Hugo Seafarer is a one-of-a-kind piece in my ‘bears&boxes’ series. I absolutely love creating these pieces that challenge my skills and creativity. I began with a box built to my specifications by Jay. The process begins here with the plain box.
The next few photos show the layering process of paints and mediums for the outside of the box – back, front, sides, top and bottom. It’s like painting six canvas all the same way.
While the different layers dried, I turned my attention to other details that I expected to include along the way. I used a paper mâché box lid and created a porthole. Here are a few of the steps.
The photo that follows is one of many times I added patina to copper strips. It’s a fun process – at least I think so. One of those you get-what-you-get operations because the patina that emerges has a mind of it’s own.
Making some diamond plate, or something that looked like it was on my list as well. I began with very shiny cardstock that I toned down with some spray. I distressed it a bit more before I embossed it.
Back to the copper strips. Most of them were used to finish the box edges.
Copper pipes of an appropriate size and shape were a large part of this project. My method involves using a tiny saw, a heat gun, glue, paint and patience.
I’d never built what I would term as a balcony. Not sure what they call it on a ship or submarine, if there is such a thing. Maybe the bridge? It was an exciting idea which was a smoke screen for how exactly I was going to make it, especially the shape I wanted it to be. I used coffee stirring sticks for flooring and some of my ‘pipes’ for supports.
Next it was portholes. Not just the big one I started with but also six smaller ones. There were two parts to each porthole including a glass-like window. Each one treated the same with layers of finish for that aged and rusted patina.
How does the captain get to his bridge? He uses a ship’s ladder of course. Plastic rods, wood pieces, stain, paint, glue and a little bit of insanity were components of the construction of it.
This playful detail began a few years ago in a shop on a trip where I saw an octopus tentacle finger puppet. I almost left without buying it, but I changed my mind, bought it, and stored it waiting for just the right project to come along. This turned out to be that project.
Gears, gears. Ever so many gears. They begin unfinished so I paint them, and paint them and paint them.
Two more paper mâché box lids – square this time. Using themed scrapbook paper, I covered them.
It seems the closer I get to finishing a piece, the faster it goes and the fewer photos I take along the way, but here’s a couple more. Anchors and placing the pipes on one side of the box.
Then there’s the Captain – Hugo Seafarer. An adventurer, an explorer, a voyager. He needed appropriate attire. I often take photos of an arrangement to help me remember how I had planned it. Here you have an before and after of the top of his cap.
A detail of his wrist cuff.
The final photos:
The Left Side
The Right Side
The Entire Piece with the Captain in Place
Showing the details without the Captain
Thanks for joining me on this nautical journey!
And thanks for reading!