Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hare today, Hare tomorrow

On Monday, I confused my friends by telling them I was taking my hare to the gallery. "Why is Helen taking her hair to the art gallery?" they wondered. : ) They heard the word 'hair'.

Harry the Hare, or 'a rabbit for blokes' as the gallery director called him, is my latest paper-mache creation.

Over the years, I've tried many methods of making the armature (skeleton). I've tried:
chicken wire - strong and quick, but hard work (with my disability),
balloons - slow and yields weird shapes not really suitable for animals,
rolled up newspaper in the style of Dan the Monster Man and
cardboard and wire in the style of Jonni Good

Harry has a Jonni Good style armature. I used wire in the ears and the spine to allow some movement in the final piece.

All was going well ... I left Harry sitting on the boiler one night, waiting for his back legs and hips to dry.

 Oh dear, when I saw him in the morning, he'd sagged. His back legs had splayed and his spine had buckled. The mache mixture I used was old and hadn't set. So much for short cuts.

Since time was pressing, I used modroc to hold him together, and soon he was looking good as new.

Once I was happy with his shape, I coated him in newspaper and PVA.

His top layer was done with acrylic medium and burnt umber paint. Normally, if I have no time limit, I coat my creatures in paper clay (see later blogs about how I make this). However, the date for admission to the exhibition at the Beetroot Tree Gallery was sooner than I realised.

The acrylic coat worked well.
It's water resistant and easy to 'comb' into fur with a toothbrush.

Now, Harry and his friend Scaredy Cat (made last summer) await their public. I'm looking forward to the preview on Sunday evening. I just hope both creatures behave themselves.

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