Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Merlin's Throne..... in progress

I wanted to try and give you all a better view of Merlin's Throne. This picture should pop up bigger if you poke it. If you recall the legends of Camelot, when Merlin was fed up with the world of men, he simply disappeared. Some say he was captured by the Lady of the Lake; in other stories, it is more voluntary. My friend wrote a story in which Merlin is brought back to modern times using his "Three Relics"....his staff, his cloak and his throne. Because Melin and his magic were based in nature, he wanted the throne to reflect that so he envisoned it almost made from a living tree. Since he is a CGI artist as well as a storyteller, he was able to draw that concept. I have been wanting to reproduce this in miniature for a while but wasn't sure how to start. I was also captivated by that tree bed and saw it again recently. So I just decided to do it and see what happened.

Sometimes, the hardest part is getting started. :-)

Here is where a ended up yesterday. After twisting the wire (like forever!) I attached the branches to the sides of the chair with brass spool wire. Then I coated everything with thinned white glue....I used Sobo (made by Delta) because I have a lot of it. It is a PVA type glue like Aleen's Tacky.

When the glue was dry, I applied the polymer clay. It stuck very well to the film of dried glue. I was working with a combination of ethnic brown Proscuplt and some old blue original Fimo, again, because I had it.

In my rush, I stuck it in the oven (which proved a bit of a problem itself since the piece, with branches, is taller than my oven), totally forgetting that it needed tree texture BEFORE baking. Duh!

So when it cooled, I applied yet more clay and textured. Below is a close up of the tree texture after the second round.

I wired in a few more branches and coated those with thick white glue (per the advice of our lovely Nikki) and that is pictured below.

Lastly is a full view of the back....while we're waiting for glue to dry.
Since I am unsure of the final position of the branches, I hesitated to cover them with clay because once baked, they will lose most of their flexibility. Painting over the heavily glued wire armature with a coat of artist acrylics would allow me to fuss a bit.

I think, for this chair, I am going to make the bird's nest on top and use it in the Alice Project as I have yet to decide on a chair for the Hatter. I have some ratty old green velvet and maybe I'll cover the back and seat. We'll see.

I also have another unfinished chair like this and will probably make another before I start on George's piece. I think Merlin's throne will require that I actually make the chair base ... and I need a little more practice making branches.




nikkinikkinikki72 said...

I really love this chair and the idea and story behind it. Hope its finished soon!
When i wire up i use thick and very fine wire. My thinnest wire is the type used for making jewellery. I forget its name but its a crinkly wavy wire on the reel and comes in various colours. Its takes a while to work out how to reduce bulk (i didnt learn for ages and ages so everything ended up too big).
I make the thinnest wire run off the ends and then wind them with another thin wire keeping just one of them a tiny bit longer.because its so fine you can run several up running them off here and there without bulk.
I'll go and email you what i bought from ebay.
Its a uk seller but will give you an idea to buy in the states too.

Nikki xxx

WendiesMiniWorld said...

Oh WOW Tabitha! this has the makings of something fantastic :o) & I'm really looking forward to seeing the end result.
I love the CGI chair, its stunning, & would own the nest bed you were inspired by too if I was mega rich! another great site you may like is living trees, although I cant help but feel like the trees need a hug after all the manipulation LOL

Tabitha Corsica said...

Thanks for the link, Wendy. I have seen pictures of those trees. I also saw some unusual shaped trees by Axel Erlandson over on Ruthie's blog. He started doing it as a hobby in the late 1800's. I guess if the trees are shaped that way from saplings, they don't mind it so much. :-D

Caseymini said...

Tabitha, the tree chair is looking great so far. Can't wait to see it finished!

The Old Maid said...

I really really like it! Can't wait to see it done!:)

Creepy_Creations said...

I think it is turning out great! Can't wait to see more pics! Wonderful work!!


Debbie said...

Tabs, I'm really like where this chair is going. Can't wait to see it

Catherine said...

I think it looks fantastic!!! I can't wait to see it finished.

Cheryl said...

Fantastic and so original!

Ascension said...

Te esta quedando de cuento de hada, muchas gracias por todos los consejos e ideas.
besitos ascension

Michelle's Mad World said...

This is a wonderful concept and the chair is looking fab alrady! I can't wait to see it progress more.

I've never used wire with polymer clay yet, but I'd like to have a go. :o)

Michelle xxx

Tallulah Belle said...

Wow....I am even ore excited about it now :-) It is looking great.

As far as using clay and not having the flexibility, if you use molding paste you can texture it just like this and still retain some flexibility.

It won't be as flexible as just wire obviously but if you move things to the final place and they crack a little at the joints it isn't a big deal to fill them in.

Tabitha Corsica said...

Thanks Jayne. I have used modleing paste in the past but not in that way. I think we used it to frost cakes.... Anyway, I think I'll try it for the next one, just to see how it works. The glue and paint look pretty good right now though and were very easy.