Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why Goblins/ The Goblin Trader.

Why Goblins/ The Goblin Trader.

At one time some people believe Fairy served as a depositary for  all those things we see in ourselves that are Dark and make us uncomfortable.  Those appetites and desires that we are afraid of looking at too closely because they reveal to much of our true selves and fears.  The belief is Fairy was made up of these things and a why for us to look at them with some "distance"  so we could come to terms with those parts of ourselves.    Fairies where lustful and ruled by their emotions.  They could  look scary and creepy but hide a gentile/healing soul beneath that scary exterior full of creatively if only we dared look beneath the surface.  The beautiful fairies often hid a much darker truth beneath their surface when we really looked closely.  
  Over time Fairy has become sanitized.  The modern idea of fairy is much different.  When asked about Fairy most people think of winged pixies and nymphs dancing in the sun light and fields covered in morning dew.  The Light and The Illusion, the seelie court.
Forgotten is that the truth is what is beneath the surface.   Those Dark parts of ourselves that teach us about our true selves, that used to be what fair was made of...  They have been given to the Unseelie court/The Goblins.  This the Goblins have become a better  mirror for our modern subconscious. If we are willing to look beneath the surface and face our fears.  If we are willing to face the truth about ourselves we no longer look at fairy,,,,  we look at the GOBLINS!

   If you want Pretty words and Dances Go play with the Seelie .   We are the Unseelie. Our dances will leave you bloodied and our words may not be pretty, but they are Honest and not clouded by Sarcasm or double meaning.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

OK Sorry it has been a couple weeks I will try to do better in the future.  I started playing with the acrylic paper mache.  I decided to use it to finish up a Harry Potter style mandrake  that I actually started a while back ( ok it was over a year ago that I started it lol).  I all ready had the main body and shape made out of Jute rope ( I use warped jute a lot but that is a post for a later day) so all I needed to do was cover the form and sculpt in the details.   Here is a picture of the rope body.

 I have wraped the arms and legs in Plastic wrap so they stay out of my way while I sculpt the body.I have also painted a layer of acrylic medium on the body.  Here it is as I start putting the paper mache on the body
At first when you are started to put on the paper mache on it will be very rough and but I soon learned that I could smooth it by dipping my palette knife ( which I use to sculpt with) in water and keeping the surface damp or by using paint brush and water.

So after completely covering the body I added some major shapes and let it dry over night.

  The next day I started in on the face.  The eyes are dark brown/black glass taxidermy eyes. The face came together very quickly and I really like how it is looking.   I am very happy with how hard the paper mache dries and how easy it is to work with.  I let it dry over night again before doing more sculpting or any painting.

So here he is in his pot (ok climbing out of his pot).  I have started working on his arms and legs/roots.  The next post will be of him painted. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Acrylic Paper Mache

Ok for a while now I have been interested in experimenting with Paper Mache.  There is some amazing work being done with this materiel.  Take at look at the work of the Japanese artist  Hajime Emoto, here is a couple of links to some of his work. .   Yes that is paper mache amazing right.  Look at his work and poking around on the internet.  Lead me to the quest just want is Paper mache?  Well at the most basic paper mache is and FRP (Fiber Reinforced Polymer)  made of paper fiber or pulp and past or a glue of some type.  I tried several of the recipes that I found on the internet some I liked some I did not I found the ones that used small amounts of linseed oil to be very interesting.  If you goggle paper mache recipes you can find plenty of recipes to play with.  I am going to add to the list.  Now like I said at its basic we are dealing with a FRP.  Now I can we can use any available fiber and a compatible polymer or glue.  For this experiment I wanted something that was going to be waterproof when dry and strong but with some flex to it.  The first thing that came to my mind was Acrylic polymer.  I like acrylic it dries quickly and I know it properties, because I like it I keep it on hand in my studio and use it a lot in my works. A couple years ago I had ordered a gallon of satin acrylic medium from Douglas & Sturgess at  now this did not end up working for the original project but I have ended up using it for several other things it is very good stuff.  When it is all gone I am going to replace it with their normal acrylic medium because I have found so many uses for it.  Having settled on acrylic for my polymer now I started looking at fibers.  Looking around the studio I had two different fibers that looked good.  The first was blown natural fiber insulation that I had picked up when I first started looking at Paper Mache.  This stuff is readily available at you locale hardware store is cheep for want you get ($10-15 a bundle) and is made of mostly recycled newspaper.  The second was some dry toilet paper pulp I had left over from a project I did a while back.   So here are the materials we are going to experiment with.

