trying out plaster cloth with wooden crow bases
Back in '05-'07 I had a serious eBay addiction. But one of the really good things that came out of that time (probably around 2007) was the assortment of wooden crows that I bought. There was a wonderful woodworking artist named Rob (I honestly can't remember his last name). He made really great folk art items and I snatched up his crows one (or two) at a time for a while. We became email chatty and one time I got up the courage to ask if he would consider making me a number of crows -- in the two sizes -- that I could embellish and sell. (At the time I had all sorts of those flat pressed metal charms and ribbons and beads and stuff.) He was into it so he made me quite a few.
Okay. Fast forward to now -- and yep...I never did anything with the crows he made for me. I think I was still pretty art-shy back then and not yet confident enough to tackle the project. But today I feel like maybe I can try something with them. It will be a totally different idea, but we will see how it goes.
The crows in the two sizes.
I have a BUNCH of 'em!
These are the small crows, but all of them come in these three finishes.
One is really smooth and just stained, one is smoothed and shaped and either painted or stained and waxed/buffed/slightly finished, and the other is unsanded and rough with a black stain. Maybe it is paint...I don't know for sure.
I have plenty of the original purchased crows around the house...
...a couple more...
...two little ones
Okay. Now onto today's project/experiment.
I chose to work with two of the rougher-looking crows. The little one has a broken beak and the large one has a spot where I think there was a knot and the wood is missing.
I thought these would be the two I would miss the least if I totally mess them up.
What to do about the legs, though?
After the wrapping of those vine "branches" that I used as horns/antlers, there is no way I am going to tackle wrapping something as thin as twisted wire. PLUS, I needed something to make them longer and strong enough to let them stand up on their own when they are finished.
I remembered I had a bag of thin wooden sticks I have had forever and have never even opened. (I need to get some chopsticks -- that might work, too.)
First thing was to flatten the toes and feet. When I pushed all three toes forward on the right foot I realized it was a mistake (but I was stuck with it) and on the left foot I put two toes forward and one backwards so that it joins the wire of the leg.
These legs are going to be lumpy and thick but that'll be fine.
I am not sure how I will finish these guys anyway, so this is a learning experience.
Also, the twisted wire legs are glued into holes in the crows and if you wiggle them too much the glue cracks and they get loose.
Attaching the wooden "splints" with thin masking tape.
Re-shaping the crow's broken beak.
All wrapped up -- next!
The larger crows have shorter legs. They also have four toes. This time I knew it was two forward and two backward, then attach the splints.
But the wire extends onto the body with these because they are that much shorter.
Because I didn't want to fight with the wire and tape and splints, I secured the splints with tape at the base and then added aluminum foil and squeezed it as tight as possible (without wiggling the wire/glue).
Next, to deal with the missing wood.
I wadded up a piece of aluminum foil and tried to get it to the basic shape of the missing wood. Then I pounded it with the side of the pliers so that it would be solid and I covered it over with wide masking tape.
This is one of the crows with the really rough surface. I decided I would not cover it with masking tape. I wanted to see if any of the uneven spots would remain with the plaster cloth.
When I didn't tape the branches they seemed to be okay. I figure this will just need to dry a long time.
Hmmm...bottle cap eye?
Little wooden plug eye?
Nope...I will decide that in the painting stage.
The large crow's new legs had to be secured to the body with masking tape to cover over the wire and not have gaps to fill in.
Even this larger sized tail was kinda difficult to work with the plaster cloth. The shape of the tail(s) may change eventually.
The legs look like they went on pretty well.
This is as far as I am going with these two guys today. (At least that's how I am feeling right now.)
I have a few ideas for them -- but I am not totally sure yet -- so I want to think about it before doing something else to them. I also want to see how the plaster cloth dries on them.