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 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.





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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