We have acrylic polymer and two types of paper fiber.  I poured a small amount of acrylic into two cups and started adding my fiber. I added enough fiber to make a thick very wet paste, but it was clumping a little especially with the toilet paper pulp on the left so I let it set over night.  Here is what it looked like on day two.

After a day of setting it had become much more smooth and even.  The biggest advantage of the toilet paper seems to be it is white.  I took a small amount and let it dry over night it dried hard and slightly translucent.  Next playing and working with it.  Realize this is basically a homemade acrylic molding paste with paper as the filler.  The advantage of using paper as the filler is the long fibers gives it strength.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homunculus Finished

Ok here is the finished homunculus with the box.  I did a lot of antiquing on the box that I am not sure shows up in the pictures. One of the things I ended up changing was the handle on the box.  As I started the antiquing the handle that was on the box ( it was plastic) really started to bother me so I ended up replacing it.    Here is the box.

Here is the Homunculus with the box..

Over all I am very pleased how this project came out.  There is a lot more colors in the case than shows up and I really had a great time making every part of this guy and the box.  I plan on listing this on my Etsy shop in the next day or so.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Carrying case (box) for a Homunculus WIP

It has been a crazy busy week. I had wanted to  do this post last week but did not get to it.   I am hoping to post 2-3 up-dates a week and work my way up to more frequently.    So I have been working on making a Homunculus.   I have the sculpt of the homunculus made but I decided it needed a Box/carrying case.  So I went out to my local craft store to see what I could find that I could mod.  I found this little box that was the right size.

But I wanted it to stand up on one end, so I removed the handle off the top and moved it to the side. I also wanted to cover the place where the handle used to be so I started sculpting a plate/design on the (now) front.  Here is the first go at it.
I like it but I do not like how the white teeth look coming straight out of the box it needed a transition so I added some more black epoxy and I like it much better. Here is a close up of it now. 
Now all is left is to let the epoxy cure and paint,distress,and antique it. This last part is an art form in of it's self and like everything else is all about layers of color and texture.  I will be posting that part soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

working with Liquid neoprene part 2 (wall mask)

Ok this is the second large piece I have done using Liquid neoprene. In this case I wanted to make a larger mask that is going to be used as part of a wall piece.  I started by sculpting the mask over a plaster form I had cast.  I sculpted it out of water based ceramic clay.  Once I had the clay mask sculpted I made mold out of Hydro Cal and let it cure.  Once it was cure ( about an hour) I cleaned out the clay and let the mold dry for a couple days. Now on this mask I intentionally did not sculpt a lot of detail in to the clay because I wanted to play with adding more detail with the neoprene.  Here is the mold.

As you can see it is very simple. What does not come across in the picture is how big it is.  The mold is just over 17 inches from top to bottom now Neoprene shrinks as it dries so the casting will be about 10% smaller.  With the mold being this big it took almost a full gallon of neoprene to fill it.  I filled the mold and let it set for about 4-5 hours because I wanted a  nice thick casting to work with. After the time was up I poured out the excess neoprene and let it dry.  After drying about 8 hours the neoprene had dried and shrunk enough that I could remove from the mold but is was still soft so I let the mask set in the mold over night. Then I hug it on my wall for a couple days to completely firm up.   In the end the mask ended up being about 15 3/7 inches from top to bottom and 3/16 - 1/4 inch thick.  Now if this was going to be a wearable mask I would not want it to be thicker than 1/8 at this thick it would be very heavy to wear.  Since I am planing on this being a piece just to hang on the wall I am not worried if it is a little thick and by the time I am done it will be even thicker.
Ok here is the mask now I have added lots of texture in a couple different ways and I have started coating it with black neoprene.  Let me talk about what I did and why.  Ok the first thing I did was add some more details and wrinkles with black neoprene roofing caulk.  I got the caulk from the local hardware store. The caulk did great at sticking to the cast neoprene but I was not happy with the amount of detail I was able to get into the caulk, lets face it caulk is not meant as a sculpting medium but hey I wanted to try it out. The caulk is the darker areas on the lower half of the mask.  It has been covered in this picture with a layer of regular neoprene and tissue paper.  Now this worked very well, take a piece of tissue paper (cheep toilet paper with the edges torn off, works great) and paint a line of neoprene on the mask lay the edge of the tissue paper over it and carefully paint the neoprene over the paper. Use a cheep brush and take your time.  With practice you can get lots of nice wrinkles and groves.  This is a variation of  technique called corpusing used in the halloween haunt industry. I have found this technique to be very helpful ( I use it a lot) and their are lots of variations of it out on the internet check them out sometime.  Once I had the whole mask covered with tissue paper and neoprene I started painting a coat of black neoprene over everything. This does two things, one it is easy to see when everything has a coat of neoprene , and two it gives me a solid color base coat to paint on.  As a nice plus I find it easier to see a lot of the detail when it black.  This is not as easy to see in the pictures.  Here is a picture of the mask after I have finished coating it with the black neoprene.
The shine makes it hard to see the detail but once I have painted it white it will show up much better.  That is the next step, painting ( with my airbrush if I can find it) it mostly white.  I am hoping to do that latter this week

