(pottering – meaning)
(if you’ve clicked the trombone link above, tell me that doesn’t look just like a giant paperclip)
Been having some glorious sunshine (though horribly windy) and spent loads of time ‘autumnising’ the garden and thinking big thoughts around mini-ing.
Just got back to working with the players in the band and roughing up a trombone for the other part of the brass section. Then I realised the second figure (for whom it was intended) couldn’t possibly play it as his cheeks stick out too far and he’d never get it over his shoulder. He’s Mr Oval and he’ll have to go with the hose pipe horn instead which is all in front as it were, whilst Mr P has the trombone. Such as it is.
I do love paperclips. This ones pretty big. The miniature funnel for the bell of the trombone needs building up a little towards the back and is generally not fully attached yet so if you blink it may well fall off, but his hands are not too bad for holding the paperclip in place.
And the big thoughts?
I’ve said I’d not build another house but there’s this ‘thing’ that’s a-growing-of and won’t go away, so I might, just might end up doing it anyway. Sort of UK 1930s styling, but as it’s still festering away in my head I’ll let it grow a little more before I blab too much 😉
The hands and feet get attached
This is the try-out pair of hands (in white gloves) and booted feet going into action.
What big hands you’ve got
and short trousers over meat pie shaped bootees
and a rather startled look – ah yes, I failed to say that we’re improvising with all the instruments
Nice bit of fingering going on there but no keys to finger at the moment
Full figure: no shirt sleeves and horribly bulky cummerbund but both will be covered by yet to be made tail coat – note to self any other cummerbunds needed to be produced with thin fabric not ribbon. He also needs some buttons down the front of his shirt, don’t you think? I wonder if I can stick something on the cuffs too.
Well it looks like one tail coat to be made and it’s probably worthwhile having a go at four more sets of hands and feet for the other fellas. Wish me luck 😉
ps: Our friend here is built up and joined together with pipe cleaners, wadding and lengths of scrap fabric wrapped around his shape. His hair is boucle yarn with the core thread that holds it together removed and the ‘wool’ bit combed out with an old toothbrush, his braces are 1:12 furniture or curtain trim and, of course the horn is a hose pipe and funnel.
Don’t know what I ate yesterday but yuk last night ensued, hence today am wobbly, so wobbly jobs it is then.
Sneaking up on it from behind
I like using bits of a sponge sanding block
I do mean bits – here I’ve cut a chunk from the corner of a fine faced block.
Top row: One block, one set of ‘teeth’ marks from different sized scissors – you can gauge how frilly an edge you will get by how much you can cram into the jaws of the scissors and still cut.
Row two: Frilly bit between fingers on this face but sponge bit on side I can’t see so less damage done there whilst not looking.
Row three: The cut piece also gives one small and one large triangle with a right-angle between.
I find this a very useful implement when working with the dry clay.
Not brilliant but rubbed down and painted up glove and cuff with a little blue shading here and there
One leg sanded and one not
Silly to paint hoops when you’ve got wobbly hands but there you go
Also attempted ribbing down the socks with head of very fine crochet hook
Someone fallen in?
Pushing up hill
It doesn’t seem to matter how long you’ve had an idea or how much planning you’ve done, it’s the getting it up and running that’s really the hard bit. And, having gained some forward momentum there are always the bumpy bits that follow on. The time comes, as you turn round and catch a glimpse of the piece in the corner of your eye and you just know there’s something not right enough to pass in a dark alleyway unnoticed.
My mother-in-law used to tell a tale of her childhood. She was much given to pranks and one day, when she was about six or seven years of age and staying with her grandparents her grandmother could be heard mumbling over and over “There’s summat up with that cat” as she watched it crossing the threshold. Quite some time later the cry of “Letty!” went up, echoing all over the house, when the mystery was solved and young Letitia had to come out of hiding and face the music. She’d cut off the cat’s whiskers.
I find “summat up with that (fill in blank as needed)” a very useful phrase when mini-ing. I’m definitely adrift with the bandstand. It lacks a little gravitas perhaps, you know, the wrought iron municipal look, and the décor is definitely of the crowded and very messy variety.
The bottom piece of dentil moulding is complete as a balustrade edging
but the top one has been ripped down to the tooth bit only covering up some of the messy paintwork
And I’ve added a small pinnacle to the tip of the egg
Whether I’ve started to solve some of the summat that’s up with the bandstand by an addition of woodwork bits I don’t know, but I do feel a little less ‘itchy’ about it, that’s for sure.
but taking a plunge or two
I’ve been putting off and putting off making decisions about the five bandstand figures and about various bits of finish for the bandstand itself. Just mulling it over, you know. There comes a time when mulling for too long turns it sour and we’ve about reached that here so it’s stick a pin in it time on these two problems.
- For the figures I’m looking for cartoon figures with various eccentricities but should these include unusual feet and hands or not?
- For the bandstand – how much should remain white and how overgrown is the rest of it?
Ouch and Splash
(Warning never take the plunge with a pin in your hand)
Have just stuck down an edging of slate blue egg box crazy paving on a background of more greenery/paint and ground cover dust. This for the horizontal edge around the bandstand in the hope that it will give it a bit of visual grounding/weight while leaving the general white kiosk look.
Working when wet, claggy thick paint, egg box and shaken on ground cover
Looks a good shade of blue/grey to go with the blue/greens above
so far so good perhaps
Stepping back perhaps it does give it a more grounded look (no puns intended)
The heads and shoulders of the five have now come together along with pipe-cleaners for the core of the arms and giving the heads the angle I’d like.
These are as dry as two weeks can make them. Was concerned that with exaggerated noses etc that they might fall apart but OK today when handling and threading up with shirring elastic.
Looks like we’ve got some trouble between the hanging ‘tubular bells’ player on the left and the drummer on the right though
(Fanfare please), knowing that I’m dreadful with hands I’ve been doing some deep thinking and had a bandsman’s white gloved hand moment! Made a try at forming large hands with glove cuffs and a shirt cuff too. To go with that idea there’s a try-out pair of large boots (to be painted black) with bits of clay as laces and with longish ankles which may or may not become painted/stripey socks.
Hopefully it will be sandable but first will it hold together or collapse under its own weight while drying?
Ditto for this giant bootee Stripey socks do you think?.
If they work then there’s another four sets of each to be made and if not there’s just the one set to hide in a box somewhere. They’re going to take quite a few days to dry out so I’d better move on to the other decisions I’m pretending don’t exist.
Or I could always do that potting up I failed to do today 😉