We'd been given the brief at the end of last week but it was pretty vague -
'You will design and produce an A3 sized representation of a stone slab featuring selected artefacts from the present day in fossilised form...Each individual panel will form part of a group display which will become a significant display within the college'
As well as the plethora of dimensions and scales we were also told that amongst the ruined 'fossils' we were to have one pristine object (not exceeding 60mm in diameter!) as well.
I can't tell you how excited I was to hear the word 'fossil'. Honestly, it couldn't have been a more perfect project for me - not only do I love fossils and archaeology in general but the chance to do loads of weathering and grime as well, oooft, I was chuffed!
Well, until every possible idea I had for it fizzled out that is.
I wanted to do a set of keys that had corroded until they were nigh on unrecognisable (and would grant me a huge excuse to go crazy with the rust effects. :P) but aside from that I couldn't really think of anything. We were told on Wednesday that we had to have our ideas sketched out and finalised by Monday and by Sunday I was so stressed it was unbelievable. I genuinely felt like not going in at one point but thankfully I did and all was well in the end as Justin had changed his mind and constructed a new brief, one that not only made more sense but also made me grin with eager anticipation.
We were going to do a fossilised alien.
The brief was now along the lines of a large scale alien invasion taking place in the very near future (next week I believe, mark that down in your calenders everyone!) and with a large battle taking place in a rubbish dump somewhere in Glasgow. This meant that we could get away with adding a lot of random crap into our designs as well, it's a tip, there'd be loads of stuff buried in there!
We started off with 18 A3 sheets of blue foam - one for everyone in the class.
I was then volunteered by most of the class to copy Justin's sketch out onto it all - in hindsight I'd have changed the angle of the right hand wing/arm/tentacle as it looks horrific here but meh, it obviously got broken when it died. :P (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)
We picked our sections at random so there'd be no unfair hogging of all the good bits...but we were allowed to swap if we weren't happy with our bits so it kinda was in a way, lol. I got one of the bits of arm but David very kindly swapped me for the beak which was what I'd wanted to do all along so massive props to him for being awesome.
Once everything was drawn on and decided, the excavation began...
That's how it looked at the end of the day on Monday...
...then on Tuesday things started to look a lot more detailed. I carved out the teeth a lot more and used a very small amount of dichlo to smooth and soften the edges. (too much and it would have melted through the foam like the acid does metal in Alien! )
At this point I was just trying to get the teeth exposed and added in part of the upper jaw to further emphasise the three dimensionality of the whole thing, which I thought was important given that it wasn't really embedded in there at all!
I dropped some dichlo onto the surface of the 'soil' too and hacked away at it with a scalpel to give it a more naturalistic look. Many of the others had carved everything out very neatly which looked great but I felt that if this really was a rubbish dump which had been fossilised or at least in some way preserved there'd be very odd layers of strata and a lot of detritus.
I spent today adding in all the crap and bits of junk and retexturing everything with crumbled plaster and very fine sand.
...before giving it a thorough coat of paint.
This is just a first coat - the bones will be a fairly uniform brown/black colour to fit in with everyone else's and the surrounding ground will have loads of rust and grime and stone effects.
We've got next week to finish it which will be plenty of time I reckon. It's nice to have a nice stress-free project at last!
I'll probably be back on Friday with my semi-usual base-making updates but until then, EG out!