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Old 03-26-2014, 10:55 PM   #1 
ArrowheadShark
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Betta Fish Sculptures

So I fell in love a long time ago with a product by Crayola; it's called Model Magic. A bit pricey, at least to miss sale-hunter here, but it's become one of my favorite sculpting mediums. I use it to make cat/fox ears to glue to headbands/hats/etc, crafting useful misc items or giving something a grip, etc, etc. It is water soluble, so don't get it wet unless it's on purpose for re-moistening the clay or something.

Anyways... aside from all that stuff, my bettafish Shark inspired a little art project that quickly developed into a new occasional-past time. I made my first bettafish sculpture;


Here's some different angles and a scale-shot with a quarter. I gave the sculpture to Mama as a Christmas gift.

I painted him with acrylic paint, one of only two sculptures I painted. It's a pain in the but to paint them, since the wetness of the paint re-softens the clay enough to make it malleable to an extent I didn't want. The second fish (a crowntail red and black) I gave to a German foreign exchange student who came with a relative to a family gathering. I didn't get a picture... oh well ;P Hopefully she got it back without breaking!

My very favorite fish I made (colored with Copic markers, as all the fish are, now) I also didn't get a picture of, but it was a short-finned red and black betta. I think he may also have been flarring.... that, or the crowntail was flaring.

Here are the other fish I've done;


This blue and white one was given to family in Ohio; it arrived unbroken *happy dance*
It was the only one to arrive unbroken *deflated happy dance* The two others that I shipped only had minor breaks, though.


This one was suspended by thread in a glass fish bowl, and was another Christmas gift to a school friend. He's shown before I glued his pectoral fins on, as his bowl wasn't ready yet, and I had to lay him on his side to store him.

Unfortunately, the night before I was gifting him, I accidentally broke the bowl. I had to instead give him to my friend in a chinsey plastic container and let her know about the bowl, and that she'd probablly want to put it in something less... gross looking.

THIS ONE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES:

It was a gift for my sister (not blood-related sister, just sister-by-closeness-of-friendship ;P). I told her to find me a picture of a bettafish she liked, and she found one pictured in a similar pose to that which I sculpted. It was a shimmery, grayscaled fishy, but looked nothing like what I crafted for my sis.





I went absolutely photo-happy with this guy. He's just so photogenic!

and just for fun, here's an unfinished drawing of a friend as a mermaid, inspired by my pleco named Pleco;


I plan on selling the bettafish sculptures after I graduate from my Arts Highschool, and can open up an Etsy shop. I'm nervous about them being so fragile, but my recent edit to making them I think will help wonders; I bought a whole bunch of tiny glass fishbowls (which are not actually fish bowls, fishwater's forbid! Waaaaaaay too small!) in two different sizes from a dollarstore. I have three bettas-in-bowls made up now! One looks meh to me, since I rushed it too much (and I'm not overlly fond of pink, and this fish is a rosey-pink and deep peony red[which I do like]), one looks cute (the first one I did; a green and dark green fishy), and one looks gorgeous (a white and... sable? No, not sable. Uuuuhhhh, this grayish brown faint color? And a maize-yellow-color)

I do not have pictures yet of the bowl fish, but when I do, I will post!

Also, please note: I think keeping a fake bettafish in a cute little bowl is absolutely appropriate and acceptable. I despair over the fact some people keep living creatures in such small containers. A bettafish can survive in an unheated small cup or bowl, but they thrive and prosper in a properly maintained, heated tank. I personally think three gallons is the absolute minimum for one betta. Ten is perfect, anything more is absolutely supurb!
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:19 PM   #2 
haveyouhadyourteayet
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So cute!!! I would LOVE one when you're ready to sell em!!!

Would you do commissions, or just go with what moves you, fish wise?
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:14 AM   #3 
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So cute!!! I would LOVE one when you're ready to sell em!!!

Would you do commissions, or just go with what moves you, fish wise?
Both; I'd definitely do commissions, I'll just have to be careful for fear of potentially getting swamped in them. Other than avoiding a huge workload, I love the idea of making sculptures of peoples fishies or other ideas they have >w<
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:39 AM   #4 
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I cannot get over how cute they are!!

I was hoping you'd be able to take one soon, my bf is leaving for basic in 11 days (QQ) and obv not for boot camp, but if he has some personal space in advanced training, I think he would love to have a little reminder of 'his' fish to keep him company without having to actually care for the fish, which he doesn't do lol. Thus the quotation XD

If you're swamped, I super understand :3 I might even try my (oh god awfully unartistic) hand at making one!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:43 PM   #5 
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Originally Posted by haveyouhadyourteayet View Post
I cannot get over how cute they are!!

I was hoping you'd be able to take one soon, my bf is leaving for basic in 11 days (QQ) and obv not for boot camp, but if he has some personal space in advanced training, I think he would love to have a little reminder of 'his' fish to keep him company without having to actually care for the fish, which he doesn't do lol. Thus the quotation XD

If you're swamped, I super understand :3 I might even try my (oh god awfully unartistic) hand at making one!!
Oh, no, I'm not swamped yet! I just meant that when I set up the etsy shop, I will be wary of commissions, because I don't want to become swamped xD I don't know if I will or not, but I don't want my life to suddenly become; 'wake up, make fish, eat, restroom, make fish, sleep, wake up...' because that would be boring as heck, even if I love making the fis ._.

I will say that the price I'm looking at for the fishies in the bowls is around twenty-thirty dollars. It takes a lot of time to make one fish, several hours. There's also a lot of waiting time for the clay to harden and dry enough to color/glue all the fins together. I'm talking with my parents about how to ship them and what I need to do to set up and organize the shop business.

A fish on a stand minus the bowl would probably go for 15-20. That said, I've always loved haggling ;D so the price isn't concrete.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:27 PM   #6 
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I think that's a really fair price already. They look really labor intensive, plus there's lots of things going into making them. The bowl, the clay, the pens, glue, fishing line... all small costs, but they add up!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 07:49 PM   #7 
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Gorgeous work!!! I am totally in love!!! I have no artistic talent and I admire those who do!! I can't wait to see more!! :)
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:17 PM   #8 
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These are great! beautiful! Very impressive!
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:19 AM   #9 
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These are lovely, and I definitely think the small bowl decorative is acceptable. :)

Have you ever used a product called Fimo? Similar to the model magic, but can be baked to hardness. Might be be as fragile? I've used the model magic years and years ago, and I recall it being hard to get small pieces to stick to one another really well. But, the formula may have changed. :)

These are lovely, and I think you could definitely do well selling them on Etsy. :)
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:07 AM   #10 
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These are just awesome. I would SOOO love to have one of my beloved Princess George and Stone's beloved Elvis, both as a memorial for the most loved fishies ever on earth.
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