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Old 10-04-2003, 08:13 PM
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Leaflin Leaflin is offline
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"Hats Off To Dorothy" WIP

I haven't braved a WIP for awhile and thought you all might like to see my blunders
I started this back in July and have finally got to the painting stage.
My original idea was to make it similar to the Van Gogh papier mache' I did the tutorial on, only larger in both width and depth.

Step 1
I made the frame out of 30 year old crown moulding that I found in the attic.
Since the moulding was plain I hot glued five rows of dowel rods on the edges of the frame.
The base for "Dorothy" is foam core board.



Here is a close up of the crown moulding and the dowel rods.



Next I took spackling and filled in all the gaps.



After the base was constructed I applied multiple layers of papier mache' strips to both back and front.
I did alternate layers of 20lb brown craft paper and 20lb white butchers paper. This allowed me full coverage of each layer.



This looks nice and flat now but after the first few coats had dried it began to warp.
Paper shrinks after being wet and the old crown moulding was unable to take the pressure.
I was amazed that it didn't break!
To solve this problem I put on two more layers of strips and stood on the frame to flatten it out.
When it was flat I layed it on the floor on top of some 2x4s then put two 10 lb weights on each corner.
I let it dry for two weeks.

To be continued
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Old 10-04-2003, 08:36 PM
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Dahzl Dahzl is offline
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Good One Leaflin ! Whew ! Lot of work there - hopefully all that weight on it will let it dry nice and flat for you !

Anyway Good Luck with it - will be back to check on your progress.


Cheers Dahzl
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Old 10-04-2003, 08:49 PM
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Leaflin Leaflin is offline
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The outside frame measures 27" x 31".

Dorothy was the founding member of our art group back in 1961.
She made all of her own clothes as well as matching hats.
Here is the rough sketch Dorothy.



Once the 'frame' was flat and dry I started on the construction.
For the base of the head I cheated and used a dummy head.
Her shoulders and bosom are taped together air bags that come in pacakages.



Her hand will be gesturing people to look at an art show in our local train station.
So I needed it to stick out of the frame.
For the hand I used pipe cleaners bunched up to the thickness of fingers then wraped masking tape around them.
For the arm I used pipe insulation that you use to keep your water pipes from freezing in the winter.


Last edited by Leaflin : 10-04-2003 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 10-04-2003, 08:54 PM
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Leaflin Leaflin is offline
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Thanks Dahzl
I have been working on this since July and am just now getting around to posting.
It has to be finished by the 14th of this month!
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Old 10-04-2003, 09:02 PM
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Dahzl Dahzl is offline
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Ah Ha ! Thought I'd jumped in too quickly there !

Anyway she is looking Great Leaflin ! - and what a Lovely tribute to Dorothy !

I'll re-visit again soon for your next progress shots.

Cheers Dahzl
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Old 10-05-2003, 09:29 AM
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Jakeally Jakeally is offline
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Lolol..... I love the way you do these papier mashe' sculptures.
The hand and arm are looking terrific and I look forward to seeing how you attach them
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Old 10-05-2003, 01:50 PM
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Leaflin Leaflin is offline
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Thanks Chris and Dahzl

When I do one of these I generally don't know where I'm going until I get there. I just see what's in my head and try to get it out the best I can

Attaching the arm was a challenge as it needed to be very secure.

Here is the hand and arm wraped in tape and ready for mache' strips.



Here is the arm with several layers of strips.
I put strips inside some to give me a base for attaching it to the body.



Dorothy and her unattached arm with 8+ layers of strips.



If you look on the base behind Dorothy you will see I have applied some white 'spackling' for texture.
At the time I thought it was a great idea, but later found out it was a really bad mistake that almost led to Dorothy's ruin.
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Old 10-05-2003, 02:03 PM
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Leaflin Leaflin is offline
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After applying a few more layers of strips I was ready to attach the arm.
I made a hole in Dorothy's chest and inserted a piece of PVC pipe.
This was secured with lots of hot glue.
When that had set up I attached the arm over the PVC pipe and applied more strips to secure it.



Dorothy with her new arm

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Old 10-05-2003, 02:16 PM
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Wow...... That looks great ....it's amazing
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Old 10-05-2003, 08:18 PM
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Fantastic ! She is coming to Life

What was the almost fatal problem with the white spackling ??

Anyway Leaflin Dorothy is coming together beautifully! Looking forward to the next steps.

Cheers Dahzl
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Old 10-05-2003, 08:40 PM
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Tamana Tamana is offline
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This is terrific Leaflin!!

I don't know how I missed it before!!
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:27 AM
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Leaflin Leaflin is offline
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Thanks guys

Quote:
Originally posted by Dahzl
What was the almost fatal problem with the white spackling?

Glad you asked

First a bit about spackilng.

It is a filler used to spot patch and repair holes, cracks and dents on surfaces such as drywall, plaster, and stucco. If I had read the label frist where it tells you in bold print 'DO NOT USE AS A SKIM COAT' I would not have used it. It was like putting a vinyl coating on Dorothy. I thought it would work great for texture and didn't want to use my expensive gel medium. The stuff is wonderful for it's intended purpose such as filling in the spaces on the frame and dowel rods. It does contain Ethylene Glycol and Amorphous Silica which you really want to avoid breathing it in.

If you look at the first one where I attached the dummy head you can see where I started with the spackling. I later covered the whole base plus the back.
I really got carried away
On the next two you can see where the strips overlap the spackling. When the strips dried they started peeling off of the spackling, taking Dorothy with them. I tried to add pulp mache' which peeled off just like the strips. In the end I got out my trusty Gorilla Glue

and oozed it into all the cracks and separations. Then I put weights on top to hold it down until it dried. It did some really neat stuff as it dried. Because I put it on so thick it bubbled up adding more texture. It reminded me of the 'Great Stuff' I used on the "Firdemu".
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Old 10-06-2003, 10:02 AM
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Leaflin Leaflin is offline
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After I got all that sorted out I made up a batch of pulp mache' and put on a thin coat over the entire piece. The best way to do this is to roll your mache' pulp between plastic wrap then lay it on the piece. I also use a brayer and plastic wrap to smooth the mache' out.
(this is from the 'Firdemu' article)


Dorothy with her new skin


Next I started on some details. Using the pulp mache' I added some basic facial features and some clothing.



When all that was dry I started on her hair.
I used styrofoam packing 'peanuts' and glued them on with a low temp hot glue gun.



I then covered the hair with a layer of pulp mache'.
Another blunder here was that I put the mache' on too thick in places. It went moldy in some areas which I either removed or covered up with Gorilla Glue
It has been very damp here with all the rain from Isabel so that added to the mold problem.
I need to add something to my pulp so that doesn't happen again.
I then left Dorothy by herself for a week and a half and went camping.
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Old 10-06-2003, 10:08 AM
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Talking Packing Peanuts!!!!

Wonderful leaflin!!! Looking terrific! LOVE the border collie!!! My sister has one that looks almost identical!!
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:08 AM
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Lol....what imagination. Those packing peanuts come in handy for all sorts of things but I never would have thought of using them for hair
Its looking great and I'm really looking forward to the next installment.
Hope you are bit drier now
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