Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Susan's Accessories

Namely the bow and vanbrace.

The bow, as you may remember, is PVC that was heated with a heat gun and then shaped. Well, I had to finish it off. The tips of Susan's bow are supposed to be more ivory, but I just couldn't imagine shaping them out of the PVC. So instead, I used DAS clay, which is an air-hardening clay. No baking! It is much more difficult to work with than the Sculpey clay, which is what I made my Clockwork Droid mask out of. It doesn't smooth very well, and I had to do a second layer to make the shape even and get rid of naturally-occurring cracks. But, I think it looks pretty good. Using American brand acrylic paints, I painted the clay tips "warm white" - "ivory" seemed too white. The bow itself has vines carved into the ends, so I glued a strip of leather cord around it (too bad I couldn't actually carve it or somehow include the leaves). I did NOT worry about carving anything into the clay, since it was difficult to work with and I couldn't get a clear shot of the design, anyway. Plus, if someone's going to bother me about that when I've put so much tiny detail into other things, they need to get a life.

I also used the DAS clay for riser (where you hold on). In hindsight, I realized this is actually part of the bow, so I probably could have just painted it onto the PVC. Oh well. I then painted the riser a brick red. I also took a gold ribbon and glued that onto the riser for the gold bands.

The string is gold elastic cording that I found at JoAnn Fabrics. I used the same red paint for the riser on the string, then just tied the string around the bow. One reason I used the elastic cording was so that I can actually pull back on the string! I am happy to say that the bow is now complete!

The van brace wasn't tricky, just time-consuming. I had to make the leather brace and the ivory design as well. I was able to print out a life-sized version of the vanbrace, which I found in the book The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion. I used that as a pattern and cut the van brace out of the same brown vinyl I am using for the straps on the corset. I then cut out another vanbrace of the same size, but then cut it down just a bit. I then sewed the smaller piece on top of the larger piece, leaving gaps where the straps needed to be added.

The straps are thin and fit between the two pieces of vinyl. There are supposed to be small buckles to hold the vanbrace in place, but I could not find anything that small in any of the fabric stores, and I didn't trust looking online for one this late in the game. Instead, I used 3/4" vest buckles. I attached the buckles to the vanbrace using a loop of vinyl. The straps themselves thread through the buckles and actually work quite well. The final thing was to design the pieces that fit around the thumb. For this, all I did was cut a piece of vinyl and wrap it around my thumb. I then cut strips off until I had the right shape. I then cut a piece to attach to the wrist and after attaching that to the main piece, I used the whole thing as a pattern for the actual piece. This is stitched to the underside of the vanbrace. What I don't show you in this picture is that to finish it off, I painted the underside a dark brown using acrylic paint. I actually did that after attaching the "ivory" design piece. I am very pleased with the result!

The other part of the vanbrace is the ivory decoration. I had no clue how to do this - I thought about painting it, I thought about somehow doing it with PVC - but finally, Matt suggested that I use foam. I got very thin craft foam for $.99 at Hobby Lobby. I cut out the shape using the pattern from the book. I then hand-carved the design using the end of a plastic paint brush. After the design was sketched, I painted the entire thing with the same "warm white" paint as the tips of the bow.

After the paint dried, I took a very light brown acrylic paint and mixed it with a bit of water. I then brushed that over sections of the design and immediately wiped off all the extra. It slowly seeped into the sketches and provided some nice detail. The last step was to sew the decoration piece onto the vinyl. It's not perfect, but I think it still looks okay.

Here are some original pictures of these accessories:

1 comment:

  1. Incredibly impressed, the van brace turned out AWESOME!