off the cute bitten piece that Mole ate! I left mister Mole out in the sun to dry for a whole day and today I started to paint it, so exciting!
Tomorrow I am going to do the second hand of paint coating, and little details and more accurate painting… 🙂
I was so happy with mister Mole, it turned out very cute, nice and smiling, and also he has an air of relax and full tummy that I particularly love:) 🙂 🙂
It seems to me like he just had a nice, filling breakfast and can now lay down and chat a bit with Ratty and Otter!! So, see you very soon to see if mister Mole and all the others are all right!! Thank you! And…
“A brown little face, with whiskers. A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice. Small neat ears and thick silky hair. It was the Water Rat! Then the two animals stood and regarded each other cautiously. ‘Hullo, Mole!’ said the Water Rat. ‘Hullo, Rat!’ said the Mole. ‘Would you like to come over?’ enquired the Rat presently. ‘Oh, its all very well to talk,’ said the Mole, rather pettishly, he being new to a river and riverside life and its ways. The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed. It was painted blue outside and white within, and was just the size for two animals; and the Mole’s whole heart went out to it at once, even though he did not yet fully understand its uses. The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast. Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down. ‘Lean on that!’ he said. ‘Now then, step lively!’ and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat. ‘This has been a wonderful day!’ said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. ‘Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.’ ‘What?’ cried the Rat, open-mouthed: ‘Never been in a- you never- well Iwhat have you been doing, then?’ ‘Is it so nice as all that?’ asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him. ‘Nice? It’s the only thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. ‘Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing- absolute nothinghalf so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: ‘messing- about- in- boats; messing-’ ‘Look ahead, Rat!’ cried the Mole suddenly. It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air. ‘-about in boats- or with boats,’ the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. ‘In or out of ‘em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?’ The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions. ‘What a day I’m having!’ he said. ‘Let us start at once!’ ‘Hold hard a minute, then!’ said the Rat. He looped the painter through a ring in his landing-stage, climbed up into his hole above, and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat, wicker luncheon-basket. ‘Shove that under your feet,’ he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat. Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again. ‘What’s inside it?’ asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity. ‘There’s cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly; ‘coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrolls resssandwichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater-’ ‘O stop, stop,’ cried the Mole in ecstacies: ‘This is too much!’ ‘Do you really think so?’ enquired the Rat seriously. ‘It’s only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I’m a mean beast and cut it very fine!’ The Mole never heard a word he was saying. Absorbed in the new life he was entering upon, intoxicated with the sparkle, the ripple, the scents and the sounds and the sunlight, he trailed a paw in the water and dreamed long waking dreams.”