English Bull Terrier, Joni Mitchell and Others…

Made by Mel Howells


I’m a children’s book illustrator who always had the urge to make figurative sculptures. I have used polymer clay in the past but never found that it was truly ‘sculptable’ (is that a word?!)

I’ve watched Jonni’s wonderful videos for a couple of years and decided to take the plunge and give it a try a couple of months ago. I’m loving it and have set up an Etsy shop, where I’ve managed to sell most of what I’ve made and now have a few commissions. Jonni is a constant source of inspiration and a lovely human being (who can also write a cracking good thriller!) so BIG thanks to you.

I’m posting a dog I’ve made; my bunny version of Sigourney Weaver in the ‘Aliens’ movie (bizarre, yes, I know) and my homage to Joni Mitchell & David Hockney!! All have sold on Etsy so I’m really thrilled.

I’m working on smoothing out textures, so these are first attempts. I make armatures from paper, foil and sometimes wire and use a combination of the Original Paper Clay recipe and the Smooth Air Dry Clay. I have needed to sand a lot – not my favourite bit of the process (a: I’m lazy b: I do it outside and it’s really cold here!) although it is a good way to add in detail as I use an electric Dremel tool with various attachments that can be used for sculpting. Hence the need to perfect a smoother final finish.

These are all quite small (around 14cm-ish, the dog around 20cm) so I’m planning bigger things (literally) for the near future! My next project is some of my favourite writers – Virginia Woolf as a wolf (couldn’t resist it); Patricia Highsmith as a cat (probably) and Carson McCullers as – I don’t know, still thinking that one through.
My work is fairly random – I make things based on stuff I love. Books, films, artists, animals always feature somewhere – and the things I sell on Etsy sit there and until a person similarly odd comes along and decides they need them in their life!

Hope you enjoy them xxx

Paper mache sculpture by Mel Howells

homage to Joni Mitchell & David Hockney by Mel Howells

8 thoughts on “English Bull Terrier, Joni Mitchell and Others…”

  1. Oh wow. I love the one of Joni and Hockney! Would you sell this one to me? The photo it is based on is one of my favorite photos of all time.


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