Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dia de la Abby #52 - Skull Sculpture.

This is my final piece for the 4.0 year. It's hard to believe, it's been a year already. This sculpture inspired by Nazca and Mayan skulls. I made this sculpture for the Skull exhibition of our Skull Appreciation Day festivities. It will be shown at Gallery 5 from June 3rd till July 8th. It will be available for purchase through the Gallery. This piece combines my love of ancient skull with some skills I picked up while making other pieces for the 4.0 year.

I made this starting with a fairly plain commercially made paper mache skull. I built up the back of the skull using newspaper. I covered the entire skull in several layers of plaster cloth, to make it stable and hard. After that cured for a week (I worked on quilts during that time), I covered it with paper clay. This took the longest, as I was attempting to smooth out the plaster lumps and add definition to the face. The paper mache skull's face lacked a lot of definition, so this was greatly needed.  After that dried over night, I dumped a bag of tea into a small amount of warm water and brushed on the tea, to create an aged effect. Since the tea leaves were loose, this created spots on the skull that discolored it more. I brushed most of it off, but when some pieces wouldn't come off, I decided to leave them, so they added to the aged appearance by resembling dirt. Also, since the paper clay cracked in various areas on the skull, I shoved tea leaves into the cracks, to antique them more, as if they naturally occurred from being buried for centuries. I painted several layers of tea stain on the skull. I used water color paints to create the floral design. I sealed the entire skull with 2 layers of an acrylic matte sealer, so it would protect the color and harden the paper more.

The 4.0 might be over for me, but don't fret. I will be making more things during the 5.0 year, but likely a monthly instead of weekly.

Every week in the 4.0 year, I posted my own Dia de la Abby posts as well as a tutorial with instructions on how I made my piece. Hopefully you feel inspired by my posts just as I was by Noah's Skull-A-Day 1.0 daily project. Need more of me than just a weekly dose, follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook.


Noah said...

Wow, I can't believe your weekly project is already over! Great, great work over the whole year. A big congratulations to you!

mim said...

Congrats Abby!

Abby Davis said...

Thanks, it's been lots of fun trying new things and rekindling some old ones.

Stefan said...

Beautiful work. I appreciate your comments on how everything is created.

Abby Davis said...

Thanks. This one is one of the most difficult ones I've done. My explanation makes it seem much easier than it was. Overall, it was worth it.