Sunday, March 29, 2009
AFTER ANOTHER FOUR DAYS of Halfland building progress the set is beginning to take magical shape. All masking tape has been removed from the tree roots and the places where the soil meets the tree have been finessed. The cottage door is completely finished and operational in all ways. Functional hinges are concealed behind leather and twig sets. There is even a wooden latch on the inside that Rana can swing down into a twig catch at night. I'm loving the painterly quality the sky backdrop is giving.
The door plate, locking hardware, and sweet key are finished. This is the level of set detail that I'm looking for in the film. It's rustic but seems real in this world taking form. The key will hang from Rana's belt, with her medicine bags, by the wired silk cord seen here.
The key (measuring 1.5"; 3.81cm) was made of pounded wire and punched copper (upper left, on the upper right is the key coated with iron paint and metallic silver on its way towards a pewter patina. I didn't want to take the time to make the locking mechanism truly a working one, nor spend hours learning about locks, so, I copied the brilliant model door detail from my friend Hila Rosenberg Arazi (lower right). Hers was much more tiny (1/12 scale vs. 1/3) and therefore more difficult to realize. I chiseled out a niche in the wood with a screw driver and used cut pieces of balsa & snipped eyelet hardware. These were then also painted with iron paint and instant rust solution (seen in earlier door detail photo above).
The bulk of my effort was spent in prepping the landscape for ultimate planting. Every inch of grounds were painted several times with my favorite Art Paste gel and sprinkled with vermiculite/mulch mixture and left to dry. Everything had to be scrubbed and brushed off between each layer. (Paul grows weary of having the walk through grit on the way to the loo at night, bless his patient heart) I love how realistic the ground looks at this stage (upper shot) I almost hate to dye it brown an green and put plants on it. I kept setting a goal here of planting the set, planting the set, planting the set. It wasn't until I started to create the pathway that I realized all of this work was preliminary to that.
More was constructed this week, but one of the most fun was the tiny eyeglasses for the Writing Mouse. I noticed that the art paste (cellulose) dried strong and clear, like a tough membrane. I push some into the wire eyeglass frames and let it dry. I think it stands in perfectly for thick vintage glass! I wrapped the bridge and ear stems with purple thread just how the antique pair I have were made. Above you see the finished Writing Mouse puppet wearing them and his little acorn cap. My favorite puppet so far, although is is the first one finished properly.
More goodies ready to show soon...