Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Tail of Inger and the Little Devil Moth

A new Halfland creature has appeared this week in the macro garden. Made by a new guest, Inger.
Dear friend and niece to another Halfland soldier, Mandy (seen below helping here early last year) is in town briefly from another state and kindly offered to spend the day helping on set (aka; a new sucker volunteer). The first task was to help me disassemble the cottage components in order to give a good vacuum to all the excess hay that had been applied. I need to get things organized and ready to construct the porch next Friday.

After watching her work, I felt guilty for inviting her over to slave. So, I thought I'd offer her the chance to create something that appealed to her for the film. I gave her the tour of the workshop and its reference images in case something made her raise an eyebrow of interest. Like a fish getting snagged on a hook, something did make her say "Ooo." It was a little, brightly-colored, fuzzy moth in hot pinks and sunny yellow. We set to work....
I threw her the bag of wing silk and she cut out the wing part shapes and stuck them onto a piece of clear tape to hold in place while she painted them with silk inks. The watercolor like effect of wet on wet was sensational. I think I'll make all the butterfly wings in this way.

As we were hunting around the materials for what to make into the moth's pink conical antennae, seen in the reference picture, we hit upon the idea of using the tips of white seashells. We were delighted to find that my new precision metal saw, bought to cut down armature hardware, took care of the shells just great. It cut them without shattering. She daubed on matte medium and pink dye before gluing them into the feather fluff head.

As Inger was assembling the new puppet, she commented that the antennae reminded her of little devil horns, which of course they do look like! Hers was a perfectly Halflandian observation! We both agreed the moth needed a matching devil's tail to slip into view from underneath his wings. She used silk covered wire painted pink and sculpted the tip from fluffy air dry clay and painted it to match.

The next morning after she left, I added another puff of fuzz made out of soft, yellow feathers to cover where his front leg wires were added and to match the image's hairstyle.

Auntie Mandy caught here having fun during her first (and only so far) visit to Open Studio Fridays. Hope you'll come again, Mandy... She's a sewing whiz.
 A distortion macro view of the little devil moth. It's a completely charming addition to the film, Inger. Thank you for spending some of your trip here and I hope you'll find your way here again someday....
Art Bonus: Just before Christmas I met a wonderful artist nearby who inspired me very much. I wanted to make her a little something so I took an extra whimsey bottle and fashioned a scene of a cabbage moth dancing in the clouds near the moon inside. I really love the tiny theater effect of a poetic tableau like this. And how the glass distorts the scene inside into a dream-like view.


  1. Looks like so much fun.

  2. Really enjoying your work, i really love it! Keep doing this great job, seems like you are enjoying it aswell !


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