An Altarpiece for Ran

April 25, 2019 | Filed Under Altars, Devotions | No Comments
I found myself out shopping recently (not my favorite thing, but sometimes necessary), and found a new type of air-dry clay at the Japanese chain Daiso. Being unable to resist the possibility of a new medium in which to play, I acquired a box for testing.
The texture is very different from other polymer clays—it’s light and fluffy, and feels like styrofoam. It was fairly easy to work with, although getting clean, square edges was not as easy as with Das or Sculpey, so I decided to go with irregular shapes.
It dried *fast*. Most air-dry clays take around 24 hours to dry. This was set and ready to paint in about three hours. I hadn’t expected it to be so quick, and hadn’t planned to paint it that day, so it had to wait for the following weekend.
The finished piece is very light, and continues the styrofoam feeling. It seems sturdier than your standard styrofoam cup, however, although I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on a piece, and it’s not safe for use with water (it softens back to its original state) or heat (I didn’t even test it—the package instructions are quite clear about not using it with heat or flame).
It absorbed the acrylic paint easily, and rather a lot of it. However, the paint dried quickly because of that, so painting actually took less time than expected. I chose to paint it in varying shades of blue with spots of white, like the blue ocean waves flecked with foam. The inside is painted shades of sandy brown on the bottom, representing the ocean floor.
The piece contains a necklace of blue-and-purple beads with a silver sea shell, some small shells, and a shell with small pearls.
These items were previously loose on my altar, so it’s nice to have them collected in one place, and also reduces the number of times I accidentally knock one off the Goddesses altar when trying to light the candles. 
For a quick project that doesn’t require a lot of finish and won’t be used with water or flame, the Daiso clay is suitable. I’ll keep using the Das for my altarpiece work, though, as it’s still the best combination of workability and versatility I’ve found with the air-dry clays.
I don’t have a set prayer I use when working with Ran. I work with Her when I’m feeling emotionally blocked and need to get unstuck, or when I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed and need strength to process and channel my feelings. You can also call upon her for strength and confidence in reaching for what you want, although She has no qualms about taking what She wants—wrecking ships for treasures and companions—so you definitely want to temper that energy with consideration for others and for the highest good of all.


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