Sunday, October 10, 2010
Finally! A Face I Approve of!
This was my fourth attempt at a fairy face and I'm finally happy with it. I think I've figured out a few things, including the shape to start with - not a ovoid ball, but a piece pinched and prodded into something more like a head with the bottom half protruding and the forehead receding in a gentle slope. From that start, it's a matter of pinching out the nose, indicating the eye positions with the tip of the knitting needle, cutting a slit for the mouth, and forming the lips by creating a crease under the lower lip and pushing out the two halves of the top lip (with a flat tool pressing upward and the upper surface of the mouth cut).
I'm pretty clear about that part, but the eyes still defeat me. It's really hard to push them in so that both pupils are looking in the same direction. The eyes need to be set pretty deep, but setting them pushes up clay around them. You need enough to push up enough clay to form nice eyelids that are thick enough, but not so much that it distorts the rest of the face.
I find the ears pretty easy, and the only part of the head that I add on. It doesn't matter if the head is too narrow front to back because the hair will cover it. But if there's really too little, I can alwways add more without worrying about a seam (to be covered with hair). The neck is separate but not too hard.
And I finally found a base I really like - a part of a slab of redwood burl. I cut with a bandsaw then made the final more details cut on my scroll saw. It looks nice I think. I felt that it was necessary to apply a varnish to preserve the wood. Even though an oil base varnish would bring out the grain really beautifully, I didn't want to use one because it might not make a good sticking surface for the glue that I will need to attach the fairies (2-part quick set epoxy).
I keep experimenting with different ways of creating fairy hair, and this is "dyed degummed throwsters silk" which I got from Meinke Toy Fiber Art Supplies (http"//www.meinketoy.com). I really like this silk for hair. Sadly, I haven't been able to find very many colors (although the ones I've found I really like). But I also got some of the same product that isn't dyed and I'm going to try dying it with the dyes I got for painting silk scarves. More news on that later!
As always, the Fantasy Fiber wings and the jewelry were so fun to make. But the little rabbit was best of all.
I still need a title for this piece.