Skip directly to content

the Underbiters

The Final Underbiter: Scurge

on July 29, 2010 - 9:47am


I once said that all of the Underbiters were benevolent but mischievous. I have to keep reminding myself of this when I see Scurge, a more paler, sharp-toothed member of the clan.

Too light-skinned to be in the sun (she even avoids bright lighting), Scurge stays in the shadows and dark corners.

She mainly lives in the basement, in the dark and damp, rummaging through boxes and discarded items in storage rooms. She'll chew through cardboard to get at old books that have an intoxicating mildew aroma, sniffing the pages before gnawing on their edges.

She explores the sleeves of old sweaters and runs through the tubing of an old vacuum.

Scurge finds satisfaction in climbing up to darkened light bulbs and knocking them until the filament breaks. When she first encountered the strange, twisting, energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs we're using, she puzzled over them at first. But she decided a light bulb is a light bulb, and treated it as she would any other. When she broke a small hole in the glass of the bulb, and discovered the chemical contents within, it was like she'd found a new nectar; a bonus prize for her work.

The Underbiters: Oogie

on July 28, 2010 - 8:05am


Oogie has her eyes on you.

All 12 of them.

You'd think all of these peepers would make her a keen observer, but alas each eye is astigmatic with the exception of the large one in the centre. So many things to focus on, so little optical control. The world is a bit of a blur for poor Oogie, but she likes it that way. Makes the world soft around the edges.

And Oogie is all about soft. She'll gnaw her way into pillows, comforters, pink insulation and all things made of foam. She likes to nestle in her cave of fluff and...*shudder*...run her teeth along the fibres of the material.

She's a bit oversensitive, and very self-conscious about the three or four eyes afflicted with Amblyopia (Lazy Eye). When she was smaller, she was often teased about the affliction ("Oogie, Oogie, 24 eyes. No one can guess what it is that she spies"). These days, she certainly has the size and teeth to take care of herself, but she prefers instead to retreat to her cushioned hideaways.

Favourite foods include cotton balls, spray foam, and shrimp chips.

Oogie is made of polymer clay and stands 3 inches tall.

The Underbiters: Reaps

on July 27, 2010 - 8:38am


I don't know whether to laugh at or feel sorry for Reaps.

When I first spotted him, I was a bit concerned. Had a tiny Reaper appeared to usher away the souls of other Underbiters?

Although he has some small tears and frays in his cloak, it isn't fabric: it's actually his skin.

I was almost fooled into thinking he could float off the ground, as Wailer seems to be able to do, but he actually just leans forward on his pot belly and waggles his feet in the air to create the illusion of hovering.

Real grim reapers don't have pot bellies, do they?

Final confirmation came when I saw him interact with the other Underbiters. He waggles his feet, wiggling his pot belly back and forth on the ground as he approaches them with a mighty "Mwa-ha-ha-ha!". And nothing happens. Well, most of them laugh at or scorn him. But there's no instant death.

This does not stop him from his performance. He's done the same thing to small items his size - medicine bottles, candle sticks, little figurines - where he approaches, circles them, then swiftly knocks them over to complete what I refer to as the you-have-been-vanquished dance.

So if you are finding a number of small items knocked over around your house, it's probably because Reaps has um...taken their soul.

Favourite foods are black candles, angel food cake, and anything with a skull and crossbones on it.

Reaps is made of polymer clay and stands just shy of 3 inches tall.

He has now been added to the Underbiter Gallery with views of his back and side.

Available for purchase below. $20 CDN plus shipping & handling.

Update: Reaps has found a new home. Watch for a new post tomorrow. Only 2 Underbiters left for adoption.

The Underbiters: Wailer

on July 26, 2010 - 9:46am


Wailer. Ah Wailer. Don't tell anyone, but I'll be glad when Wailer leaves the house.

You know that feeling you get that someone is standing behind you, but when you turn around no one is there? That's Wailer. I've caught her practising this technique on Yetch, a house plant, the garbage can, you name it.

You know when you think you hear breathing, especially in the dark, but again no one is there? That's Wailer.

And you know when you swear you hear someone yell but it's kind of muffled? Ok, maybe you don't hear that. But I do, because of Wailer.

While these traits are great for terrorizing friends as you're watching scary movies and celebrating Halloween, I've found they've frazzled my nerves. I have coffee stains on walls, on my computer monitor and couch as a result of Wailer's sneaking up and causing me to suddenly jolt in surprise.

The interesting thing is that unlike the other Underbiters, Wailer has me convinced she can float. She always has her legs just off the floor as she moves. I haven't been able to figure out how she does it.

Favourite foods include Marshmallow spread, ice cubes and blueberries.

Wailer is made of polymer clay and stands just over 3 inches tall.

She has now been added to the Underbiter Gallery with views of her profile.

She is available for purchase below. $20 CDN plus shipping & handling.

Update: Wailer has found a new home. Second fastest adoption ever. Watch for more postings tomorrow.

The Underbiters: Burley

on July 25, 2010 - 12:40pm


Made of burlap and rope, Burley is a waddling wannabe scarecrow.

He's very aware that scarecrows are normally propped up on wooden crosses or platforms, and since he wants to be taken seriously - despite his tiny size - I often find him teetering on top of the pencils in the mug by my computer, or balancing on the handle of the utensils (wooden spoons are his favourite, but he'll make due with a plastic spatula) in the kitchen. I'm not sure what he's scaring away, but I can tell you I've never seen crows in either area.

If Burley sees a spider or fly in the house, he'll slowly start creeping towards it, then burst into a full sprint to run the critter off.

I don't have any pets, but this behaviour should be taken into consideration by anyone adopting him. You might see your cat streaking down the hall one day as if it's fleeing for its life.

Favourite foods include straw, earthworms and feathers.

He has now been added to the Underbiter Gallery with views of his back and side.

Made of polymer clay, he stands 3 inches tall.

Available for purchase below. $20 CDN plus shipping.

Update: Burley has found a new home. Fastest adoption ever. Watch for more postings tomorrow.

The Final Five

on July 25, 2010 - 10:50am

Here they are. The final five. Starting from left to right: Oogie, Scurge, Reaps, Burley, and Wailer.

Background stories posted soon.

Retiring the Underbiters

on July 24, 2010 - 10:06am

Unfinished Underbiter
The Underbiters were my first official collection, and because of that they have a special place in my heart. The original group (and a couple of commissions never posted to the site) have all been adopted and moved on to their new homes.

The other day, I was looking at Curious Pete (I adopted Pete), and thinking about the Underbiters who hadn't been born. There were five little critters I never made that were still skittering about in my mind. I decided I would sit and sculpt.

When I finished the five, and tried to make a sixth (pictured right), I hit a wall. Sure, I was molding and sculpting. And yes, I even baked the sixth one. But when I went to paint him, I hit that wall again. Stop. Do not pass go.

In that moment, I realized it was time to retire the series. All I needed was to make those last five I had in mind, and it was finished.

It's a funny thing to realize when something has run its course. I can't even explain the mixed emotions I have about it. But I am certain retiring the series is the right thing to do.