- Make a rushed, lopsided, flimsy papier mache base for a clay horn and then try to fix it by glopping on more clay. Paper clay is awesome stuff, but it works best if you're putting it on a sturdy and accurate base.
- Cut balsa wood with tin snips. They apply a shearing force that cracks the wood.
- Cut balsa wood by scoring and snapping it. This actually works if you're snapping off a large piece, but if you're trying to carve away a little bit of wood, forget it - you'll probably crack your piece. Remember, kids, balsa is not styrene, umkay?
- Carve floral foam with a Wonder Cutter, which is a Styrofoam cutting tool with a heated thin wire. Your foam will barely get carved, your wire will get gummed up and ruined, and as a bonus, you get to breathe nasty fumes! Weeeee!
However...there is good news along with this. I put together a nice well-crafted wireform shoulder pauldron base. The edges are folded under neatly, and the seam is joined with needle and thread. (Hot glue works, too, but I don't particularly like it because it's messy and tastes like burning.) I made nice patterns for the shoulder horns out of the aforementioned balsa wood. The idea, which I got from Josh (who had taken aerospace engineering labs that involved foam wrangling), was to hold one on each side of the foam block and then run the wire along them. The heat from the wire wouldn't have been enough to burn the wood. From what I'm reading on Google, it looks like I'm going to have to carve this thing with a serrated knife and then sand it into submission, but at least I got some practice playing with wood (huh huh huh) and have my perty curvy horn pattern in a permanent form.
Oh well...time to go play with sharp objects, I suppose...