19 September 2011

New Automaton

I have just started two new sets of automaton, the weather is cooler and I can work for longer in the garage. I have planned various 'Encounters with Mr Punch', many drawn up, some now modelled in card and the first one ready for painting and dressing. 
Here roughly assembled to test the mechanism. 

The other set are of figures being a more animated about the proximity of insects. 

Rust Dyed Silk

I did a felt making course a few years ago with the most inspiring and talented teacher, a textile artist called Lyn Griffiths. I was really excited to find her blog before I had started mine and found the perfect technique I was looking for to add age to fabric. I didn't want to use old and precious fabric and have frequently used tea to soften the colour of new fabric. From Lyn's blog and her fabulous dyeing experiments I had a go at using rust to add an unusual effect and I am very happy with the results.
I folded wire wool into small pieces of  damp silk, I am working on a small scale as making puppet clothes.

I left the silk for a few days in a zip lock bag until I could see rusty patterns.

This was interesting but with too much contrast and still didn't look very old so I soaked the samples in tea and got a fantastic new blue grey colour appear, some chemical reaction happened I'm sure. 

I am really delighted with the results! Now think I need to go on another of her courses and learn to dye properly and more of her fabulous techniques. 

13 September 2011

More Wooden Figures Keeping Very Still

I have just finished another couple of wooden figures with an insect problem.

Protecting her little brother from a bee. 

Drawn to scale and marked out in wood.

Worked out final composition.

Underpainting before adding final ageing and finishing touches. 
The dark bird made the atmosphere a bit morbid, a bit heavy and oppressive on top of her head. He has joined all the weird things that have gone wrong and are now in a box in my basement. 

08 September 2011

A Puppet Character that is Keeping Very Still

I have combined my recent experiments in making bugs and in aging/distressing fabric to dress and accessorise this latest Puppet Character. She is keeping very still because she has wasps in her hair.

 I haven't quite got my fabric insects to look as creepy as the real thing and I'm not sure really I want to.

01 September 2011

Wooden Figures with Bugs

Another group of wooden figures, mainly because I enjoyed making the bugs. I have started a macabre collection of found dead insects with the aim of getting a more lifelike finished fabric bug.  These were meant to be cute bugs but I do want some less friendly and as yet I just can't make them as terrifying as the real thing.