Saturday, July 07, 2007

Masked Marvel

UPDATE: The Peeps hath spoke... No mo Picto. Thanks, Guys!
Here's yesterday's progress montage, already rendered moot by today's, yay!

Fantastic stage of things here. I applied the last of my entire stock pile of FlexAll cement to the tree (and won't buy more as this phase could go on endlessly.) It is tree-mendous fun creating the "bark " texture with this particular product, wowwie.

I added wood trim to the step edges and plastered them into the tree bark too, as was the cabinet and all the hearth tiles. After the tree gets painted, and the masks are removed, I'm hoping all of the details will look "grown" into the tree itself. The idea is that the tree has grown into the middle of the cottage through the ages. The roots have become part of how the house functions for its owner.

Some of the areas of the tree's cement texture are looking so lifelike, to scale, that I'm thrilled. It looks like real bark in some spots. Fantastic. It's nearly ready to paint. After I mix up a few batches of regular plaster of paris to finish sculpting the roots on the tree's outside, I'll need to go get a larger quantity of brown and taupe acrylics. I'm planning a Nova Color run this week for that.

I debated whether to slice the tree branches into re-assemble-able sections at this stage vs. after it's all finished. The question being which stage would result in less destruction when the tree will, at some point, have to be transported out of here. My mind said now would be a better time to deconstruct the crown in two or three sections and install a board and dowel peg-system of some kind so the parts could be reassembled when needed. But my gut sez no, keep going, don't stop, fix it in post, otherwise you'll be waylaid too much with this sort of never-ending technical task. (My gut happened to be connected to Paul's mouth as he said as much when I asked him for his opinion.)

I have several thank you cards to write, and for one of them I wanted to make another of the wonderful paper pop-up lotus flower cards designed by Tatyana Stolyarova. But my printer is broken (I dropped it a few months ago) and I couldn't find the pattern pieces anywhere.

I can't believe this worked! I took a piece of clear acetate, taped it to my monitor, brought up Tatyana's pdf on my screen (set to the size I wanted to boot!), traced around the pattern pieces with a Sharpie, cut them out of the plastic, traced around those onto hand-painted watercolor papers, assembled, and voila!


  1. I really prefer the old pic posting method. There doesn't seem to be a way to click these to see bigger versions, and it's a shame to see what amounts to just thumbnails of these incredibly detailed sets!

  2. Experiment Ova!!! yay! Thanks for saying so, Darkstrider. That helped a lot. No more Pictobrowser for me!


  3. Schweet! So, do we get to see these pics bigger? Purty please??@!!!

  4. I like this method for addding Pics but not for Daily Posts, Maybe if you wanted to do a Montage of Weekly Work or somethin like that!, I prefer the Old one!

    And I can't believe how large your tree is, Taller than You. Mine is a smaller scale and is half the Size of yours...Baby Tree!!!

  5. Anonymous4:09 PM

    The tree is awesomeness, and large! You've obviously put a lot of hard work into getting perfect and too scale.

    My instinct would say chop it now before you paint. That way you're still in the sculpting phase and can fix any accidental damage. Painting will always cover a myriad of evils.

  6. i agree: the pictobrowser isn't really showing me any of the pictures!

    what lovely little cards! your mysterious twitter is now clear. :)

  7. Thanks, Guys, Done. (see update)

    I'm glad your tree is more managable, Ben, I would suggest anyone work at this scale. Although, I do like it. I get to get in there with a lot of detail, which is my absolute favorite bit!!

    Thanks, Rich, I know you are quite right. But I can't do it. I chickened out just as I was about to saw into the poor thing.

    Thanks, Gretchin! I still can't believe it worked!

  8. That was supposed to read "I wouldn't suggest anyone work at this scale" ! (Freudian Type?)

  9. Oh, by all means, please don't try to cut it up until after you've shot the scenes with it! The thought of it fills me with horrors and dreads I'm unable to give name to!!!

    And thanks for switching up the pics!

  10. Hi Mike, I'm so gad you said this! Having you see it that way means I go forward in total confidence now! Thanks, Friend.


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