Friday, June 9, 2017

The Bookworm and The Window Seat - part 2

Hello there. Thanks for coming back to read part 2 of "The Bookworm and The Window Seat".

This sculpture was originally about a daydreamer, book in hand, gazing out of the window. As I work, the character tells me who they are and how the sculpture is to look.


Sometimes the character or characters introduce themselves by name and start revealing who they are, what they like, as well as what they don't like, without any hesitation.


Other characters, like this one, tend to be more introverted, not shy or cautious, they just like being alone. 


I kept working on the sculpture and the character slowly came out of his shell.


The original textiles chosen for his clothing changed once or twice.


He made it very clear that he would never wear a green floral shirt and a burgundy velvet jacket.


Something didn't feel right about him, book in hand, gazing out of the window. I'd even considered having him lean in the window seat, a small pumpkin in his hand, rehearsing his lines for the community theatre, "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio..." 

I made three small books with pages, not solid prop books, so that I had a variety of ways of using them. The character on the window seat has put the book down, its pages open slightlyHe has his index finger between the pages of the book in his right hand. I like subtlety, it gives depth and realism to the overall sculpture.

I covered each book in a different hand marbled paper. The patterns and colours worked well together and with the sculpture. All three books were finally used. I realized that this sculpture, but more importantly the character, was all about books.


Once the sculpture was complete he revealed his name, Toby. He loves books, the printed word, pictures, research and reading, being lost in another world between the covers of a book.


I arrived at the cushion fabric after trying about 12 textiles. I wanted the cushion to be seen but not a focal point.


The last detail to be completed was bending and shaping each leaf and branch. I'm pleased with this sculpture and meeting Toby, the bookworm on the window seat.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

The Bookworm and The Window Seat - part 1

I'm constantly collecting things and images. Most of the "things", I'll use in my sculptures, a few are for reference and the "images" are for inspiration. Both of the following illustrations are by Jessie Wilcox Smith, I love her work.


This image and...


this image stirred something inside of me and "The Daydreamer" started to take shape in my brain.


A couple of years ago I built a shadow box on the back of this antique pressed oak frame. The scrap wood armature had not been added to the frame at that time.


A year or so ago, I started building this tree with no particular sculpture in mind and I liked it with the oak frame.


When I added the scrap wood, I must say that I had some concern about the size and shape of the armature but decided if I didn't like the look, all I had to do was cut or break bits off until the basic design was balanced. Part of the base that is projecting forward, beside the pink Melmac bowl, had a piece of the wooden armature broken off with a pair of pliers, it looked wrong and was corrected. Composition was slathered onto the wooden armature and allowed to dry.


Extra branches were built and added to the tree to fill it out. The trunk was built up, heavy gauge wire was wrapped around the trunk and the roots. The wire was cut off leaving about 1 1/2"  that was used to feed through holes drilled in the base and then bent over attaching the tree securely in place.


The printed liner paper in these antique envelopes was used to paper the wall and ceiling of the window seat.


The colour scheme was starting to take shape.


These two baskets were chosen from my stash of tiny baskets. They were painted a rich dark brown and over painted with a grey paint that I rubbed into the basket as well as rubbing some of it off, instant aging. Corn silk was the glued inside the basket to simulate fine soft straw to cushion the just picked fruit.


The luscious red and green apples were vintage holly berries spray painted to look like ripe apples. Sitting there they don't look like much but once assembled they did the trick.


Smaller red holly berries and pearlized lavender and pink berries were spray painted to resemble ripe plums. I suppose I chose apples and plums because that's what's growing in the back yard.



The apple basket was screwed to the ground and then filled with the fruit. The basket for the plums couldn't be screwed to the base because it's on its side but is securely glued and will not budge. The plums were put in place and scattered on the ground as though the basket had just tipped over.

The base was painted beforehand, and was ready for the various pieces of foliage to be added. Finally a dusting of cut bits of fibres and such were heavily applied to a thick layer of glue, allowed to dry and then shaken off.


Quite a bit of time was taken to choose the correct fabrics for the interior of the shadow box.


Brown and green striped fabric was glued to the back panel of the shadow box to simulate the wallpaper on the wall of the room where the window seat is.

Hand dyed handkerchief weight silk was used for the curtains. Fine burgundy cord was glued to the edge of the curtain to add detail and visual interest.

The window seat cushion was made by glueing the fabric around a piece of softly padded card.


Everything is in place and ready for the as yet unnamed character that will be relaxing on the window seat.

Come back tomorrow for "The Bookworm and The Window Seat" - part 2.

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