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I've been doing this a while now...five years, to be exact. Ever since the first Faeriecon was held in Philadelphia. Yes, other people make horns. Yes, other people are creative and have fun with it, but a lot more of the people out there doing this are making product. I like to think I'm making art. I've experimented a lot in those years and made a name for myself in the craft horn venue.  

Yes. I have. Want to know what it is? You're going to laugh, I know it. Here's my new business card:

The Hornie Lady

Now don't start thinking I chose this myself. There's a story behind the name. At Lunacon this year a long-time con acquaintance came up to me looking a little sheepish and she said, "I have to tell you what my son used to call you...he'd see you were here in the dealer's room and he would say 'Look, Mom, the hornie lady!" (This is paraphrase, of course.) The funny thing is, she's not the only one to have shared such stories with me.

Can't blame them when my motto seems to be : I make lots of people Hornie.

Well, given that I have now started producing horns wholesale for private customers, I just had to give a nod to my fans. And thus, The Hornie Lady has been born.


The day I made Terry Pratchett "Hornie"Well...apparently it is a small leap from polymer clay masks...to horns! While history might have the edge on masks, science fiction conventions and other speculative venues have cornered the market on horns. Every time you go to such an event, at least one person is wearing them. And when I have them with me, everyone always bends a little closer to take a look. Horns are fun, and fast, and you never know how they are going to turn out. There are lots of ways you can embellish them, or simply let the cool colors and the shape say it all. They have all the normal drawback when working with polymer clay: fingerprints, hard to work, too easy to work, overworked, colors blending when you least want them to, but if you take your time you can put out some stunning designs. See some of mine below. I've hightlighted a few above, but below is pretty much everything I've made. I even have some photos of horn...um...happy customers. I've provided some more detail along select designs where I've done something particularly interesting. There is also a gallery of some of my more interesting horns at the bottom.

The day I made Sherrilyn Kenyon "Hornie"The basic tools I use are an acrylic rolling pin, an acrylic sheet taped to a table as a rolling surface, a kabob skewer to make the holes to run the cording through, a set of plastic clay working tools, a flat aluminum slicing tool and various crafty bits for embellishment (beads, lead fishing sinkers, microbeads, rhinestones, little gold craft loops like you would use for halos, micro-sized jingle bells, glass pebbles like you would use in the bottom of a vase...the potential is endless!) I like to set up on a tv tray and whip these out while I'm watching my favorite DVDs. The last tool I use is an inexpensive toaster oven that I bake the items in. This keeps my kitchen oven from filling up with toxic fumes, and it means I can set the toaster oven up in the garage if I don't want to smell it. The clay is completely non-toxic, once baked. My toaster oven is quite nice in that it has a digital temperature set and timer built in so I can bake the items and not worry about getting to them before the burn, the oven just shuts itself off when the timer is done.

Recently I was featured on the website FaveCrafts.com for how to make costume horns. Click here for a free eBook they created for Halloween which included my instructions for the horns. My feature is on page 29.


If you are interested in purchasing horns, please email me using this link .
Note: The horns on this page are for illustration purposes only, virtually all of them are long sold,
but more are made on a regular basis and I also take custom orders when time allows.


Other than the metal-tipped horns, the rest of these are pretty basic. Mixed colored clay rolled and twisted until I was happy with their overall shape and color combination. With the metal-tipped beasties I had the challenge of making the horn base look horn-shaped, as well as making the metal tips appear a natural element. To accent these further, as that challenge left them mostly featureless, I took the edge of my nail and textured the entire clay body of the horns. Click the image for a close-up on the metal-tipped horns.

As you can see, by mixing color and changing the shape and size, you can end up with a wide variety of horn styles. The tan and purple set look particularly interesting because one clay was more firm that the other so I got a very smooth section of purple with a very rippled section of tan when I twisted the two together. As for the purple and blue set, you can see I have accented with a decorative gold piercing. Click on image to see the pierced set up close.


And here, because it is important to see the practical side of things...(oh, I know, we are talking clay costume horns and I can say practical with a straight face?! But you know what I mean...the actual, literal meaning of the word...as it to put into practice ;) A photograph of the lovely lady-faerie that aquired this set at Faericon this year. No are the red eyes real...or not? You'll never know, will you?

These are just basic horns, but they show you the variety of shapes you can obtain by careful working. Always hold the clay firmly between the fingers of one hand as you twist carefully with the fingers of the other hand to get a uniform, pleasing twist. To make sure you don't draw them out too thin, shift your grip as you go along so that the main body of the horn is maintained while you twist and thin only a small portion. Click on the image to see a close up of the purple and black set.


Now this set is particularly special and difficult to make. There was a lot of teeth-grinding and muttering as I tried to embed the glass bead while still maintaining the hornish shape. They look REALLY cool, though :) As you can see, different effects can be gotten by using different color beads and some of the detail from the clay shows through. Click the image for a close-up of the pink set with the blue stone.
 

This set of horns highlights the effects you can obtain by mixing many colors of clay, without overmixing them. Each color is clearly defined, making for very interesting patterns. Also shows the differences shape can make. Be careful to smooth out any fingerprints by rubbing your finger along them without pressing in. You can't get rid of them completely, most of the time, but if you get them so they are faint, they generally bake away.
 

Now here you can see what a little creative thinking can come up with. The two sets of horns on the top are embelished with jingle bells! It was a little harder to work with because I had to use wire to attach them. That meant I had to run the wire through the horn after it was mostly shaped and then work it so it didn't look added on, or run the wire along side where I wanted it and then press it into the clay, making sure to cover up where the clay entered by smoothing with my finger. Not an easy thing to do when you are working in such a small space. Click to see closer.
 

Finally, the orientation of your horns depends on the placement of the holes for the cording. Think about how you want the horns to sit, or if the design itself has a natural orientation. If the horns are meant to be worn on the forehead, you're going to run the skewer through the sides of the horn; if they are meant to be worn on the sides or top of the head, you have to run the skewer in a top to bottom orientation. In this picture you can see the coral nubbins are meant to be worn on the forehead, the rest are meant to be on top of the head.
 

 

Now these are REALLY cool...another example of specialty horns, these glow in the dark! Very popular with the customers....in fact, below you can see a couple of set being modeled at Shikkaricon. The clay is more expensive, but more than worth it, especially if you mix it with another color to make it stretch. Also, the g-i-d clay is semi transluscent so when you mix colors it actually looks like natural horn does, with the edges between colors softer than you get with mixing some of the other clays.
 

Don't they look sharp?


 

Horn-dog - better shot
The first time I fitted
horns to a dog!

Horn-Dog
A rather amusing chance shot when the dog was yawning


And given the previous shot...I could not resist my own descent into Photoshopping...
 


Gallery of Additional Horns

Can't go writing about all of them...or even putting them all on the page, so here is a gallery of some of the more interesting horns.
 


 Metal Tipped - the tips are actually fishing sinkers
 


Belled and pierced horns


 
A new effort at stringless horns, still in the prototype stage, but shows potential

     

Hard to tell, but in these two above photos you have magnetic horns.
They are not prototypes, they are proven winners.

And yes, that IS Terry Pratchett sporting a set of MY horns :) Excuse me while I geek out...

A new style of pierced horn here, a couple of fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series 
decked out in my new bow-and-arrow horns.


Gallery of Happy, Horned Customers
 


 

 

 


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