The blueprint of... Devil Claw Gargoyle

11 min read

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Myana's avatar
By Myana
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The blueprint of... is an article serie where we’re taking a closer look on an Artisan Crafts deviation and how it's made.

Today we are dissecting Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART

Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART

First off, please introduce yourself?

My name is Cara Bevan, I’m 20 years old and I live in the heart of North Carolina. I adore animals, any kind from cute to creepy, and the mythical creatures that have been inspired by them. Since I grew up, and still live on, the untouched woodland my parents bought it has only made my passion grow. Also, since I’ve been an artist for as long as I could hold something, with a supportive family, my arts have grown as well.

Please explain what we are viewing.

This is a devil claw sculpture of a gargoyle. A devil claw is a dried seed pod from a weed called the unicorn plant. This plant, native to the deep south of the USA, is an unusual weed because of its fruit. The fruit is edible, but when it dries the fruit becomes a hard, durable, seed pod. These pods have two sharp ‘horns’ that are so dangerous they can draw blood – thus the name ‘devil claw’. The plants have been outlawed in cattle country because the sharp points can injure the hooves and legs of livestock. If used for the right purpose, however, these hardy seed pods made durable and interesting sculptures. This devil claw gargoyle is one of my smaller devil claw creations, being 8.5 inches tall and 4.5 inches long.

Can you describe for a layman how it’s made?

After gathering dried devil claws, you need to gather the materials to work with them. Wire cutters is a must, along with hot glue, a wire bending tool, and other sculptural materials you would like to add to it. I start with a subject in mind and build the legs first. Taking thin sticks from devil claw stems or horns, I glue them together to look like leg bones in the position I want (bent, straight, etc.) Once the legs are glued, I make the body. Using two or more devil claws stacked together end into end I make the desired shape. I often cut off horns or stems to keep the body smooth (although it helps that the devil claw has a naturally curved form anyway.) I glue the legs to the body and use devil claw halves or fourths to make the shape more defined. I add shoulders with a half piece, arms, just like the legs, and then the head using a single devil claw. To make the sculpture unique I take the cut off horns and add details such as wings, spikes, tails, ribs, and other features. With most of my devil claw sculptures I add organs on the chest and stomach. This is done using a dried flower called a Cockscomb Celosia. Some cleaning and fine tuning and the sculpture is complete.

Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART

What tools did you use?

I used everyday tools in an everyday place. I mostly sculpt in my parent’s unused dining room (my unofficial studio) or on the kitchen island/bar. My tools are hot glue (medium heat) and small wire cutters. Making devil claw sculptures is a relatively easy and cost free pastime.

What was your inspiration in creating this?

Most of my art is inspired by animals, but I also love fantasy. Since the devil claw itself is a rather unusual thing, I wanted to make my sculptures out of mythical creatures. With a large list to choose from (thanks in part to this book: Mythical beasts by Alexandra Bonfante-Warren) I wanted to make a gargoyle for the wide range of appearances it can have. I made my gargoyle sitting, waiting, holding his side as if in pain because he wants to be free.

How long time did it take you to make this?

This piece may have taken about 2 hours

Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART

Did you run into anything unexpected while creating?

When working with devil claws you have to expect some trouble…I don’t use gloves when working and that led to many painful pricks. Getting the gargoyle to stay balanced was a challenge. Several other sculptures still have problems with that. Thankfully, I had freedom with the gargoyle and gave him a long tail to compensate. Other than that, he was surprisingly easy going.

Are you happy with the result?

I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. After all, I don’t have a solid notion of what a gargoyle actually looks like. I was pleasantly surprised when it was finished and it ended up a lot better than I could have imagined.

Where have you learnt your skills in this area?

Trail and error. When I was still in school I had a LOT of spare time and that led me to experiment. I practiced with sculpting the most, creating all sorts of new projects and ways to make crafts with new objects. I guess playing with pipecleaners when I was experimenting gave me most of my skill today. Although they’re a more forgiving medium than the hard seed pods, the techniques are similar.

Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Gargoyle by ART-fromthe-HEART

Do you take your own photos? Any tips you want to share for presenting your work?

Yes, I take my own photographs. I’m not a professional, but the high-tech cameras and computer programs would make it seem that way. All one needs is a nice digital camera and a good place for photographing. The way to get the best pictures is to have good lighting (natural if present) and white. White countertops, white backdrop, white cloth. White reflects light and makes any art stand out and look more presentable.

What is the best tip you can give to others wanting to test this craft/material/technique?

Experiment, that’s the greatest advice I can give. You can never go wrong with it, and you always learn something new. Sure, what you try may not turn out, but the losses still give you ideas on what to try, and what not to try, next. You just may surprise yourself.

Are you selling your work?

Yes, I am selling my work. I am taking custom commissions on devil claw sculptures due to an overabundance of them. I’m also selling the seed pods themselves for $2 each if you want to make a sculpture of your own. Please check me out and see my other artwork, too. Right now devil claw sculpting is just a hobby, but I’ve been surprised before!

More of ART-fromthe-HEART's devil claw sculptures
Devil Claw Western Dragon by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Phoenix by ART-fromthe-HEART Devil Claw Western Dragon by ART-fromthe-HEART
:thumb97404749: :thumb97406506: :thumb97583610:

Thank you ART-fromthe-HEART for participating and taking the time to answer my question! :heart:

I'd love recive suggestions for next "victim" to interview! Note me with a link to the deviation you'd like to know more about and I'll contact the deviant.

Also, let me know if there are any questions you are missing in this type of interview!

Previous articles:
The blueprint of... Spippo's 'My Little Alien'
© 2008 - 2021 Myana
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skifi's avatar
Well done, Myana ;)
fairiesnest's avatar
wow! Fascinating!
orcbruto's avatar
cl2007's avatar
most interesting subject and an all around nice interview! :clap:
davessyndrome's avatar

I'd been wondering what they were.
pulbern's avatar
Itti's avatar
Interesting. I think I asked this artist most of these questions already but I know if I hadn't seen this art before I would have found this a very intriguing interview!
StudioHarajuku's avatar
Wow that certainly is an interesting piece, amazing idea behind it all and stunning work as well.
midKnightMuse's avatar
Very cool!! I love the idea of using things from nature to create wonderful works of art! :D
ART-fromthe-HEART's avatar
Thanks again Myana, you're doing a great thing for all artists! :hug: I can't wait to see what's next!!! :D
I like it this is supper
Foxglove-Honey's avatar
Amazing, beautiful and earth friendly. Great combination. :heart: I really enjoy knowing about how and why something was made.
TwistingMyArm's avatar
Woah. That's pretty amazing stuff there. :O Personally, I've never seen or even heard of Devil's Claw, but now I'm super interested in actually seeing it in person. Amazing what you can do with the world around you and a little bit of time. :heart:
jenepooh's avatar
Wow! That is amazing work! :faint: Great article! :clap: :D
DAnnsCreations's avatar
:icondancedanceplz: What a unique artwork! :wow: How cool, use what you have and amazing things can come from it! :wow: GREAT article, wonderful!!! :icongrin--plz: :glomp:

Thank-you Myana! What a good idea, now I am going to be looking closer at the artworks I see, to find something more to learn about. :glomp: Mom always said, Learn something new every day and you will remain young forever! :w00t!::w00t!::w00t!: :icongivemesmilesplz::glomp:
synconi's avatar
What a fantastic idea for an article! Really informative and interesting, too. :hug:
BrokenEver's avatar
Wow, super-informative! I learned a lot from today's feature. :love:
Hippopottermiss's avatar
I'm enjoying these articles :)
Thanks :hug:
Ugrik's avatar
Amazing what you can do with can-do attitude, hot glue and huge amount of seed-pods :D

I have seen the wicked plant in botanical garden but to make sculptures from it - very creative.

I like these new articles - you rarely see that much information about a piece of work in the usual description
irient's avatar
Wonderful article! :heart:
sleepinglynx's avatar
great article on a great artist, a very unique and beautiful medium keep up the excellent work.
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