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The Secret Lives of Gnomes and Pixies

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When I attended the Gem and Mineral Shows in Tucson, AZ, in February, I came across certain little magical creatures that I just could not resist. I purchased several of the darling little guys pictured above from Madagascar Gemstones at the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show, not sure what I would do with them, but I knew I needed to learn more. 

The staff at Madagascar Gemstones told me that they were handmade by women in that region, using natural clay found in Madagascar, and tiny scraps of crystals that were mined nearby. I was already planning a week of projects of mystical creatures as a part of Facet's Month of Fantasy and Adventure, and I knew they'd be a great addition.

These little gnomes* captured my imagination, but they are of course in very limited supply, so I was hesitant to publish a project using them on Facet. Instead, I called upon the wonderful Christi Friesen to help me come up with a way that our readers could share in the magic without actually traveling to Madagascar! 

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Christi created this magnificent homage, where you can create your own version in polymer clay, and use a crystal that has special significance to you. We've called these magical creatures "pixies," and have decided that they are distant relations to the magical creatures of Madagascar.

 *I can't pretend to be an expert on mythology or fairy lore, so please consider this my interpretation of a "gnome" and a "pixie'!

Of course, the version that you create could be fairies, sprites, trolls, or any other creature that you can imagine. The great thing about working in clay is that you can modify a design: add wings, or tails, or shoes or toes or eyebrows! You can create your own version of a "fantastic creature" that was first imagined by a popular author, or a sculpt a spirit with origins in ancient lore, Shakespeare, or mythology. Remember never to copy someone else's design exactly, especially if you are planning to sell your work, as that could infringe on a copyright or trademark. Instead, trust in your own creativity to bring out something new and undiscovered. We know that it will be wonderful! 

The important thing is to let yourself be swept up in the magic, and to create something that is fun and meaningful for yourself, a friend, or a child. So in the interests of wild imagination, please enjoy our humorous take on the Secret Lives of Pixies and Gnomes in the slideshow below!

Special thanks to my intrepid photo assistant Lora Groszkiewicz, and our colleagues at Model RailroaderClassic Toy TrainsFineScale Modeler and Drone 360 magazines. Now you know why we were sneaking around in your offices and workspaces, giggling.
FIND MORE: crystals , polymer clay

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