Sculpting the Beast of Bray Road Out of Polymer Clay
The Beast of Bray Road
I thought the Beast of Bray Road would make an awesome subject for a tutorial in polymer clay sculpture. What’s interesting about this legend is that there are different descriptions of the monster. Some say it’s similar to a werewolf while others say it’s a kind of Sasquatch. A third description of the monster describes it as a bear-like creature. That’s probably what the Beast of Bray Road actually is.
A simple Google maps search reveals that Bray Road starts at Route 12 and ends at Route 11. This stretch of road couldn’t be more than two miles and doesn’t appear as rural as legend tells. Most of the area appears as farmland with only a few small patches of wooded areas. Since the original legend goes back to 1936, I imagine Bray Road was once a densely wooded area. There have also been similar sightings in southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The legend even crept its way into Michigan with some similar sightings probably attributed to mass hysteria.
Misidentification runs amok
When it comes to people and sincere and honest monster sightings, it’s always a case of misidentification. I recently had friends of the family who bought a security camera system, I have one myself. They sent me a short clip of an animal they couldn’t identify. Now granted, these people aren’t the kind to keep pets, I don’t think they ever had an animal in their entire lives. My wife and I quickly identified the mysterious night visitor as a kitten. Yes, they couldn’t properly identify a domesticated house cat. It then struck me about why honest people claim to see monsters. If someone can’t identify a simple house cat, a bear or even a raccoon can easily be blamed for many monster sightings.
Our next polymer clay project
That leads me to our next polymer clay project. In the third installment of our polymer clay cryptid series, I’ll recreate this legend which is seemingly growing in popularity. Besides YouTube, all the paranormal shows on cable television also have something to do with the growing interest in the Beast of Bray Road. We’re aiming for something somewhere between a werewolf, Sasquatch, and a bear. Simple right? This one promises to really be interesting. It might be interesting to note that I write this part of the article the night before I create the character so, at this point, I have no idea how it’ll turn out.
The craft wire skeleton for the Beast of Bray Road
This is the craft wire skeleton for the Beast of Bray Road. I’m not completely sure which way this one is going. Usually, I have something to go by such as a picture or sketch. Sometimes I even have a clear idea in my mind which works out well. In this particular situation, I know it’ll be something like a Sasquatch, bear, and werewolf. Since another nickname for the Beast of Bray Road is the Wisconsin Dogman, perhaps I should lean more towards a canine. Of all the polymer clay sculptures I’ve made, I’ve never created a werewolf, wolf, dog, or anything remotely close to it.
Here’s our craft wire skeleton wrapped in tinfoil and ready to go. Since I decided to go with more of a canine look, I’ll need to adjust the legs a bit.
Here’s the adjustment to the legs. I use a pair of needle nose pliers to get it to where I want it.
Covering the craft wire skeleton
The first thing I’m going to do is completely cover the craft wire skeleton. I continue until no tinfoil or wire remains exposed.
It doesn’t look good yet, but it’s a start. We still have a long way to go.
Let the layering begin! I start layering on polymer clay by adding plenty of muscles. As for the color of the clay, I decided to go with a marble-like effect. This is something I’m trying for the first time. I mix grey, black, and white to give the coat/hide a swirling effect.
Working on the face of the beast
I’m already starting on the face of the Beast of Bray Road. As I mentioned earlier, I’m looking more towards a wolf-like monster. I add solid red eyes, add the eyebrows and forehead, and start working on a snout-like nose. Learn more about how to make a polymer clay face by clicking HERE.
Some jackal-like ears, a mouth with a red tongue, a row of teeth for the top and bottom jaw and finally some lips come to fruition. I also added an extra layer for the chin.
Hands, feet and final detailing
The hands and feet are ready. Now I have to add some texture to it all. This time, I choose to use the pipe cleaning tool. First, I clean the brush to get the old clay off. I do this with a paper towel. After the brush is routinely cleaned up a bit to prevent mixing clay of a different color from the last time I used it, I begin to carefully run the brush up the legs, arms, and body of the figurine. I’m looking for a hairy look but keeping it short, opposite from both my Yeti and Bigfoot projects.
Okay, he’s just about ready. All detailing is complete and he’s ready for the oven. I bake him on a cookie sheet covered in tinfoil at 275 °F for forty-five minutes. Children must always be supervised by an adult when working with the oven and polymer clay in general. Make sure to use oven mitts when taking the hot cookie sheet out of the oven. Refer to the directions on the label of the specific brand of polymer clay that you use. Times and temperatures may vary.
After giving the figure about two hours to cool down, I stand him up and he’s ready to go.
That wraps up another polymer clay project, tutorial, and part three of our cryptid series. I think the Jersey Devil isn’t too far away from being one of my next projects. Mothman and the South Carolina lizard man are also being considered. I’m even considering the internet born urban legend of the slender man. Until next time, all the best to you and your polymer clay projects!