I'm a fan of many franchises, and Harry Potter is among those. I've read all the books when they first came out. I remember that I was in the first grade when I first discovered the world of Harry Potter, about two years before the first film went to cinemas, if I recall it correctly. When the movies came out, I fell in love with the visual design of this world. The props are just beautiful. Anyway, just like any other HP fan, I've always wanted to have a wand in my collection. And, being the person I am, I always wanted to make one, not buy it.
I chose to create the Elder Wand first, because its design seems easy to replicate. As this is my first wand, I had to figure out what type of material I should use. I've decided to go with air-dry clay (I know now that it was not the best choice). As always, I had to look at a lot of images of the wand, before actually doing anything on the prop itself.
The base of the wand is a wooden stick. I then added clay on top of the base, and did a rough approximation of the final shape. As I said before, the air-dry clay is not very good for this type of work. First of all, you have to wait quite some time (24 hours, if I remember correctly) for the clay to dry. I'm not a fan of waiting, so this part of the process was no fun at all. Another flaw of this material is the fact that the clay cracked in a few places as it dried. The cracks were not a big deal for this wand, but I can't imagine doing Voldemort's wand like this, it wouldn't work. Anyway, after the clay finally dried, I took my dremmel tool and used it to sculpt the final shape of the wand.
Once I had the shape of the wand, the only thing left to do was to paint the whole thing. I don't have much experience with painting, and this is the first time I tried to imitate wood. I painted the wand black, and then I started adding brown color. I spent quite a lot of time on this part of the process. I used knife to scrape pieces of the brown layer off of the wand. I wanted to get a nice wooden texture this way. It worked, but it took some time to get the hang of it. I often scraped too much of the color off, so I had to paint it again and again and so on.
Anyway, I think I managed to get a nice texture in the end. The last bit were the runes on the wand. I originally intended to print a little paper with the runes on it, and glue it onto the wand. It didn't look so good, so I've decided to paint it by hand - that turned out to be the better choice.
I think the wand turned out great in the end, although I have to admit that I was getting a bit sceptical throughout the painting process. Also, I discovered that the air-dry clay is a bad choice for this type of build, its brittle and often cracks when drying.