So many projects, so many new ideas all begging for my attention. Just as many broken or 'went terribly wrong' projects too. As a rule damaged, out right broken or too badly 'to want to fix' projects thanks to my wreckless family normally just get scrapped. Every now & then how ever there is one or two that if i put my mind & a little effort to it could just possibly be saved.
So with this in mind i have decided as long as i can keep the self inspiring thoughts going i might dedicate weekends once again (tried before failed sooo misserably lol) to salvaging some of these projects i have not yet scrapped forever. One such project is a series of vases i want to incorperate dragons onto. Now some of these vases will be simple standard run of the mill vase shapes with either dragons painted or embossed onto them. Others will have 'actual dragons' wrapped around them. Whilst others yet still will be of more unusual shapes with the same forms of dragons on them or wrapped around them.
For my first set of vases, i was thinking of doing three per set. The first three were to be a (all large) standard 'balloon like shape, a sphere shape & a... Well thats one's a secret lol. Anyway the first one was part of a set of balloon forms i was drying mid winter just gone. For those who do not know it most of my sculptures begin life as a balloon. Which i then alter both the shape of directly or by adding cardstock shapes too or both. I use a fast & very efficient (tried & tested) drying technique for my basic balloon forms shown below.
Depending on baloon size, the two shown here are extremely large balloons. I suspend them at different heights above the kitchen radiator. Now as many of us know the winter gone was a particularly nasty one. So we had the central heating on every night & often day too. I had just suspended a collection of balloons before going to bed (not the ones shown above) thinking they'd be ready for final layering in the morning. This particular night it actually got quite warm & a family member (unknown no one addmitted doing it!) turned off the central heating. Result ALL the balloons shrank from the sudden heat change in the small kitchen.
I managed to salvage one out of five which i had made extra thick for an experiment. It had badly deformed but was salvageable with some effort. Many many weeks later (yesterday) I finally got around to finishing off the salvage opperation. This meant having to fill in the sunken areas of the balloon form with paper strips weeks before hand. When dry a LOT of sanding down followed (yesterday). Mercifully a 350watt electric hand held sander comes in handy here. This still took me a good 50 minutes to complete & another 15 minutes to get the feeling back in my hand from the vibration. I know i proffess a LOT as to how strong my PM is but this was riddiculess lol. The vase is not quite perfect but it takes close up scrutiny to spot the faults.
The salvaged vase below.
I will be making a set of three vases in this shape & approximate size. Each with a different dragon embossed on it & the Chinese word dragon emobossed on the reverse. If popular i want to be able to re-create the same dragons over & over. So to do this rather than create the dragons 'directly' on the vase i did the following.
First of all i painted the dragon in a raised 3D form (embossed) as shown using some black dragon skin. A well as being great for coating projects to give a smooth tough finish dragon skin makes a great 3D paint. If i remember correctly this one is around six layers of dragon skin thick about 1cm deep in all.
After a coating of basic floor wax as a releasing agent i then copied the dragon in common (dry wall) plaster as shown above. I then inlaid two layers of paper into the plaster copy after again layering the inside of the plaster copy with floor wax. The first paper layer was of telephone directory strips then a layer of standard news print. The resut below.
I trimmed this off. The final result is an extremely strong for a two paper layer molded copy that is also still very flexable owing to it's long thin design. This i can then simply hot glued onto the vase side. Instant embossed dragon that can be copied to this almost identical shape everytime. I will be making the word dragon in the same way shortly.
I know how i want to finish the surface of the vases, with a tightly even cracked 'aged' look. My dragon skin 'bone' mix dried in a certain way (yes i WILL tell you HOW later in another part of this feature lol) dries to a nice even 'cracked' finish just like you would often expect to see on ancient vases & the like. The problem i have NOW is do i paint on a background theme around/behind the dragon & the word or not!. More on that & the next stages in the next post on this project soon lol.
You can see a picture of the dragon fixed to the vase in WIP WATCH down the right hand column.