Monday, May 04, 2015

Quite a Wild Pair!

 If you found yourself in a strange forest wood, would you take advice and help from these two?

Not a fair question as the serpent sage doesn't live in Halfland's half land. He stays completely in Halfland's golden desert, in the Secret Season. But Rana will be visiting him there with the whole gang when they bring an injured friend to him for help.

Thought it then important to take a check of how the in progress Urhu serpent sage musician character looked next to the completed main character, Rana the goat woman.

And may I say, seeing them finally together, outside of my head, thrills me deeply.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

First Use of Composi-Mold

I love moldmaking. It's in my bones. But.... I also hated doing it in the past because it meant putting on intense safety gear, going outside (shudder), working with material that could harm my health, etc. It was always a dangerous, heavy, cumbersome ordeal, even though I loved working with "cement".

Saw containers of Composi-Mold at my local art supply shop and while it was pricey for me, it was also rated as safe, eco-friendly, and... reuseable! I splurged on a small container to try out so long ago that when I saw it again in the store I bought it again!

I don't use/have a microwave but their site indicated that it would work as well with a double boiler so I did that. I used metal jar lids to keep a small glass bowl off the bottom of the art pan and gently melted down cubes of it. It cut easily with scissors.

Meanwhile, I (mistakenly, but it's alright) coated the sculpt all over with petroleum jelly as a mold release. I used a tin can half-filled with a mixture of wet sand and red clay as a base to hold the back of Urhu's head. I slowly drizzled the melted Composi-Mold over the face of the sculpt hoping that it wasn't hot enough to actually melt the modeling clay. I couldn't tell for sure if he was surviving in there, even through it's handy translucent quality, but I figured even if he distorted from the process it would only make things even more interesting.
I took a few goodbye shots of him and then proceeded to build up thickness of the Composi-Mold with multiple batches until it was thick enough. Wasn't sure whether I'd need to make it a two part mold and won't know until I cast tomorrow, but not only did the original sculpt come out completely unscathed, it seems as though the deep undercuts of the chin and ears have been captured fully in just one part.

Next up: Casting Urhu in Washi Mache, stay tuned!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Snake Eyes

Adding clay onto the foam ball with neoprene shapes glued to it and referring to my image boards. Using soft silicone shaper tools for smoothing areas too fine for my fingers to fit.

Urhu's body made in the build-up style was fine, especially because his tail will be covered over with scales to finish it but I needed a way of getting more control over how his face would look. I hit upon the hybrid idea of bodies by build up faces by casting sculpts. I tried it out on this puppet and think it's going to be the way I make all future puppets.

It was so fun to sculpt again, I'd forgotten how much I love it and want to make sure I do it again and often.

The objectives for this Liminal Being (creatures "on the threshold", ambiguously between here and "there") was as follows:

• Primordial features/suggestive of reptilian head and brow shape/yet also humanoid
• Mute/yet smiling
• Wise/Elegant/Crudely rendered
• Prominent ears to emphasize the importance of sound to this character
• Friendly yet isolated
• Meditative/ Spiritually sensitive
Grabbed my #1 favorite oil based modelling clay, Klean Klay that Michael Curry introduced me to. Kept adding pieces until the character showed up as a surprise. Don't they always?!
I had no idea he'd look like this but I think it's right and will fit right into the Halfland handmade world.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Getting Smarter

Why, look who's making his first real appearance in the making me department. It's Urhu, the serpent sage musician. In a Halfland speed record breaking performance, his armature and body build-up was made one night, his costume design decided, his head sculpted the next day, and the day after that (today) a new type of mold-material was used to successfully mold that sculpt.

Above is a montage of how the puppet currently looks with a audition sketch of concept I have for the finishing his scales.
Urhu was to be the only major 1/2L character that would be made with the build-up method vs. sculpting/mold making/casting. In hunting for what to use as his armature, I selected a length of Loc-Line. I fussed with it until I worked out how to configure a neck stem and arm with fittings. I added coated wire inside to firm his position holding and lengths of dowel for straight bones.

I caged the whole thing in multiple strands of wire(s) to hopefully keep it together should the Loc-Line fail, wrapped it in multiple layers of foam wrap, teflon and floral tapes, and building out bulk with layers of foam packing material secured with glue and masking tape.

I decided to have all the big characters use the same sized hand(s), all equally crude and articulate. Lower right shows it being bulked out with wire and more packing foam pieces.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Surfing the Web

Saw a piece of dried grass woven into a real world spider web out back (upper left). This wasn't a case of it blowing into an existing web, but rather, like life being very Halflandian, the spider must have actually used the grass as part of the building of her web.

In Halfland, spider webs are lace crochet. Here the latest creation is attracting Time Fly fans for the Macro garden set. Made from painted crochet tights sewn onto branches with invisible thread.
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