Saturday, November 30, 2013

365/2013 - Day 333

Grammy escapes the saw tonight

I was planning on taking off the front of Grammy's face tonight.  As I got ready and pulled the saw out something told me to just try and pull the nose additions off -- what was there to lose -- I'd be cutting it off later anyway.  Voila (for now)!

I didn't mind the way things were going except that Grammy wasn't cute anymore.  This is what happens when I try to assert my idea onto something that is coming out of nowhere...something that is taking shape as it goes along.  I wasn't unhappy exactly with the face/head from yesterday but it wasn't quite "Grammy"-y enough.

Here is the progression:

LOL -- "before" - tonight Grammy almost looked like a cow...or the Mock Turtle w/o a shell.
pulling off the add-ons
cute again
another view
"after" -- so far
She has a lot of different looks as I work on her -- pig (not going to be a pig), tarsier (with little eyes), Yoda (not going to be a Yoda relative) -- I have no doubts whatsoever that Grammy will keep asserting herself and become what she wants to be.
Uh-oh -- what I thought was a pencil line yesterday is actually a crack...I need to build her arms up a bit'll get fixed.
Yep -- she is closer to "It was about this big" again.
Much happier tonight -- both of us.

Her tail fell off all the way yesterday, too.  She is nowhere close to being done yet.  Her ears still need work, she needs an eye treatment, the back of her head needs work, it isn't quite "right" around her chin yet...I am sure she will keep evolving into what she is supposed to be.

Friday, November 29, 2013

365/2013 - Day 332

workin' on Grammy...with reference pics

In the last two photos of Grammy from yesterday she was looking fairly bear-like.  When I looked at bear pictures today she really doesn' I would have to add a lot to her head and the sides of her face to get her to look (to me) more like a bear.  Sigh.

When Grammy first started to form I thought for sure she was a fox or a wolf.

The thing is, though...Grammy is a plaster cloth creature that told me what she is (including the Grammy part -- I rarely think of my guys as females) much as Djubi worked himself into a sugar glider creature guy.  As much as I wanted Grammy to be a wolf (or a fox) (or even a bear) I was led to the badger pictures. In the case of Djubi, I was simply looking for marsupial pictures -- I had heard the term sugar glider but I had no idea what they looked like, let alone that they were marsupials...sheesh.  In Grammy's case I certainly am familiar with badgers but I just wasn't thinking in that direction at all...and it is probably why I really couldn't seem to get Grammy to look more canine-y.  Probably I wasn't seeing her finished in my head with badgery facial markings.
look at those beady little eyes, wide-set ears, heck -- the shape of the head

Yep -- that's what she is alright...a American Badger according to these pictures.  I don't know that I will paint her with the badgery markings but I think Grammy is a badger-like creature.  Now I need/want to fix her face.

It is still early in the day right now (around 4pm...and that is what will show as the blog entry time, no doubt) and I am not ready to start working on the plaster cloth-ing yet.  Back later. it is almost 9pm...I worked on shaping her face/head for about an hour...not there yet, but coming along.  I had to cut off her original ears, too. And looking at the photos just now I can see that I've got the upper part of her mouth too tall.  Back to it again later it's dinner time.

the top of her head needs some more roundy parts
I can start to see (from looking at these photos) where the problems are -- not that they are going to actually get fixed and have her come out looking like an actual badger... is now 11:15 and I have been working on Grammy for another hour and a half or so.  I am done for tonight.  The rest will have to be done with the wet plaster cloth.  I think I have a slightly better idea of what I am aiming for.  I know her top mouth part needs to be shorter and more slanted - that will be easier to do when I can feel it with the plaster cloth...I can squeezed it in more, etc.  The paper rags soak up the wetness and become more shape-able.

And the ears need to be filled in more -- I was just trying to block in the basic overall shapes tonight.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

365/2013 - Day 331

workin' on Grammy again...and hanging ceramic stuff

Today I have been thinking about Grammy and how I'd like to finish her.  I think she needs a few tweaks (like fixing her broken tail, rounding off one of her shoulders and rolled up cuffs) and then I'd like to change her face a bit.  I need to look at pictures of canine-like creatures...I have trouble making a dog or wolf sort of face.  Even if I manage to sketch something I mostly like, I can't seem to transfer that simple line drawing into 3D nose/face...I can't get it to balance and look like what I'm seeing in m head.  Not that other creatures I've made are all that close to what I have in mind...but you know what I'm saying.  For some reason dogs and wolves and foxes and guys along those lines with long pointy noses are especially difficult for me...but I am driven to make them.

