Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Making a Bullion Snake

Making these wire animals aren't very difficult, if just comes down to making the armature out of a thick wire (20-28 gauge).  Once the wire is bent into the desired shape, you can use cotton floss to wrap the structure to the desired thickness.  While I have seen 'wood' listed in some museum entries for pieces I haven't seen or touched in person, the close pictures I have taken all suggest that wire that is padded is the technique for them as the wire peeks out or the structure has give.  Certainly the snake is all wire.

I have tried wrapping the structure with wool roving but found that it was so fuzzy that the next layer of Soie Ovale was difficult to put on without it disappearing into the wool layers.  Strips of wool just didn't give the smoothness I was looking for either.  I could see doing this with felted animals that were very compacted.

Once the padded wire was made, I wrapped it with Soie Ovale.  and then affixed the bullion to the
silk and started wrapping while I pulled the bullion open.  The originals weren't perfectly wrapped because it was just hard to do so, so give yourself some slack!  You don't notice when it is sitting on the table!

The more expanded the bullion, the easier it is to see the color that you have wrapped below.  I suspect that the hound from the National Museum of Scotland has embroidered details on the wrapped and stuffed form to make the black spots.  (He also has lacet ears!).

Once the entire snake is finished, you can bend it carefully around a pencil to shape it like the originals.

I truly can't wait to see what everyone comes up with using this technique!!


Yesterday's picture was a bit squished!

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