Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 61

I started work on the papier mache sculpture by gathering what I'd need for vines: wire, wire cutters, brush, toothpick and beads (though I don't end up using the ones shown.)

I string three beads onto a length of wire, then twist them. These round cobalt beads look a lot like berries.

I use the end of a toothpick to twist the end of the wire.

And the handle of a brush for the other end.

Then I make more, in different lengths, about 20 in all.

I twist them onto the branches, letting some of the ends hang. They aren't any particular sort of vine. They remind me a little of grapes and a little of moss.

Here's where we are now. I'm working cross-legged on my bed, with The Wolfman on TV quietly. I can hear Orion laughing with Zoya and Max, who are visiting this weekend.

That was yesterday.

It rained again during the night, but this morning there was sun through the clouds, so I put her out for more to make sure all the inner layers get baked through.

After several hours I take the sculpture in to hand-sand the face. I didn't take a photo because I forgot. I was thinking about sanding. Actually, I was thinking about time spent sanding. Sometimes it works best if someone else does this step while I do something else. But not always. Hand sanding used to be the sort of step I felt I needed to rush through to get to something more interesting. That is a stupid approach. It took me a long time to figure this out. Now, when I must sand something by hand (and faces require this) I use the time to work on other projects in my head. Or, I use it just to think about things. Or, I listen to music or watch a video. Or, I simply sand. I tune out and enjoy the process, from rough to smooth, and I let my mind rest or wander freely where it will. Once I figured out that this time is quality time, everything changed. Ideally, I should be able to apply this particular rubric to always.
But things are not ideal. I make it work for sanding. I'll take it.
So finally, smoothly sanded, she gets a light coat of primer and several coats of brushed on acrylic paint in lamp black.

Soosi interrupted several shots.

While the undercoats dry, I've sculpted a tiny poppet fairy figure on a piece of the wire I used for vines.

I used translucient sculpey because this type is particularly strong and flexible making it very reliable for tiny figures. It looks like amber against the lights.

I made four wings using the process I described HERE several months ago.

I used an Exacto blade to cut two small slots for the ends of the wings.

I shook the camera accidently, but the effect is sort of cool.

And here I've secured the wings into the slots and added a drop of plastic cement, aka 'airplane glue.' Crazy glue works too, but will dissolve some plastics, so be careful.

And that's where I stopped today. It's really very close now, to coming together.
wishing you a good night.


J.W.B. said...

Looks fantastic!!!! I love watching things like this come together.

Artisty question: If you work on something for awhile and you get sort of frustrated and walk away from it do you find when you leave it alone for awhile that what you were getting all crazed about isn't as bad as it seemed before? That happens to me all the time.

After I'm done with my next animation project (which will, if all goes well, be mostly hand drawn the old fashioned way. Very difficult. Very rewarding) I would love to do another Poppet animation. I still feel bad about not having enough time for the Halloween animation last year and I still have tons of Poppety ideas.

lisa said...

J. W. B. For me, when I run into a problem, I tend to stubbornly dig away at it in frustration. It's not the best idea. Sometimes it works out fine, but why go through all that when you can walk away for awhile and have the answer come to you on its own?
I think you're onto the best way.

I really, really look forward to your next poppet animation. When I'm finished with painting the wedding dress I'm working on, I'll have lots of drawings to send you of poppets in motion.

J.W.B. said...

Yeah, it's on and off for me. Sometimes I just can't leave something alone until it's fixed but most times I just walk away and pretend I don't care until I forget about it and then I get back to it and it seems new.

Sounds excellent! I'd love to try out some poppet pencil tests. I have a few ideas for potential shorts. One I like so far is about Poppet jumping into the paper on the type writer and playing around with words on the page...we'll have to brainstorm potential ideas soon.