Friday, September 12, 2008

Terror Tree Art

The idea of making some evil looking haunted trees has been rattling around my head for a couple of years. This weekend I finally quit thinking about it and got off my duff and started making two sets of faces for a couple of large trees in our front yard...perfect to greet TOT's.

The idea was rekindled by Patrick Nottingham (The Ravens Barrow) after he mentioned his plans to work on an evil tree...thanks Patrick for getting me started on another project this season :)

My concept is simple, cut the eye, nose and mouth shapes from some very thin paneling and make three dimensional using pulped papier clay.

The process started by designing the face and making a pattern from poster board.

I tacked the templates to a tree in our backyard to see how they would look. Note that the trees in the front yard are much bigger so there is no issue with the pieces not conforming to the tree, especially the mouth, it will be flat against the large tree in the front yard.

Next the shapes were traced onto an old scrap piece of wood and cut with a scroll saw.

Pulped papier clay was used to create a three dimensional shape. The eyes were created by molding the clay in a large plastic Easter egg to get a nice clean shape.

The first phase of the clay has been applied to the wood base, really just a rough layer to create the basic shape. Once dry additional clay will be used to refine and texture the pieces.

The game plan is to use some pieces of real tree bark pressed into the wet clay to give a realistic texture. The teeth are the handles from plastic forks cut into a jagged “V” shape. The overall style of each piece will need to be very rough to match the texture of the real bark.

Stay tuned…..

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