Saturday, March 27, 2010

Works In Progress

This is what I am working on now. Jack Frost is on the left and Father Time is on the right. They're part of a series I'm doing, called the Pantheon.

FT is almost done. I need to work on the door to his case. He's been like this for about a year. I'm terrible at the last finishing details. For some reason once the basic concept is fleshed out I have to force myself to focus on the last (but crucial) bits. So of course right now I'm concentrating on Jack!

This is Jack. He's an old Ken doll painted with layers of white, silver, and pearl acrylics. His hair and beard are made of glitter and fake snow. I painted over his eyes and then scraped it gently to show the original blue. I can't remember if I used gesso as a base layer. I find that the thicker acrylics (from a tube, mostly) work very well on plastic toys if they aren't meant to be handled. Sculpture yes, playtime, no.

He's been sitting around for ages waiting for a container. Mostly he's been hanging out in that apothecary jar you can see peeking out behind the tracing paper. It was the only one I could find (and afford) that seemed large enough. It was too narrow, but I was stumped and left him in it. Finally last week I decided that I couldn't stand all this unfinished stuff. He needs to be inside an ice crystal. They are six-sided and symmetrical. So how do I build one? This is the beginning of a mock-up. I'm working out dimensions on tracing paper. Next I'll make a full-size model in chipboard to make sure it's the right size, and I'll use those pieces as templates for the glass.

The base will be wood, probably cut to fit snug inside the crystal and painted silvery white like Jack. I have plans for snow inside, frost patterns climbing up the glass .... that's the fun stuff! Also tricky. But first I have to make the case.

At the moment, I plan to have the local hardware store cut the glass for me, then use UV-cured glass glue to put it all together. Because I want it to look like a crystal, the edges have to be uniform with the rest of it - can't use stained glass techniques. According to my research (God bless Google) the UV glue is the only one that will hold and not yellow over time. And fortunately I have access to a UV light! (My father-in-law is a retired dentist.) However, I am still waffling about the edges. If this was wood, I'd miter them for a neat fit. Mitering glass is beyond my skill. I'll see if the hardware store can bevel them. Even if they don't make a perfect mitered joint, the gap will be on the inside and less visible. But will the resulting edge be wide enough to hold the glue? Stay tuned!

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