working on the croc-o-creature
This guy has been around for a long, long time. It was the very first thing I made with papier mache. I was following the step-by-step instructions from a book and I chose to make a dragon trophy head.
Along the way I started falling out of love with the papier mache itself. I wasn't happy with the "feel" of it and the book moves from paper and flour to cloth and glue and I really didn't like that. The part I disliked the most, though, was how the paint didn't really want to stick to the dried cloth/glue surface...it has a very crackled look and it actually peels in places. You are supposed to put a thinned down black paint wash over it and man...it just turned into a mess.
I had also come to the point where I had to do some measuring and math to make the angles correct for mounting the jaws and I totally decided I did NOT want a trophy head hanging off the wall. I am really hopelessly bad at math. But really, even if someone had done the math and measuring and all of that part for me, I realized I still wouldn't want a trophy head hanging on my wall...I just wanted to make something BIG.
I do like the teeth that I made out of Fimo (or was it Sculpey -- I don't remember) -- they are glow-in-the-dark and they crack me up every damn time I turn off the lights in the studio...they glow THAT much.
ANYway...he sat in two pieces on the edge of my desk for a while. Then I was worried something might happen to him, so I set him aside high up on the "come back to it later" shelf for a long, long time.
Then I discovered plaster cloth and one day I got brave with it and plaster cloth'd over the cloth and glue and much to my amazement, it worked -- the plaster cloth stuck and stayed on and was smooth and wonderful...but it was still in two pieces.
A few months ago I got tired of looking at the two pieces collecting dust and for some unknown reason one day it made sense to me to attach the jaws and put a box at the back of its head to help steady it for later use. Yeah...well...at least I was able to stand it up...LOL.
Whatever...that was then, this is now.
I guess that after yesterday's success of using the tomato cages for the tiger-creature and dog-creature, it seemed like a good idea to affix the croc-creature to a tomato cage. I haven't been able to come up with anything better, so maybe I can build something around it...and this will just be the interior structure for this guy, too.
The main problem with this guy is that since he is no longer going to be a wall mounted trophy head, he is nearly impossible to balance.
Now that I have already done this...LOL...I am looking at this photo and thinking "well, you could have made a vertical body somehow...he'd just be really long instead of tall." Duh.
(A lot more often than I would really like to admit to, I go into Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind mode. You know, that scene where his character is grabbing bushes and chicken wire and all kinds of stuff from the yard and throwing it through the kitchen window to make the model of Devil's Tower? He didn't know what he was making or why...he was just driven to do it. Yep, I get like that a lot with the plaster cloth.)
I have to put weights on the bottom ring of the cage to counterbalance the head.
So, I attached the head to the tomato cage and then I hoisted it up onto the big table and held onto it with one hand and pulled up the weights with my free hand. Sheesh.
After tonight I had to start asking myself which was worse...leaving a guy on the floor and working nearly upside down -- or putting it up on the big table and then reaching up with plaster dripping down my arms to work standing up.
It doesn't really matter. I love working with the plaster cloth and I am going to keep on doing it in either case.
This is a shot of the guy showing his smoothed out right side.
And his smoothed out underside and left side.
This was making me laugh so hard. Right now he is looking to me like he has four stick legs and some kind of mutant body.
He looks to me like he is in some Japanese horror film and he is about to stomp on buildings and knock down power lines. He is making that mechanical raaaaaaaawr sound that Godzilla makes.
Yep...there he goes...look out, Tokyo!