Tuesday, May 20, 2008

War Medicine - Feathers

War Medicine is a clay that I've had sitting in my studio in limbo for several months. I took it to a couple of shows since January of this year, but haven't worked on it much. Today I'm preparing it for the shows I'm going to be doing this summer.

Photo below shows the piece as I started today. The sword on the wall behind it is a replica Union Civil War Sword, that I'm including in the warrior's hand. It's scabbard is held with his shield. He wears a Union Calvary Jacket with the sleeves torn off.
I'll be reworking the feathers on the hanging cloth on the shield. They were badly damaged over the last few months of transport and sitting.
I was going to rework them in wax, but decided to change the type of Eagle Feather and therefore the length of the feathers will be smaller than the feathers I had. I'm holding the damaged feathers.

I take the feathers I already had, and cut them down, reshaped, and textured them. I make the quill by rolling clay into a very thin and progressively narrowing line. I use a paint mixers stick to do this. It takes a lot of practice to do it with your hand. If you use this stick, that you can get at any paint store, it controls the clay a lot better. You need to learn to control the pressure. Once the quill is finished you center it, and lightly press it down to attach it.

The photo's show how I try and make it look more like a real feather by adding breaks in the barb veins of the feather. I use an hobby Knife to do this with.

Feather attached and 8 more to go. Here is the photo of the clay at the end of the day. Still much more to do.

As you can see from this blog, I work on more that one piece at a time. This is a good thing. It keeps the vision fresh, when it starts to get dry.