Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Elytra, She Ain't No Lady

Here she is.... meet the leader of the Bug Band at the wild insectile party, that is scheduled as soon as it gets the dark the night you are in Halfland. She's the No Lady Ladybug, Elytra. Her bass fiddle-head cello has a soulful sound while she sings the blues.
She started out puppet-life as a jacaranda tree seed pod tarted up to look like a lady bug. Lengths of wire were crudely twisted around preserved twigs to make her six arms and legs quickly.
I'm not trying to replicate nature, just a half impression. I like it when the results say both insect and handmade puppet from natural materials.

Her legs were built up into almost human shapely sexy legs with thick mediums over thicker wire. These were them coated in matte medium and sheathed in painted fine mesh netting to create a naughty stocking effect. Her sparkle red pumps were carefully sculpted onto her feet and glittered with ultra fine red glitter coated with gloss when dry. Her legs were rigged with jewelry findings in order to be mobile enough to keep time with the music's beat. A hex bolt was embedded under her breast plate with wood epoxy putty. How rude.

I had fun adding her tiny white hair curls complete with stray bristles and strands, her pearl and stone necklace positioned to frame the decolletage of her buggy cleavage, her nipple slippage from under her breast plate, and other details.

I painted stiff lace black and cut it into wing shapes and positioned them, like a negligee, under her mirror image red shell, called an Elytra on ladybugs. Maybe that's a good name for her?
Even her jaunty beret is nothing more than a natural eucalyptus cap, positioned to cover her seed pod pronotum, the part on a lady bug that protects their head and makes it look a bit more round.

I'm debuting her first because it's her nightclub in which the party takes place and because she is the headliner of the buggy ensemble, our star.

Next posts, I plan to intro the nearly finished (!) rhythm section and drums, woodwinds, and guitar players, each of the other four featured soloists who will improvise on the groovy melodies over the swinging arrangements.

This rollicking storybook party is on.


  1. I love her legs!

    And what a beauty she is!

  2. Thank you so much, Jessica! I' so glad you came by to see her and that you liked her!

  3. A great combination of coolness, bugginess and handcraftedness! Love the red fishnet stockings.
    What other bugs will there be? How about a cicada in the band?

  4. Hooray! Hi NICK!! Missed you! There is soon to be a Beetle/Locust type guy on guitar.

    I love your Cicada idea though as they are incredibly NOISY! Of course there should be noisy bugs in the band. Fantastic thinking on your part.

    I was just trying to get through making the band as fast as I could without much thought.

    I'll look at a picture of a Cicada and see..... Holy Fruitcake! Gotta make one!!!!!! So cute!


  5. Looked at your reference - I didn't know about the Tymbal, the organ they make the noise with.... tymbal, cymbal, maybe he could be the drummer?
    Beetle on guitar sounds good. Or locust.
    Locust is a grasshopper, similar to a cricket with long jumping legs, and a cricket sings by rubbing legs against something I think...
    Cricket on violin?
    Or the band could all be beetles, 4 of them... no I think that's been done!

  6. Thanks for writing, Nick. You brightened my night. Feeling pretty dizzy and isolated.

    Love your musician ideas above. Really clever pairings.

    I'm trying to limit the effort/time on this minor background element believe it or not. I think so often about your initial impression that 1/2L was akin to trying to build a Roman Cathedral by myself.

    I don't know how you've managed on all your wonderful, detailed films. You've managed very well to give satisfying detail and to deliver the films, film after film. Fantastic skill and balance. Create and ship. Create and ship.

    Right now, the ensemble is the ladybug on bass cello, a slinky worm on xylophone, a black widow on a tomato drum kit (I like your idea better!), a wholly caterpillar on clarinet, and the last player is still being built, a sort of beetle on guitar lute type thing.

    The instruments are all built and the players except for the beetle.

    I've GOT to make a cicada after seeing that photo! But he'll be a guest at the party---OR--- maybe I could squeeze in making him a cymbol player?! Pretty much have to I think. yep.

    Thanks so much for being there, Nick.

    I'll go post in progress pictures of the above right now.... just for fun...

  7. Amazing!!! Love her legs..

  8. Hi Yaz!! Thank you! I think I'll name hger "Ellie" as short for Elytra.

  9. Ellie... love this. Fits very well.


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