sometimes you just NEED to hit something with a hammer...
Today I had the overwhelming (and I mean overwhelming) need to get the hammer. I could feel the weight of it in my hands. So strange...every time I went into the studio and sat at my desk I could feel myself swinging the hammer.
Finally it all came together. I was walking out of the studio (the feeling was really strong) and I looked at the Working Dog. That was it! I had to knock his ears off -- the ears were the problem.
Here he is, totally unaware of what is about to happen.
Oh my gosh -- it was SO satisfying. I felt like I'd done it before. It was exactly what I needed to do.
And it was pretty gratifying that it was a little difficult to knock them off...it meant to me I had attached them correctly.
Wah waaaaah...poor little no ears.
Now to try and shape his head...make it a little rounder and more even with the paper rags and masking tape.
Ready for the plaster cloth!
He is already looking better. I like the shape of his head more now.
onto the ears...
But how to make the ears??? I looked at a lot of pictures of dogs. I prefer standy up pointy ears but I have always drawn my Working Dog with floppy ones. I tried making a shape by folding the paper rags together (like I did for the cat-ish guy's tail a few days ago) but it wasn't working. I went back to the pictures of dogs and tried to understand the shape of the floppy ear if it was folded out straight. But man -- those in those dog pictures the ears were so wide at the base...how was this going to work?
I cut a sheet of typing paper into a couple of different shapes...mostly triangles. I tried manipulating the paper. Then it became clearer. I modified the shape a couple of times and got the paper rags. I used a piece made of two sections, folded at the perforation and put the typing paper shape inside. I taped the edges together, held it up to the light and cut around the shape. I held it up to the Working Dog's head and it seemed like it would work, so I made another one.
I had to work with everything too quickly to take photos of the steps. I was thinking if the first ear worked, the second one would be a little easier and I would have a few seconds where I could take quick shots.
And wow -- I really like the results!
I am telling you, working with the plaster cloth is truly a collaboration with The Universe...I could NOT do this without the guides dropping in.
Okay -- ear #2.
I put the prepared ear down on aluminum foil so that the surface I was working on would be plaster dust free and could get wet and hold the water.
I learned from the first ear that I should complete one side of the ear then flip it over and complete the other side. I will have to work in some tight spaces to add strengthening layers to the first ear.
This section is mostly for my own reference so that I can see how I did this.
This is the completed first side, Took.
I had to take the pictures fast...that is why they are a bit blurry.
This is side two of ear #2, probably the top of the ear. I will be able add to the top of the ear fairly easily so it doesn't have to be totally complete.
I flipped the floppy edges over and plaster cloth'd this side.
The ear, ready to be attached.
This was much thicker and more completed than ear #1. That was good and bad. Good because it was easier to pick up. Bad because the plaster cloth was setting up quickly. Good because it held it's shape with the support piece. Bad because it was harder to get the plaster cloth triangles to cover the edges and blend the edge of the ear shape. (I will know what all of that means if I read this again.)
Stopping to take photos was not that great of an idea -- but it will probably be helpful to me at a later date.
I propped the ear up with a piece of wood that was on the table. (It's a leftover section from the wolf-ish guy's leg.)
This is the inside of the ear where it attaches to the head. I will smash some plaster cloth triangles in there and then lay a piece over that to smooth it out. MUCH easier on this ear than on the first one.
This was one of the bad effects from the ear being complete...the part where the ear attaches to the head had a thicker edge...harder to blend on. The first ear is smoother.
Wow -- what a difference. I am liking the Working Dog now.
The view from my desk.