As part of the ADF Dedicant Program, I’ve been working on making improvements to my home shrine. One of the things I wanted to do was make more deity images, preferably ones I could hang on the wall and coordinate with the ones I already have. I’ve seen what beautiful statues and plaques they have at Sacred Source, but the expense is just too great (and probably wouldn‘t “go with” what I have anyway).
I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a do-it-yourself project. My first thoughts were to make something out of plasticized clay (since I don’t have the kiln that would be necessary to fire natural clay), but after seeing the price tag on a large block of the stuff, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. So I decided to use a special recipe for salt dough that dries a bit harder than regular salt dough. (See my post “Crafting with Salt Dough“.) I figured it wouldn’t have the near-permanence that other materials would have, but that is probably a good thing; it would be bio-degradable.
I wanted these to be the same size and shape as my other shrine plaques, so I rolled out the dough, measured and cut to shape. I actually let the tile shapes dry a day or so before adding anything else, so pressing on the other items wouldn’t distort the shape of the plaque. For the most part, I used the coiling method to shape the forms, and used white school glue to make them stick to the partially dried dough tile.
For the Curnunnos plaque, I had a coloring book page of the Gundestrup cauldron that I used as a model I coiled the dough and placed it directly onto the page, let it dry, then transferred it to the dough tile.
For the Dagda plaque, I was stumped. I didn’t have a historic picture that I wanted to model it from. I looked at several modern renditions of Dagda in a Google image search. I was most inspired by a picture of Dagda painted on a longboard. For the face, I used a homemade mold I had taken of my Greenman plaque with strong salt dough. I trimmed away the leaves and added curled coils for mustache and beard. After I had filled in the picture with his three symbols; his club, harp, and cauldron. The picture was complete.
After air drying about a week, I used acrylic paints from my old craft supply stash to finish them up. Curnunnos got a layer of black, then silver. Dagda got a layer of brown, then gold, both drying thoroughly between layers.