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 http://papermacheblog.com and
cardboard and wire in the style of Jonni Good www.ultimatepapermache.com.
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 www.thebeetroottree.com was sooner than I realised.
The acrylic coat worked well.
It's water resistant and easy to 'comb' into fur with a toothbrush.