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Gelatinous Alien Plants (part three)

This technique is very similar to the foliage clump one. This time instead of making randomly shaped clumps we have intentionally rolled the plastic beads into cigar shaped roles.

The first step in making these is to spread a layer of plastic beads around in a dish and warm them in an oven. Make sure you do a few experiments first and know what temperature to warm them to before you start doing a lot of them. You really only want to warm them to the point that they start sticking to each other.

Next step is to peel chunks of the beads up and roll them into “cigar shapes” that are appropriately sized for the plants you are making. It feels like working with hot, rubbery clay. Use some thin gloves for this since it requires a little bit of handling time with the warmed plastic. Use the palms of your hands to do the shaping and not your fingers. Keep the plastic moving and don’t press hard, it will just cause the heat to transfer to your hands. The plastic will cool off very rapidly, so it may be necessary to reheat and reshape several times to get the desired results.

The “cigars” were then joined at the base into one solid tripod. These were then used individually for the smaller plants and joined together to form the larger ones. Fusing them together while still hot is the preferred method (no seams), but using hot glue will also work. It is best to make these with a plastic of the desired color, since they are actually very porous and therefore difficult to paint.

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