what I'm doing, what I'm seeing, what I'm thinking

15/07/2010

Plaster Bust: Tower Bridge Dragoon

I've introduced a military dimension to my plaster bust collection having become seduced by the extreme decoration of uniforms and headgear.
Tower Bridge Dragoon's
uniform is an amalgamation of various historical styles and periods but with a strong flavour of the Napoleonic (minus the bridge on his head I should say).
(To see the whole collection visit my website Plaster Busts)



I'm planning more military personnel because creating their complex costumes from real materials in the right scale, though challenging, is a lot of fun.



First coat of silicone rubber in the mould-making process.









I scour haberdashers for braids, cords, tassels and fringing. I found some of the ones used in this costume at an outdoor market stall in Amsterdam which had the most massive collection of styles and textures.



The mould is made in two halves -this is the plaster jacket for the first half.














The hat was the hardest part to make and I had to come up with a style which would accomodate the model of Tower Bridge. I bought it at a tourist shop next to Madame Tusauds - never thought I'd find myself hanging out in those kind of places!




I 'm not sure what hairstyles they really had in Napoleonic times but long plaits tied ina pony tail seemed like a good idea!




Showing part of the 'real' plait I cast from




In my research into military uniforms, I found that fringed epaulettes have been derigeur for centuries. They cast really well into plaster.




Stuffing for the plaster casts to make them slightly lighter in weight and give strength. I use a really hard plaster for the busts, almost as hard as concrete, and you'd need a big hammer to smash them!



Pulling off the silicone mould on the first cast is a 'hold your breath' moment - and a great relief if it comes out well and you know you've made the mould OK.
















































The 'fan' decoration on the hat is a total invention of mine - but I think those Napoleonic soldiers would have liked it - shame their military uniform designers didn't come up with the idea themselves!




Looking in to the silicone mould - a weird backwards face.





I'm looking forward to getting started on the next one. And by the way, if any of my readers come across small architectural monuments please let me know- I'm always on the look out for buildings to decorate my hats and would love to find more iconic buildings from far flung coutries - plus some modern ones - Sydney Opera House for example???.....................

To see the whole collection visit my website Plaster Busts

To see other posts about the making of the busts:

La Cavaliere

Making Plaster Busts

More Plaster Busts


Hello Len! Looking forward to hearing what you think of this one!
(Len is my most engaged reader - always taking the trouble to give me feedback which is much appreciated!)




6 comments:

  1. I love your work and seeing your whole process laid out here. It's all very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. HAHA!!! I even made it into the post! I was going to comment even without being asked, I guess I am your most engaged reader.

    He is great. What young feminine bust wouldn't fall for this handsome young soldier. Any romances in the offing? The male military busts are a perfect counterpoint to the women. The hair done in braids and then tied into a pony tail is perfect, it echos epaulettes and the braid on the hat and is very strongly masculine.

    I saw that you are in the Mint summer show, congratulations.

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  3. I just noticed that you put a link to my website, Thank-you. I love your work.

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  4. Love him. The detail is amazing, well done you.

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  5. adelina18/7/10

    AAhh, he looks so dashing! I was looking forward to see how he turned out! I think he is my new favourite.
    I showed it to my mom and she went mental! She loves the bridge and the fan. Love the braids as well.
    Best,
    Adelina

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  6. I really love these busts... they're so surprising, unusual, romantic yet perverse.

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