Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chicken Mummies

I'm starting a new project - chicken dolls from paper clay.  They will have fabric clothes.  I'm planning a group of three, and here's the first step.  I've cut the basic shapes from Styrofoam, wrapped them tightly with stretch gauze bandaging, and then sealed them with Mod Podge.  The yellowish color you see on the left one is the result of my frustration with having a hard time keeping track of where I had and where I hadn't applied the (white) Mod Podge to the (white) gauze wrap.  So I mixed a bit of yellow alcohol ink into the Modge Podge to give it enough color that I could track my progress.
There are no wings yet.  I'll make them and paint them separately then add them during the clothing process.  This is to solve the problem of how to make clothing sleeves around the wings - a problem that I've been contemplating for a while and which is impeding my progress on finished the two ducks I made for the Lady of the Lake grouping.
The legs are made from wire, wooden scewers, and florist tape.  I shaped the toes from the wire then wound the ends up around the scewer.  A wrap of floral tape holds everything in place and provides a surface for the paper clay to stick to.  When the legs were done, I poked them into the Styrofoam form.
I later learned that attaching the legs at this point was a mistake.  It's too early to know where they need to be for the chickens to balance.  The better plan is to wait until the paper clay bodies are done, then drill holes, and insert the skewers.  This procedure also makes it easier to cover the toes with paper clay.  I can cover the toes and part way up the leg before attaching the legs to the body, then finish the attachment - and the sculpting - by adding the paper clay for the bulges at the top of the legs.  Lesson learned!

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