Friday, March 30, 2012

2012/365 - Day 90

back to the plaster cloth!

I want to do something in plaster cloth for the new goal I am working towards. I am not going to say what it is -- just in case I don't finish in time (and that is a very real possibility -- I only have about a month's worth of building/drying time).

I have several in-progress guys to choose from, but I have been wanting to work on this guy for a long, long time.

This bear with a twirly sprinkler crown started out back in June of last year. You can see the post here.

I don't know exactly what I want to do with him.

I started by cutting him off of the tomato cage. It was pretty wobbly because it was one of the thinner gauge ones. His head is also a bit off balance (from being new at construction back then).

I set the head over a decorative base that I got at a resale shop. I think this might be a base for a gaze ball or maybe the other way up it would be an umbrella or cane stand. All that mattered to me was that perhaps the flat part of the box could sit on the top of it and be more stable than the wobbly tomato cage.

The more I looked at it, the more I decided this was not the right project for that stand.

The dimensions allowed in the guidelines for this show are head-swimmingly generous and I really want to make BIG things. A heavier gauge tomato cage makes this guy six and a half feet tall! That really made me happy. And at this height, you can look the bear straight in the eyes (if you are my height.)

However...even though I would need to work on the head separately (which I probably will do anyway) and then add it to the base, you wouldn't be able to turn the twirly part of the crown if it was that tall. Plus, I'd have to weight the piece at the bottom and then it would really be hard to transport -- tall and heavy. AND -- I probably wouldn't be able to get that tall of a piece done in time.

I sat with the head some more and started cutting off more of the tomato cage. I didn't feel like adding all of the photos of the in between stages, but here is what I ended up with.

I cut the head all the way off of the tomato cage bits that were left (I would have done that earlier on if I had realized the twirly part wasn't dependent on the part that was anchored to the last part of the tomato cage) and I found a couple of Twizzler containers (leftover from my front table derby days) and stacked together they are strong enough to support the head and are deep enough for the bottom part of the sprinkler.

I looked around the studio and came across this lightweight unfinished wooden cabinet (craft project grade). I think this will maybe be a swell base to build the bear around. Very stable, indeed.

Okay...prep work time.

This guy's nose is really wonky-looking to looks like he was in a major fight and someone broke his nose and jaw and put them out of alignment. It was a good first try but now I need to fix it.

I grabbed a scrap of chicken wire and tried to shape a better beginning for his face. I am still not that great with sculpture and doing the foundation, but I think I can fix it with the wet plaster cloth when it gets to that stage.

I decided to pack the interior portions that need to be filled up (any areas with gaps between the old structure and the chicken wire/new plaster cloth) with plastic wrappers and bags...better inside of a plaster cloth sculpture than in a landfill I guess.

I covered everything up with masking tape to hold it together and so that I could actually see the shape better.

The bear was kind of cute before with the open mouth and broken jaw look, but I think I will like him much more was too distracting for me before. He won't look exactly like a real bear anyway, but he will be a little closer.

I think this is a good place to stop to put on a layer of plaster cloth and see how it looks.

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