Here are some photos of me trying to work out a face shape.  I just grab what's handy from the table, so I tried a piece of cardboard tube (that the hands dried on yesterday)...not so much.  Then I used cut up pieces of yesterday's vinyl gloves...uh-uh.  Then one of my favorite standbys -- Scott paper rags...better...getting there...but still not quite.  But I think at this point Grammy is looking a little more fox/dog/wolf like ... with a little bit of bear thrown in.  It'll come eventually.  And maybe this would be a good time to try out the Aves Clayshay vs more plaster cloth...just on her face shape.

Taking photos from different angles helps me "see" better because a lot of the time things look pretty good while I am working on them...then when I look at the photos I see what the camera is seeing and it is usually more accurate at capturing what I am missing.  Other times the point-and-shoot doesn't really "see" what I am trying to get it to focus on and it is a little frustrating...but mostly it is pretty helpful (to me) to do it this way.

I need to give Grammy some time and I need to look at more real life creatures and hopefully the "right" blend will come together.  I like Grammy a lot...and ha -- I am trying not to pre-stress about painting her...not yet at least.

Also today -- 

This morning and early afternoon was spent relocating some ceramic tiles and ornaments.  I am tired of blank green walls in my studio bathroom (my bathroom).  I have trouble hanging the lovely, heavy, thick art tiles with notches in them -- I worry that they will fall off the wall and break.  It has happened before, so I kind of steer away from buying too many more -- as much as I love ceramic tiles and the work of a lot of local artists -- I have trouble with the hanging notches.  I usually get around this by using velcro dots on each corner of the tile, but the bathroom gets steamed up pretty often and I worry that it will start to effect the velcro's adhesiveness.  The floor in the bathroom is vinyl composite tiles so it isn't as hard as a ceramic tile floor if they do fall off the wall, but I really don't like taking the chance.  

I've also got a couple of shaped ceramic pieces I want to add to the bathroom "gallery" but they need to be pieced back together...gah.  I will get to it.  One of those broken pieces is a totally-not-flat sort of platter that I made in the old ceramics class that we all went to in Southfield.  I really love this piece but at the time I wasn't thinking of how I would display was just sort of coming together as I went along with it.  It is made of some bits and scraps of clay that I put powdered glaze into to color the clay.  These glazes were donated to the ceramics class and we were just sort of using them
at our own risk" because the instructor didn't have any information about the mystery packets.  It was pretty cool but this platter is going to be difficult when I finally get it pieced back together.  If I use a plate hanger (that I hate...but most of my old tiles were just flat unglazed tiles that I embellished with underglazes and one of those would put too much stress/pressure on the repaired spots I think -- plus I really dislike those hangers...again, I got around using them on the ones in my dining room by using going with the velcro dots...but they are relatively lighter weight...{start going around in circles here}).  It'll work'll all work out.

But here are a few shots of the progress so far...including three of my old tiles and a strange old metal Capricorn piece that I bought on eBay years ago.  Man -- this Capricorn guy had a teensy tiny hanging notch that is nearly impossible to work with.  I wasn't going to put him where he is, but if he falls in that corner he won't hurt anything else when he lands...LOL.  It is a kind of creepy cool piece but I like him.

I am ka-ray-zee for Laurie Eisenhardt's work to begin with...but an added bonus that I adore is that Laurie fires a wire into her pieces as well as having a notch.  For someone like me this is such an appreciated detail!  The dream solution would be to grout all of the beautiful ceramic tiles and other ceramic shapes into place with other/even more a wonderful installation...but that is never going to happen.  I'm the only person who uses this bathroom and I am enjoying getting stuff up on the walls!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

365/2013 - Day 330

plaster cloth-ing again

Today I moved the 4 big folding tables from the wet studio back down to the basement, as well as the 3 stacking chairs.  It took me a while because I needed to rest in between trips...but now I can work on plaster cloth again!  It has been quite a while since I've been in there to work on anything.

I needed to work kind of quickly, so I didn't stop to take pictures in between each hand/foot.  I put just a rough layer of plaster cloth on all of them and set them aside to dry.  I sort of want to use them for the hands and feet of a creature in a suit that will have a hand sewn body.  I'm not sure of the head yet or even what kind of creature it may be.  Maybe I will end up not even using these hands and feet.  I am just happy to be back in the wet studio again!

ALSO today Sue and Pepper brought Aaron by for a visit!  I haven't seen Aaron in a long time -- it was great seeing how good he looks and hearing about how happy he is.  Aaron is only here for a very short vacation and will be going back in the next day or so.

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