Thursday 12 May 2016

New design in progress

Wow, it's been a while!  Over a month!  Partly this is because I've been busy baking (and reading about baking); partly, it's because although I have been working on a new design (above), I haven't been making much progress.

He is meant to be a bearded dragon.  I love his tail, and his body, and his head, but the legs have really been giving me trouble.  First I tried making them in fabric, which resulted in a puffy, 'inflated glove' look, which didn't rest on the ground well, and the seams of the tiny, skinny toes kept bursting when I stuffed them. Then I tried making the feet out of wire, with some kind of fabric covering over the leg and the main part of the foot.  This just looked lumpy and - well, rubbish really.

Then I came to a point which I always come to when I'm trying to make patterns, but which I've never really noticed before.  It's the point where I've tried everything I can think of to achieve the 'perfect', realistic thing that I have in my head (and in photos), and nothing works, and I finally accept that nothing is going to work and move on to looking at second-best options.  It's a weird moment.  On the one hand I'm desperate not to concede that point - because I really want my design to be fabulously realistic.  On the other hand, once I've accepted the inevitable, things suddenly get a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable.

So, fabric legs weren't going to work, I decided.  There's always the needle-felting option, but I'm not good at needle-felting, which means I would have to either put up with second-rate results, or delay finishing my dragon until I'd done some serious practice.

Then I thought about making the legs out of fimo clay - first with a wire armature and then, when that didn't work, just clay alone.  This is the point where I took the picture above.   The legs are sewn loosely onto the body, so they can move easily as he moves.  Unfortunately, fimo is rather too fragile.  As you can probably see, I went to put him down without looking and one of his legs got caught underneath him, snapping two of the toes on his right foot (ouch)!  

It's a shame because I quite liked the effect otherwise.  Possibly the legs could do with being slightly bigger, and rounder and chunkier, but otherwise I think they look quite lizardy.  There is a slightly strange romper-suit look about it - with the limbs being a different colour to the body, but presumably this can be sorted by painting the legs to match the body.

So, my next step is to look for a more resilient form of doll-making clay.

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