Saturday, June 29, 2013

IRCC3 Layer 2: Another blast from the past.

I know that I want to make up a dress from the terrifying, beautiful, blue silk I bought (but never used) for IRCC2. I've been fretting and pondering and wondering "how am I gonna get a dress-preferably with sleeves-out of a mere 3 yards of fabric?" "And a train! I want a train! Can it even be done?" After working myself into a veritable tizzy I went looking at my posts from last year to remind myself just how stunning that silk is...and discovered I have nearly 5 yards or it!

Now I distinctly remember working myself to the same spot of frozen panic last year. But this year? Hey, I just found out I have an *extra* two yards of fabric! I can do this!

Ooooo.....soooooooo pretty!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"What's that?" you say. That, my friend, is a big heap of veil!

I'm a natural fiber girl, by preference, but I'll make exceptions for a synthetic fabric that really gives the feel of what I'm trying to represent. Thus, after I became enamored with striped veils during the IRCC2 I snapped up a remnant piece of sheer curtain fabric that hit nearly every point I was looking for. It's an off-white to complement my complection and hide dirt, it's really sheer, it has widely spaced stripes, and those stripes have depth in comparison to the rest of the fabric. Although I would have preferred a silk with a stripe of black or gold, at a width of 110" and a price of about $1.50 this was the perfect fabric!

One of the nice things about not even starting projects you planned to do for an IRCC is that sometimes they are still waiting when the next one comes round. Today I took a little look at the veil patterns I found last year, took up my fabric and scissors and set to. I've only got the first seam finished but I am loving the look of the fabric and feeling good about the shape. I can hardly wait to see how it comes together!

A bit more progress on the fan

'Real Life' intruded and has eaten up the vast majority of my weekend thus far but I did manage to get in some work on the fan handle.

I hope to get better at acanthus leaves...someday...but I'm pretty happy with the pedestal.

Friday, June 21, 2013

News. Some good, some...well...?!

The bad news is that acanthus leaves are, apparently, very hard for me to sculpt. I keep applying some paperclay and working it into something almost entirely un-like an acanthus leaf. (Sigh) Perhaps the 4th or 5th or 18th try will be the charm!

The good, but rather surprising news is that I can sculpt faces! (Who knew?) And even some fairly good hair!

My little man is coming together! In fact he is coming together so well that I couldn't resist sticking some feathers in for a peek.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Can't...Resist...! Must...Show Off...Progress!

Still loving the paper clay!

Bit by bit...

It's coming together!

IRCC3-4b: Fan handle in progress...

...Ooooo! that's better!

The plastic wood seems to be providing good framing and structure but it's completely lacking in suitability for fine detail work so after I roughed-in some arms I went looking for an alternative material to use for a sculptural topcoat on my fan handle. I found air-hardening paper clay and I think I'm in love!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

IRCC 3 - 4b: The great fan adventure continues...

After roughing in the carving for the handle I cut a groove across the top plate of my handle base and inserted a craft wood oval to provide support for the feathers of my fan and also the fantastic animals which project to the sides.

Since I couldn't find my coping saw, or any of my other, more suitable, saws. I made the grove by working at it a whole lot with a combination of the tools I could find, a drywall saw, chisel and my wonderful hand drills. Really, the proper tools would have made this stage a whole lot easier but, as you can see, it worked!

I glued the craft wood oval into place with ordinary white glue and let it dry overnight.

Then I sized Orsi's original design to the appropriate scale and printed it out so that I would have a reference for the next stage-modeling the figures!

I should probably mention that I have been very tempted to just finish the fan handle at this stage. It is very comfortable to hold and has a lovely shape. All that is needed is some smoothing, sanding, and a cover for the place where the brass ring joins the wood and it would be ready to paint. But it wouldn't be Orsi's fan. :) Thus, I persevere.

Although I cannot find it at present, another period artwork inspired me to try making a feather fan in which one side is white feathers, the other black, and you see the reverse color where the feathers curl over at the tips. Since I've given my handle a central support structure I need to create spaces between that central piece and the outer cover in which to insert my feathers.

I stacked up cut up pieces of a cardboard box and sections of the cardboard core of a paper towel roll until they seemed thick enough and then wrapped them in plastic wrap in the hope that the plastic wood won't adhere.

I tied the assembled spacer to my framing with thread. I hope it will be easy to cut free when the time comes.

Next up: Plastic wood! I started applying the plastic wood at the acorn knob at the bottom of my fan and discovered that it doesn't really mold and model in the way I remember. It is too soft at the start, and cracks and flakes off as it dries as I'm working it. Furthermore, it doesn't really want to adhere to the existing framework. It seems to respond best to repeated tapping and thinner layers so I am going to try roughing in the sculpted shapes I need and adding in depth and detail in layers.

Here is my first pass at side one.

It doesn't look like much right now, but I think it has potential.