Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coraline Crab

Coraline Crab is complete! Here she is, after a summer of design and fabrication. I hope you enjoy seeing my new creation. :)


brass, sterling silver, and wood
10.5' x 4.25" x 3"

Coraline is my first animal portrait made from metal. My past animal portraits have been made primarily from fabric, so this is an exciting step for me! 

This portrait is also more three-dimensional than my past works. I am increasingly drawn to making dioramas and compositions of flat layers to describe a scene. This style reminds me of a stage or framed microcosm — a world within a world.

Months of rather tedious work have left me feeling relieved to move on to new projects, and I'm not sure I'll be attempting such a metal scene again soon! Spending a few days or weeks on a piece of jewelry seems like a piece of cake to me now. So, that goes to show it's all a matter of perspective.

Here are more pictures of the process...

Cabrillo Tide Pools (Summer 2012) – I took photos of some local creatures and their environment.

... from my photos and others online, I studied my animal of choice until I knew its basic anatomy.

Next, I created a sculpture. This time, I used paper instead of the usual clay.
... from the sculpture I did a drawing of my new character, bringing her into the computer to vectorize.

The vector graphic allowed me to break my drawing into pieces, making a sort of pattern for my collage.

I was originally going to make the portrait out of paper, like Glenda Gecko, but I decided to go big...

upper left: paper pattern pieces traced onto metal
upper right: metal pieces cut with jeweler's saw
lower left: soldered brass and sterling silver to make Coraline
lower right: lots of filing and sanding on all those layers for Coraline's cave

Most of the pieces are cold connected with brass tubing and wire. I even learned how to tap and die my own nuts and bolts!

After texture and patina, all pieces were joined together ... and here she is, yay!