Monday, July 5, 2010
A harpie, in mythology is part human, part bird. When I created this swan, my neighbor came up with the term "Harpette' for the anthropomorphic creature.
It all began when I was practicing sculpting cloth faces for one of a kind dolls. This particular head just seemed to say to me that it was a swan, not a human and thus the adventure began.
The body is constructed out of a wire frame, padded and filled with plastic pellets for weight. The wings are also wired. My original intent was to have the wings stand out to either side, but my wire wasn't strong enough to hold the weight of the fused lame prairie points used to create them. As she grew using lots of jewel toned colors, it was obvious to me that this was not your ordinary swan. This was a 'Vegas' swan so we added the feathers around the head and the boa around the neck.
As a project went, it was a lot of fun. My husband came home to find me talking to myself and laughing hysterically in the midst of creating her. He wasn't sure what action, if any, he should take at the time - and he didn't stick around very long to find out, either.
If you are at all creative, you will probably understand when I say, often you don't own the process, it owns you. I knew I wanted to make a swan, but this wasn't the swan in my head - this was the swan she wanted to be. Later I was able to make a duck that was well thought out and came out exactly as I wanted it. I'm not sure why sometimes it works that way, but I will say that letting everything just flow and happen is very rewarding and fun. It doesn't always work out well, but often it comes out better than what you had planned. So I try not to plan and organize every detail when I play.
This creation won best in show at one of the competitions she was entered into, despite one of the judge critiques that swans should be black or white. To that I reply 'get out of the box!'.