Working with Liquid Neoprene part 1 (Demon Skin Rug)

Head of Demon skin rug
Ok a while back (about 2 years) a friend told me about Liquid Neoprene.  Not long after another friend told me he was using it for some prop and costume pieces.  Now liquid neoprene has been used in Hollywood for special effects and masking for years I have just never had the chance to play with it.  Last year the friend who first told me about it mentioned it again and said I should try it.  So I got hold of some and started playing with it to see how it works and what I can do with it. The first thing I made where some horns for The Demon Skin Rug project.  Now let me say I could not find much information on the inter net about working with liquid neoprene.  About all I found was that you slip cast it in a plaster mold.  That sounded simple enough I knew how to make a plaster mold for slip casting from all my work with silicone and ceramics. So I made my master sculpt made a two part mold since I did not have any potters (mold making) plaster on Hand I used Hydro cal.  Now one of the big differences between plaster and Hydro cal is Plaster is much more absorbent than hydro Cal so if you are going to try working with neoprene it will save you a lot of time to use plaster.  After my mold had cured and dried a couple days I poured my castings.  Now when slip casting ceramics letting the slip set in a dry cured mold 15 mins will usually give you a good thick skin.....NOT so with a Hydro Cal mold and neoprene  an hour later and I still did not have a thick skin.  At an hour and a half I poured out the excess neoprene and looked at the skin on the inside of the mold.  Wow less than 1/16 thick I much be doing something wrong,( I later found out I need to wait 2-4 hours lol, also I should not have used soft neoprene).  Humm needing the pieces soon I wondered what I could do to save my castings....I tried soaking cotton balls in the neoprene and stuffing them into the horns.  IT Worked I had to wait for each layer to dry but a fan or putting it outside in the sun helped speed that up and it worked fine.  Soon I had two solid horns that I could de mold and start finishing.  Well on de molding I was not happy with how the texture I had sculpted turned out ( I should have spent more time on that). It had looked good on the master but once it was black it did not not look "horn" enough for my taste.  Now in nature horns are made up mostly of the same materials that hair and finger nails are....Hummm just a fiber and I knew that the cotton balls dipped in neoprene worked to stiffen and give support....  I had some cotton roving left over from a project so I tried laying some of that on the horn and painting neoprene over it.  What do you know it worked.  This allowed me to "sculpt" layers of texture onto the horn.  The layers of cotton roving also gave strength  to the horns.  After the neoprene was dry I painted the horns lightly with silver to help bring out the texture.
Side view of Demon head   
 Over all I was very pleased with out the horns turned out.  They look good and they are still soft enough that I comfortable with putting them on a "RUG" but are firm enough that they will hold up.
  The nice thing was that I learned that I could use the Neoprene and fiber ( in this case cotton Roving) to add texture and strength to a cast piece.  I also used this same technique on the back of the paws, the nails, and the ears.  Next time I think I am going to try something a little firmer on the nails but other wise I liked how it turned out.
Finished rug.11/13
The finished rug is just over 7 1/2 foot from the tip of the nose to the ends of the back legs.   I decided to only put the two front paws on the rug.  Next I tried making a wall mask and a couple more small pieces. I finished this the rug in October of 2012