Soft and squishy dragons, but also shiny. Very important, that.
Evalis, while still being considered a rather young and technically "immature" Decce, acts as Guardian of the South Sea Temple. His desire to protect the temple is out of gratitude to the servants for raising him after having found him seemingly abandoned as a hatchling. He's well-suited to the lifestyle, as far as he's concerned, spending most of his time enjoying the sea breeze, watching over the temple servants and enjoying whatever gifts of food the devoted bring for him. (He likes cherries, clearly.) Fierce as he may look, it will take another hundred or so years for his horns to mature in full, as well as the stinging barbs on his tail and the backs of his legs to be at their most potent (though it should be noted that the barbs are only activated in defense; otherwise they're perfectly harmless).
Some have come to believe that the Decce are actually related to the Celestial Turtle. While their "shells" aren't fully hardened structures, the longer the Decce live, the more hard gem-like structures grow onto their shells. They don't normally fuse and become fully hard until after a Decce dies; this is where the tales of heroes using Decce shells as shields come from. Rather than the hero fighting and conquering a Decce, a Decce tribe or family unit would grace someone they felt worthy with ancient artifact so important to them that it is literally a part of their history. While they were once linked with mages, these days they've become exceedingly rare to the point where not even the great mage circles know whether or not a whole tribe of them still exist. It's a sad fate, but some argue it's also smarter to hide until humans figure out how to stop destroying themselves.
Evalis was one of those off-and-on projects that I worked on in large pieces interrupted by a week here, a commission there, and a necessary break so that I wouldn't wind up getting stabby here and there and everywhere. So... what I know is that he took some number of weeks to complete. Not quite a month? But definitely more than two weeks. About three? Maybe a little more? Time, what is it? I did a lot of new things with the internal structure, and I'm sure you'll notice the paws/claws. I'm so happy with how those turned out, you have no idea.
I can't even express how much work went into this. I knew I was crazy before, but geez. The entire length of his body from head to tail, legs, and each toe are individually wired and poseable, and boy is he a big fella. From tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, he's about 20", standing casually at about 8" to the top of his horns. His claws and horns are polymer clay, and his eyes are a gorgeously red-dyed jade stone. There are plenty of glass beads and painted highlights using iridescent pigments, as well. I mean, you know... shiny.
Acalyn is a coatl or a winged serpent, really quite content to sing in the highest branches of trees, though given warmth and food and a little doting, she finds human shoulders relatively decent as well. It's said that these songs are sure to drive away nightmares and bring pleasant dreams to all who hear them, so the next time you happen to hear songs in the forest, you may just want to stick around to listen. You may also want to see if you can't lure out a lovely singing coatl with some trail mix. They love the stuff.
I was out to try something different. And this just kind of happened. I do like the idea of creatures that can double as jewelry, and somehow it just sort of evolved. this way. All of the frills are just specially treated fabric so it's not overly stiff and easily flexible, and the fabric paint is the standard type I use for crocheted creatures. Of course there's also so very much shiny with both tiny glass beads and larger fiber optic ones, plus all of the iridescent pigment mixed into the fabric paint. I just can't stay away from that stuff, you know. A large hook and eye finding allow her to clasp shut and turn into a necklace... or a wreath, I suppose. Either way, her internal structure is wire so she's easy to adjust.
Sebian has a deep curiosity about the world. A "hunger", if you like. In fact, he's really very interested in food. Cooking, as well. Or rather, he likes to do the sampling instead of the cooking. Such is rather common of a young bead wing dragon, since they've got an awful lot of growing to do.
Yeah, "bead wing". What else am I gonna call him? The only plans I really had for this one when I started were 1.) the yarn color, and 2.) that he was going to be wyvern-styled. Everything else was kind of just... what happened. I'd planned to do the wings completely differently, too. I really, literally, cannot explain what happened--but I'm not complaining. Even if the wings did take me four days.
Wings. Four days. More beads that I will try to count on a thin, easily flexible and "bouncy" wire base. All very shiny. I feel it is important to note here that anyone considering caring for this young dragon will need to be exceedingly gentle with the wings. Yes, the "feathers" were designed for easy movement and poseability, but that means they're very easy to bend. Gentleness is necessary.
In order to remain stable, Sebian has a reinforced wire spine and double-reinforced legs. That worked out very well, I must say. Some poses still take a little work to strike the right balance between legs and arms, but he'll definitely hold there without problems.
And yes, he is fully poseable, fully flexible, and fully scratch-under-the-chin-able.
Kaishun's got an incredibly optimistic view on life in general. After all, he's one of the dragons who helps to usher in spring every year. Admittedly the duty isn't always easy (Mother Nature just loves to readjust her snow schedule without telling anyone), but seeing the leaves and flowers begin to bud is rewarding.
The only clear ideas I had when I started were "white and pink". Kaishun definitely took on a life of his own after that. His antlers and, er, "artistic spines" are wire-wrapped and decorated with lovely, lightly frosted silver-lined pink glass beads, with a few tiny delica bead accents. His belly and the bottoms of his feet are of course brilliantly sparkly pink, and his eyes are rose quartz.
He's also a big Barnaby Brooks Jr. fan. Just putting that out there.
("Kaishun" means "return of spring" or "rejuvenation". Suiting, I think.)
