Snuggling up in a warm robe & slippers on a comfy couch, with a glass of whiskey or port by my side and my pipe full of cherry cavendish tobacco, and reading for hours is one of my favorite hobbies at night.
Thus, after the jump comes a list of books i've recently read that might interest most of you.
After the success and interest that was bestowed upon my last creation, namely the Feejee Mermaid (from Borneo), I thought about sharing to you a few pieces of information on taxidermy and the art of sideshow gaffs.
Gaffs are simply tricked exhibits. The most famous of them all, of course, is the mummified "mermaid" body exhibited by P.T. Barnum during the 19th century. This creature, dubbed the Feejee Mermaid (from the original spelling of the Fiji islands), was of course nothing more than a hoax.
Here's a picture of the finished product. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
If you ever try to follow my instructions and make your own mermaid, please let me know! I'd love to see what I managed to inspire!
For those who landed directly on this post, here's links to the whole tutorial:
Part 1: In which we discuss the flaying of the fish Part 2: In which we discuss the mounting of the skin Part 3: In preparation for the application of skin Part 4: In which we add flesh to the beast Part 5: In which we finish the job
Here's also a link to a tutorial on how to make the manuscript you see on the left of the picture
This time we'll deal with the finishing touches; coloration, antiquing and wall mounting.
First of all, it is important to support the dry mermaid for the painting process.
I used a wire coat hanger which I bent out of shape and slid under its arms.
For painting the body, I mixed a small quantity of paint matching the fish's color; I used burnt umber, burnt sienna, sap green, black, and gold paint to give a slight shimmer to the color.
I then mixed 1 part paint to 3 parts latex, and watered down the mix a bit so it goes on more easily.
Don't worry if the resulting paint is pale, it'll dry much darker. The great thing with this paint is that it won't be uniform; since it's translucent, there will be some natural variation in the color. This is a good thing if you want a realistic paint job. Also, cover the whole fish, not just the body.
Greetings, one and all! We are getting close, dangerously close, to completing the amazing feejee mermaid. This time, we'll see how one can apply a realistic, strong skin to the upper body to make it look like the dessicated flesh of a mummified corpse.
This part is my favorite. It's fun and messy, and doesn't require much talent nor concentration; it's impossible to make it look bad.
To add flesh and skin to some bone or armature, I like to use a combination of materials to achieve maximum strength and realism. For large areas, it's simply a matter of layering. For highly detailed zones, such as the hands or face, it's almost like sculpting with papier mâché.
Read the full tutorial with pictures after the jump.
This entry will be short. It is simply an update before I start the good ol' "corpsing" process, during which flesh and skin will be applied to the top part of the mermaid.
First of all, once the fish was completely dry, I applied a couple of thin layers of latex to the tail and fins, so that if chipping occurs, the chipped piece won't fall off the fin. After this, many layers of spray varnish or fixative (I used Tresemmé extra strong hairspray) are applied to the whole fish to protect it, since it is quite brittle, prevent the scales from falling, and seal it from humidity.
I came back 2 hours ago from the best show I've seen in the last couple of years. Alegria, by the Cirque du Soleil. DAMN it was fantastic!
I can only name 3 negative points: 1- We were seated on plastic folding chairs and the view wasn't great 2- It wasn't the original show, but an adaptation made for arenas. Actually, it's the same show, but y'know, it's not the same feeling then when you see it in the great, big, yellow and blue tent. 3- IT'S TOO SHORT! 2 hours just aren't enough. Gimme more magic!
Otherwise, I was sitting on the edge of my seat and my jaw was hanging loose 90% of the time. Last time I saw the Cirque du Soleil, I was a 7 years old kid (It was Saltimbanco, under the big top at Ottawa), and I couldn't believe my eyes. Now, at 19, I still can't believe how talented these acrobats, clowns and musicians are.
2 thumbs up to Guy Laliberté, Franco Dragone, René Dupéré and all the people who were behind this amazing show. They made me feel like a li'l boy again.
Last time, as you can recall by scrolling down to my last post, we dealt with skinning a fish for the purpose of stuffing and mounting it as a fishing trophy. You may also recall that I clumsily tore out the cheek of the fish, ruining its head. Thus, I cut it off.
The body of the fish still has a purpose, though; I shall use it as the bottom half of a taxidermy gaff representing a mermaid, as, for example, the feejee mermaid made famous by Barnum.
Why, hello there, my tsantsa loving, guitar refinishing, spider web framing honey bunches of oats! (You know you are. My blog's stats can't lie.)
Today, we'll skin & gut a sea-dwelling critter! Yay!
You see, my uncle brought me a beautiful, HUGE red trout specimen, fresh from the waters of Chibougamau, located in the barren, frozen lands of eastern Canada. And my uncle, being a fun, quirky guy like me (ain't I great?), gave it to me. Not so I can stuff my face with it, but more so I can stuff the fish itself.
I'll try to give you step-by-step instructions concerning how I did it., after the jump.
I'm a canadian multi-disciplinary artist, epicurian and all-around dork, working full-time as a 3D animation teacher in a tiny private college. When I'm not wasting my free time on the internet or gaming, I like to make stuff and learn stuff, with an emphasis on creepy, weird or unusual things.