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Dinko Tilov Hi! My name is Dinko Youstinianov Tilov. I am the maker of the things in the pictures. I was born on 10.VII.1979. I speak English, French, Bulgarian and some Russian. I live in Sofia, Bulgaria, with my parents and my brothers.

The troll-goblin-elf-dwarf-like creatures are ABSOLUTELY unique: no two characters are exactly alike and none of them is like any other cartoon or comics character. They are approximately two inches high and are made of polymer clay. They are all made in a hurry: unlike most polymer clay artist I don't take much time over elaborating on unnecessary details. 30-40 minutes are about enough to bring a small creature into existence. After that period I start spoiling my work and it slowly turns into a "dead" mass of accurate details. The type of polymer clay I use is a local brand, called "Plastolyte", but I sometimes also resort to Czech "Modurit" and once in a great while to "FIMO".

How did I get started?

I first came across polymer clay when I was about ten. I was doing some extra curricular Art activity, and it was then that I spent my first 2 hours trying to give shape to the white jelly (I'm not exaggerating, it was a very low quality material). Getting started in those days meant, first of all, knowing the right people to provide you with polymer clay because it didn't just sell in craft shops. Cloak-and-dagger as it may sound, it was in fact very hard to buy polymer clay in Bulgaria, and the first kilogram of it we had to buy from The Institute of Plastic in Sofia. The people there produced it especially for us (me and my elder brother). In this sense the material I still use is a local brand. It's called Plastolyte, which ,I guess, in its modest capacity of polymer clay, doesn't differ much from the more common brands.

How did I get started making the troll-goblin- elf-dwarf-like creatures?

The reason why this happened is that I just didn't seem to find the right images of what I imagined mythical creatures MUST look like. Technically speaking I might start to miss the intentional art training at some point (I am trying to be a philologist), but so far I am enjoying the pure imagination preserved or stunted by self training.

What is my inspiration?

Actually I do not need anything or anybody to inspire me. It has always amazed me how people can buckle down to doing creative for other reasons than getting the kicks of the work once it is finished. It is very helpful, though, if the usual smooth course of life stays undisrupted, because I really cannot/don't want to work when I am unhappy. I think this makes one great difference with me from one of the central points that "theorists of art" make: "there is no art without suffering". I'd rather be cheerful than be an artist.

In a broader sense, observation is the source. Here we get to travel by public transport a lot. It is in crowded buses that you can see all types of faces, and what it takes to put traits together: a pinch of this, a dash of that....you know.

Do I make them for personal enjoyment or to sell them?

I make them for personal enjoyment and then sell them. Modeling and baking are really a great pleasure that you do not part with when you sell. If you have ideas, selling can even be stimulating: you do not place what you think is your masterpiece on your shelf and do not say "This is it , I'm perfect!". Normally I have two or three figurines at home at the most. When I am especially "in love" with one of my works, it usually takes less then a week for me to decide, "I think I can do better, let's sell it", or , "Hey, X has a birthday!"

What do I use when working with polymer clay?

I use my hands. Unlike most polymer clay artists, I really love the fingerprints that stay on the clay. It gives the figurines identity (in both the figurative and the literal senses) and can sometimes be tricky: if you are making an elephant, for instance, they are the perfect skin pattern. I also use tools: my mother's fingernail care tools and a wide range of pins, needles, clippers, pens that are out of order... virtually anything that has at least one pointy end. I use standard tempera colours of whatever brand I can get my hands at. I wish I were able to shed more light on some particular technique (such as millefiori), but I use none. Oh, here's a tip - How to make "five o'clock shadows" (or a two- day beard): you take a sharp needle( needles are generally sharper than pins) and pinch dots very close to one another all over where you think the shaving area is. Than you take some dirty water and with the tip of a thin brush lay a couple of drops on the shaving area of the figurine's face (if any).

Dinko Tilov
©2000 All Designs by Dinko Tilov

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