Saturday, December 17, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
|The Ass with three Legs: Copper, Shell Eyes|
"Of the three-legged ass it is said that it stands in the middle of the ocean and that three is the number of its hooves and six the number of its eyes and nine the number of its mouths and two the number of its ears and one the number of its horn. Its coat is white, its food is spiritual, and its whole being is righteous. And two of its six eyes are in the place where eyes should be and two on the crown of its head and two in its forehead; through the keeness of its six eyes it triumphs and destroys... As to its ears, they overshadow Mazdanderan. Its horn is as of gold and hollow, and from it a thousand branchlets have grown. With its horn it will bring down and scatter all the machinations of the wicked."
Sunday, December 4, 2011
"Since no wolves inhabit these regions, men are supposed to take on the shapes of swine or dogs. In certain towns of Entre Tios, girls shun young men who live in the vicinity of stockyards because on Saturday nights they are said to turn into the aforementioned animals."
I've known some folks, both men and women, who turn into pigs and/or dogs on Saturday nights.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
|El Tigre Capiango: Copper with Patina|
I looked up the word Capiango- it took some searching, but translated as "clever thief". Whether this meaning predates or postdates the monster, I do not know, but it seems to point more toward the highwaymen than towards either jesting or warriors.
|jaguars must have spots. They're getting drawn on by hand. First with a thin sharpie for outlines.|
|And then everywhere that I want to stay light gets filled in with a thick sharpie. the marker will act as a resist. Erasing is basically impossible, as the acetone ALSO acts as a resist. Any unwanted line must be sanded off.|
|On a mask with so much detail on one side, some detail must be applied to the other, lest the whole thing look odd on display|
|And here he is with the patina applied. Next step will be to remove the sharpie.|
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
|Copper sheet, Copper chain|
"In the northern part of Cordoba, especially around Quilinos, people spwak of a sow harnessed with chains which commonly makes its presence known in the hours of the night. Those living close to the railroad station maintain that the sow slides on the tracks, and others assured us that it is not unusual for the sow to run along the telegraph wires, producing a deafening racket with its "chains." As yet, nobody has caught a glimpse of the animal, for as soon as you look for it, it vanishes unaccountably."
Borges ads that the Sow harnessed in Chains (Chancha con cadenas) also sometimes goes by Tin Pig (chancho de lata)
Saturday, November 26, 2011
|Copper, Pennywhistle, Black Cotton Thread, Bells|
Borges ads no comment, only including a passage from C.S. Lewis' Perelandra. Here's a bit of it:
"The noise was very loud now and the thicket very dense so that he could not see a yard ahead, when the music stopped suddenly. There was a sound of rustling and broken twigs and he made hasitly in that direction, but found nothing. He has almost decided to give up the search when the song began again a little farther away. Once more he made after it; once more the creature stopped singing and evaded him. He must have played thus hide and seek with it for the best part of an hour before his search was rewarded... The head was in profile from where Ransom stood- the mouth wide open as it sang of joy in thick0-coming trills, and the music almost visibly rippled in its glossy throat..."
There is also a referance to "fawn like shyness" and "its evident wish to be forever a sound and only a sound".
That last bit is what stuck with me. It seemed a shame to make such a beast into a static object. At first, i wanted it to hide wholly behind bells, later, the whistle seemed to not need hiding, and, finally, I did not hide him completely, allowing him in his shyness to peak out at us, his audience.
The whistle is fully playable.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Not all the monsters will be pretty- the Banshee may well be the ugliest, when we get to the end. There's no good literary reason why- I mean, yes, she's a harbinger of bad tidings, but she doesn't ever actually DO anything. The reason goes back to when i was a wee kid, and my mom had a couple of Brian Froud's books- Fairys, Gnomes, maybe something else. The Fairys book was my first intro to the darker side of fairytales, and one of the illustrations was of the Banshee, and it was terrifying. I mean, really really scary to a 7 year old girl, and not a lot less scary to me now, as a grown person. This mask is disturbing in a different way, but I knew from the beginning that she would have to make the viewer cringe a little.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
|Squonk: Copper, Steel Chain, Steel wire, Crystal Tears|
from Borges: "Hunters who are good at tracking are able to follow a squonk by its tear-stained trail, for the animal weeps constantly. When cornered and escape seems impossible, or when surprised or frightened, it may even dissolve itself into tears."
He goes on to describe hunting the bird on frozen nights, in order to catch even the tears.
This beast is obviously pitiable, but also clearly silly. The only reason given for it's lamentation is that the bird does not think it is beautiful.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
|Cerberus: Copper, Carnelian|
My dogs are a little cute, though, I think, with their big ears and big eyes. There was some exploration of the number of heads cerberus has, with three as the conclusion. Later, though, there is mention that his tail is a serpent, with which he would bite anyone trying to leave Hades. I had sketched that serpent tail into my mask- partially for accuracy, and partially for balance. I looked at my sketch right before I made my pattern, but I did not reference the book, and remembered that bit on my sketch as a scorpion tail, which is what I fabricated. This doesn't bother me; this is how stories are meant to be; living, breathing, and sometimes changing.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Most of the time the the squonk has taken has been spent untangling chain- that chain arrives, all 100meters of it, in one unspooled heap. Fun. Worth it, though. Have to finish putting the tears on the other side, form the mask itself, and she'll be finished.
Monday, October 31, 2011
|Cheshire Cat: Copper, Silver Leaf, Polyester|
According to Borges, the phrase "grin like a Cheshire cat" existed pre-alice. I didn't know that.Borges knew many things I do not know. Borges also puts the Cheshire Cat- known for his grin- in the same chapter as the Killkenny cats- known for their teeth. I wanted teeth, and that crescent moon smile, and a suggestion of a cat. I based this mask very loosely on an African mask, and, somehow, ended up with a Cheshire cat Burka, which seems very perfect, and I do hope it doesn't offend anyone. By the time I finish this book, I will have appropriated things from all sorts of cultures I know much less about, and I can only hope that everyone has a sense of humor.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Some masks simply are more than one day's labor. Cereberus is fabricated, but not finished. His small heads both needs eyes, and he himself needs smoothing and generalized finishing. The he'll get waxed and have his portrait taken- hopefully tomorrow!
1- pattern making. Cereberus' pattern is based off parts of Cassowary, Crocotta, and Phooka. ANd then mostly redrawn.
2- Tracing. As you can see, the horns get put on, here. I did make a pattern for the horn tip heads, so they would be the same.
3. First hammer pass. Clearly, I missed photographing a few steps before here. This is after the second annealing (the first was just to fold the horns in half. Usually I do all my forming in one pass, but not today.
4. Second hammer pass. Getting the two horns where I want them, and perfectly matching. This is sometimes a little frustrating.
5. Soldering. Once the horns are done, the next step is to join that long seam. I'll do so in multiple passes, each time securing somewhere from 1-4 inches.
6. Fabrication and fitting complete. The fitting on a piece with a crest can take a while- in this case over an hour to get all the curves lined up the way I wanted them. His crest helps balance the two hornheads that fall so far forward, making him actually pretty wearable.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
|Monkey of the Inkpot: Copper|