Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Painted Hog's Skull

This winter, I stuffed a pig's head for a friend's short movie. This experience in taxidermy didn't turn out very well; I didn't degrease the skin correctly so it didn't cure fully. However, it worked great for my friend's movie;

As a result, I had a pig's skull laying in my basement. I finally used it in a sculpture made for a class in college:
Giorgio by *ars-anima on deviantART

At the end of college, I couldn't bring that tall thing home, so I just ripped off the skull and threw the rest away.

I was once again stuck with that skull, without knowing what to do with it.

Inspirationg struck two days ago while I was bored out of my skull (HAHA A PUN! YES! I ROCK!). This skull SHALL BE PAINTED, proclaimed-I!

Thus I began ripping all the lights, silicone, wire and urethane out of it.

This done, I started painting the skull without any sketch or whatever. I used Delta craft paints; the opacity and fluidity of a quality craft paint makes it perfect for such a job. I didn't try to follow any ritual or traditional pattern; I just painted following as much as I could the natural shape of the skull. (sorry if you have to turn your head 90°, I'm too lazy to rotate the pictures)

I tried to use mainly bright colours to give it a gipsy or voodoo appearance; of course, just a few icons painted on leaving lots of the natural color, or a darker theme would look just as good if not better.

Once the main painting job was done, I sanded the hell out of the skull using a coarse grain sandpaper, and also a very fine one to give it a polished with us texture. Afterwards, I applied a nice coat of stain made of coffee, acrylic paints, white glue and varnish. Wood stain followed with a coat of varnish would have worked just as good if not better, but I didn't have any at hand.

There ya go!

old, dirty, and ready to hang!

If you wish to try your hand at skull painting, you can find already clean skulls on Ebay, or go take a look at The Bone Room or Skulls Unlimited. Be warned though that professionally cleaned bones tended to be expensive; If you're not squeamish, cleaning the skulls of roadkill or of heads bought at a slaughterhouse is a damn cheap option. The whole hog's head I used, who's meat was turned into great headcheese by my wonderful mom, cost just 10$ at the slaughterhouse.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I will never go to school performed by P.I.S.S.
(For the sake of stating the obvious, the original video is "I was made for loving you" by KISS)

Creepy Cherubs

If you're looking for inexpensive, creepy statuary, instructions on how to make the cute little devils on the picture above have been posted on Indie Shopper:

"I’m recycling this project from a couple years ago since things are kinda hectic around here. Being 30 weeks pregnant puts a bit of a damper on getting in the Halloween spirit. Between figuring out cloth diaper patterns and deciding on a car seat, it seems like my mind is going 100 mph lately and I, unfortunately, have no room to think of fun crafty Halloween projects. I sound like such a bummer already!

So I apologize if (for some strange reason) you’ve been reading my blog for the last two years and are bored with this project. If not, I proudly present….

Creppy Cherubs

ceramic cherub (thrift store/dollar store), Sculpy, Oven, Spray Paint (Black & Gray), Acrylic Paint (red & black)"

Go take a look at the rest of the instructions on Indie Shopper!

Framed Spiderwebs

Cobweb from the Art of Darkness posted a very interesting little tutorial on how to frame spider webs.

"A friend sent me a link to Whirled Wide Webs, which sells mounted spider webs. They’re lovely, but a tad pricey for what amounts to a glorified science fair project. With a little practice, you can easily make similar mounted webs for next to nothing.

If at all possible, make sure that the spider is done with the web before you collect it; even though they can rebuild a web pretty quickly it still takes them time and energy to do so. If you come across a really lovely web that’s still occupied it’s probably okay to collect it as long as you don’t keep bothering the same spider over and over again.

Spray paint
Stiff paper in contrasting color
Spray adhesive (hairspray will work in a pinch)
Spray varnish or craft sealer
Scrap cardboard

Go watch the rest of the instructions at The Art of Darkness!

Antique manuscripts: Faking it

An interesting thing to add to any gothic decor is an old, worn manuscript, framed on a velvet background, hung on the wall.

This, by chance, is one of the easiest projects you can do.

Antiquing paper is easy and fun, and it gives charm to even the most banal piece of paper. In my case, I used a roman catholic prayer of exorcism, found in a book of prayers (where else? :p ). Anything significant could be perfect, since more often than not it will be looked at instead of read.

The fonts I used are free and are called Rothenburg and Hartwig-Schrift.

