Saturday, October 24, 2015

Skeleton Hand with Quill

Every year I always have a little corner of Edgar Allen Poe themed Halloween Decorations. In particular, his famous poem The Raven.

Each year I set out a copy of Edgar Allen Poe's book of short stories and poems with a quill pen (aka turkey feather) ink well and several Raven/crow decorations.

This year I thought it might be neat to include an old skeleton hand holding the quill, as if we may have stepped in on the author, mid-story.

To make the hand you will need a small block or two of white polymer clay, some non-galvanized wire, some black or dark brown eye shadow and a q-tip.

I pulled up some skeletal anatomy images on my phone to use as reference.

For the finger tips, make 5 tiny balls of clay. Form the balls into small pyramids, they remind me a bit of candy corn.

Then make 5 tubes, and form them into tiny bones.

Repeat for the next 5 bones and then the last 4 as the thumb only has three main joints. Curve the thumb joint slightly inward towards the palm.

For the palm, we're going to use a little artistic license and simply make a bit of a bean shaped flat section with indents for each of the finger bones.

Next, cut 5 lengths of wire about an inch longer than each finger. Use the wire to push through each bone lengthwise.

Once the bones are stranded, push the wire through the palm.

You'll now be able to bend the hand into shape.

Study your own hand and how you hold a pencil, bend the fingers to replicate this.

Once you have the hand shaped, bake the polymer according to the package directions.

Once cool, give the hand a bit of antique using the eye shadow and Q-tip.

These hands could be used as decorations in all sorts of ways.

"Playing the piano"

"Typing on an old typewriter"

"Holding a wine glass"

Be creative!    

The paper underneath the writing hand was made by dry brushing a piece of Bristol board with concentrated instant coffee. A "Raven's" footprint was made with brown food coloring. I wrote out excerpts from "The Raven" poem using a calligraphy pen and brown ink.  

3 comments:

Abi Rogers said...
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Abi Rogers said...


Hello. This is a great find thankyou for posting this. I had an image in mind of a skeleton hand holding/ cupping a wineglass, I was looking up skeleton hands for referencing and came across this post! I can't wait to get started!!!

Zach said...

So glad you found us Abi. I'd love to see what you come up with! Feel free to share. :)

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