Having just emerged from his egg days ago, Kuro is looking for a warm spot to curl up in, the safety provided by a dedicated guardian, and maybe some sweets if they happen to be laying around. You couldn't deny him sweets, could you?
I had this gorgeous scrap of the most beautiful deep, dark crimson silk velvet, and naturally my first thought is "dragon wings". I don't know, I can't help it. Kuro is fully poseable, though his wire skeleton is comprised of thinner wire. This allows for slightly easier movement than the larger crocheted dragons, but he's a touch more delicate. (Well of course he is--he's just a baby!) Even so, he's got a great range of motion.
His belly and the bottoms of his feet are all sparkly too, thanks to fabric paint medium and iridescent pigment; so it's not going to rub off. He's also got a few beaded accents along his back, tail, ears and toes. The gemstone beads used for his eyes seem to be jasper, but don't quote me on that one.
("Kuro" is "black" in Japanese, by the way.)
Aithne's an explorer. From the moment she was out of her egg she's been out to explore the world, one tree at a time--but she's always sure to be back in time for dinner.
"Aithne" is Celtic for "little fire", and that is absolutely what she is. I had no particular plans when I started, but clearly she asserted herself easily so it wasn't a problem. The inner wire structure as been improved and reinforced from spine to toes, and that includes the real silk velvet tail, making her fully poseable.
And then there is that fur. I've been wanting to do fur like this for forever, so finally getting the opportunity to try it is nice. A major pain and very time-consuming, but the end result is exactly what I was going for. Plus it's incredibly soft to the touch, much like the velvet.
I have no idea what stone that is for her eyes, though. They were beautiful and perfect and part of an assortment, so if anyone does know please feel free to tell me. (Best guess so far: fancy jasper.)
FiSele is from a clan best described as "warrior monks"; they've managed to purify and crystalize various types of magic to be stored and used at the will of those who are trained to call upon them. It takes a great deal of mental and emotional control to be able to build up enough will to direct magic of such powerful purity, but that's why they're started young. FiSele bears the proud marks of several years of study and practice with the crystals that have since quite literally become part of him. The headdress is worn for formal and spiritual affairs, though its origins are from the days when war was commonplace. The anklet is simply a gift from his mother upon reaching maturity, though he simply wouldn't go anywhere without it.
There comes a point in every project (hopefully, at least) where "Why am I doing this?" is answered by, "Oh that's why." FiSele is the product of 30 days of work. Not including days off, or days when I was working on commissions (in part to save my sanity)--30 days of working. This is mildly terrifying. What used to be a whole lot of yarn, stuffing, wire, a bit of clay and assorted beads have finally become something I only half-planned about halfway through the process of creating the body. As my creations will do, he took on a life of his own and I simply went with it.
Let us address the size of this guy, first. Large. Very large. Stupidly large. That was actually kind of an accident. I... am going to need to find a place to put him. He's roughly 19 inches long from nose to tail, and the wingspan is about 47 inches when they're fully spread. Luckily he can just wrap those wings around him, otherwise I would be completely screwed for space.
The wings turned out much, much heavier than I was anticipating. There's springy braided wire beneath, so they're stable; but they can't hold up under their own weight. After braiding apparently about 50 inches of wire or so, I then created a crocheted wrap for it. Then was actually insane enough not to use fabric and save myself many days of work, but crocheted the webbing as well. While heavy, it works, and it wound up looking better than I thought it would. I'm still entertaining the thought of building a little stand for each of the wings after a few tests, but we'll see how far that goes. He looks perfectly content to have them resting. And speaking of wings, the interiors are lightly highlighted with blue and purple iridescence, while the exterior and wingtips reveal spines. These can either be in a resting or defensive position. On the inside of each are crystal cases that hold dormant power when he may need to call upon them to enhance magic he's already mastered. Important things, these.
Look at them legs! I'm happy with how they came out. The front legs/feet are my favorite, as I just love the way the claws look with the toes. Don't judge me. Granted, I adore the back legs too. They are as they are because that's... just how they are; but also I recall, many many years ago when I was just starting to play with sculpture, there was one very loud person who told me the feet were too big. I have since taken pride in making big feet. Mmm, happy artistic "screw you"s. Anyway, clearly the legs are stuffed in such a way that they can support him in a standing position, but can also be bent to allow him to sit or crouch.
So. Many. Embellishments. Holy crap I don't know why, it just happened. Swarovski crystals as far as the eye can see! And a few of those glowy acrylic "materia beads" too, which come across quite well in a few pictures. Yes, they do glow in direct light. Painfully, at times. But the crystal sparkles!
And of course my creations need their own jewelry. I mean, come on. The headdress started off as a piece of wire and... evolved. Obviously. Just enough sparkle and twist to keep it interesting, I think. The wire itself is relatively soft, so it can be reshaped if someone for some reason wants to. I don't know why you would, but I am not judging you. Directly.
This is the first time I've made my own eyes. It seemed appropriate, somehow. Just baked a couple of polymer clay disks with the middle scooped out, and mixed myself some paint from iridescent pigments. The purple pigment was also used to highlight FiSele's belly. A light blue was used on the wings, but... it's almost invisible in the pictures. It always has to be something, I know.
While it's not terribly clear in the pictures, his upper and lower jawed are wired for a number of expressions. His ears also have a thinner wire in them which will allow them to stay in place. And of course he has a tongue, because... well, how else would he taste his food? Pft, seriously.