I inserted a woodcut clipart found on Godecookery.com and printed it out on ordinary paper. I used a laser printer and you should too, other wise the ink will disolve in the watery dye you'll use later.

Once it is printed, crumple the sheet, tear it, burn it, do whatever you want to make it look tattered. Afterwards, you'll need something to dye it. For beginners, I suggest coffee. Soaking the sheet of paper in strong coffee will give it that old, crisp, sunburned parchement look.

Personally, I like to use watercolors, mainly yellow ochre and burnt umber. Adding a few dabs of crimson, sap green or prussian blue, gives a more authentic look to the page. However, be careful not to make it too colorfull!

All that remains is to let it dry and hang it. I inserted mine in an old black frame I had laying around, and I cut a piece of red velvet from a santa suit bought at a thrift shop as a background.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Refinishing your guitar

Ok, so you've got an old dented, scratched, sticker covered guitar. And that guitar cries, sometimes, at night. Cries because it wishes it could be beautiful. Cries because you neglected its looks for too long. It's time to take the matter in your own hands and refinish that baby.

Before I go on, however, I must warn you; there's danger involved.



No let's go ahead.

I started out with a 2 year old Epiphone Les Paul Special II. It's a 200$ guitar, so I wasn't very afraid to break it. I wanted to give it a bit of personality so I painted some swallows on it with craft paint.

bad idea.

To make this story short, let's just say that I felt a refinishing was necessary.

What I did was that I stripped off the body of everything. I took off the strings, unbolted the neck, screwed out the electronics. It may seem daunting but it's quite a simple task. At the end of this post, I included links to websites that might help you around with this.

Once this was done, I used paint stripper to remove the paint, and sanded the wood very well, until it was as smooth as a casket. Afterwards, the painting begins.

In my case, I stained the wood instead of giving it an uniform color. I used acrylic washes instead of commercial wood stain; it doesn't work as well but it did it's job.

Afterwards, I painted the designs on using high viscosity acrylic paints (craft paints would work just as well)

Once the paint was dry, the real work begun.

Over the course of a few days, I applied a huge number of coats of gloss spray varnish. The trick here is to apply very thin coats, so the varnish doesn't scratch off easily and you don't end up with a huge amount of dripping. I applied a whole can of varnish this way, and should have applied a few coats more, but I didn't seek perfection.

Once the varnish was applied, it had to dry for a week or two to harden fully and lose it's stickyness.

The varnish dry, I wet sanded it with different grits of sandpaper. I started out with a grit of 220, and progressed gradually to a grit of 1500. It is important to sand until the pebbled texture of the varnish is smoothed out.

Afterwards, the elbow grease came in. Using a polishing compound and a rag, I polished my guitar until it got all shiny, by hand. A buffing wheel would have been terribly helpfull, but the results were great anyways.

If you're interested in modifying your guitar, go take a look on these webpages. They were really helpfull.

Project Guitar
Paint your Electric Guitar

An introduction

Good evening, friendly freaks!

I hope you're doing well.
In my case, I'm absolutely glad to start this blog, so even though my ass is a bit sore from sitting a bit too long at the computer, and I long to drink a nice cold glass of absinthe while watching the stars, I find myself to be quite happy.

This blog has been started a bit out of frustration, to be honest with you. You see, I am an avid reader of blogs and websites dealing with the gothic, punk and DIY ways of life, and tend to accumulate a lot of interesting information that gets lost.

How many times have I searched through the whole wide web to find a small parcel of information I saw once but didn't have time to write it down! how many times have I wished to have a list of those interesting blogs and websites that quench my thirst for knowledge!

Also, I was slightly frustrated by the fact that most goth and DIY webpages are more interesting to women then men. There's nothing wrong with this, of course, but I'd rather learn how to build a coffin shaped display cabinet than how to crochet a bat-shaped doily.

In this situation, the best I could do is, of course, start my own blog, in which I would share my own projects and these little jewels I find on the internet that might interest readers with the same ideas as myself.

Be aware, however, that this blog is not all about craft.

Visual arts, litterature, film, performance art, music, the bizarre and other general knowledge are very important for me. Thus I see this blog as a place to share different kinds of information with you, readers. I am completely open to suggestions, as long as you are open to bear with me when I follow a post about making chocolate cupcakes with a post about Lucio Fulci's Zombie.

I won't bore you with my life any longer, parts of it will be released to you soon enough on this blog anyways.

Oh, by the way, If some of my sentences aren't grammatically correct, or if I do spelling and vocabulary mistakes, please bear with me. I'm french.