Friday, July 31, 2009

Presenting.... Angler Fish!

Sorry I haven't posted much this week, working on the fish was little & not much to show, PLUS I was almost done, so I thought I'd just wait & post all the rest when I finished!!! I finally finished & took pictures yesterday!!


But I do want to try and take some pictures at night or dusk, cause in the bright light you can't see the LED. But here's the final stages and the final pictures of THE ANGLER FISH!!!

Angler Fish Process 135Angler Fish Process 136Here is the start of making the eyes. I made 2 spheres & covered them in Black wool. Then I wanted a kind of Reflective-Eye look so I mixed some black & blue wool to use as the base color.

Angler Fish Process 137Angler Fish Process 138Here's the eye inside the socket, then with some accent colors felted on. I used some light blue & white for the final hightlights. He finally has some personality!!

Angler Fish Process 139
Time to clip all the fly-away fibers. I personally hate fuzzy needle-felted sculptures. I think I could buy a fuzzy piece, but I can't make a fuzzy piece. I'm too much a perfectionist. This step takes a while to do cause I try and get in all the nooks & crannies to clip the fibers. Then I'm covered in a haze of purply wool.

Angler Fish Process 140
Because I want to use the eye socket as storage for the battery pack (and I cut a space in the other eye for storing the batteries) I attached the eyeball to the piece with some thread. This way the eyes will never get lost or fall out. I know this would be my luck, so trying to help the fish out as much as I can.

Angler Fish4Angler Fish2

Angler Fish1Angler Fish3

YEA!!! HE'S DONE!!! I still want to take those night pictures to show the LED light. I think I might do that tonight & then I'll be listing him in my Etsy shop this weekend. I'm not really expecting to sell him (and just to be warned he will be SUPER expensive). But you never know... maybe some rich geek will stumble upon him & snatch him up for the bargain price of probably $3-400.00.

Hope everybody has a great weekend!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Angler Fish: Day 21

Didn't get too much done yesterday, but TODAY... JUST WAIT... probably not, but I will finish the fish in the next couple days. I started doing the accent colors, which is a slow, but final step. Going to go hiking in a bit, before it gets too hot out, so hopefully a bit of exercise will motivate me to get lots done today!!!

Angler Fish Process 129

I found these cool things at RadioShack. They are kind of Heat-Shinking Wire Covers. Instead of using tape or something hard to cover the wire connections, I tried these. They come in many colors and sizes.

Angler Fish Process 130

I put the covers over the wire connections then got to use my mini heat-gun!! You can get one at lots of craft stores & you never know when you can use one. I've used it a little at my real job with burning & melting styro-foam, but was sure glad I had it to use it for it's intended purpose!!

Angler Fish Process 131

See just shrink the covers over the exposed wires!! It was super easy. You can also use it for any everyday electronics you need to fix up. Maybe if you don't use it, suggest it to your friendly-neighborhood-electrician (a.k.a. boyfriend, husband, or dad). One thing I did have to remember is that the cover is a tube, so you need to put it over the wires BEFORE you finalize the connection. Although I did cut them, wrapped them around the wires, and heat-shrinked them & they worked great too!!

Angler Fish Process 132Angler Fish Process 133Here is the beginning of some highlighted "scales". They kinda look like dots now, so we'll see what I can do with that. I also added alot more PLUS white highlights. We'll see if I like how it turns out, if not, then I'll just remove them & fix it!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Angler Fish: Day 19 & 20

Hope everybody had a good weekend!! I was very productive & got lots of errands done & almost finished the fish!! I'm already planning my next sculpture, so I'd better finish him up before I loose interest. He's so close, I just need to hunker down & finish all the details off.

Angler Fish Process 115

I placed all the teeth in the mouth first using giant T-pins. I wanted to see what she would look like with the teeth in. I was so surprised and excited about how the teeth finally made the whole thing come together!!

Angler Fish Process 116

I then felted the teeth into the mouth. I first used the giant 36 gauged needle to really get them attached. Then I went in with the 38 gauged needle to sculpt them into the gums of the mouth.

Angler Fish Process 117
Here you can see the finished set of bottom teeth compared to the not-so-finished top set. When I felted the teeth in they kinda stuck out too much, so I had to sculpt them to curve into the mouth. This included felting the back of each tooth to help it curve inwards.

Angler Fish Process 118Angler Fish Process 119
Here he is all toothy!!! I think he looks super awesome!! I have to admit he looks better from the side, and looks alittle too toothy from the front, so even felted sculptures have "Good Sides"!!!!

Angler Fish Process 120Angler Fish Process 121Angler Fish Process 122

So after I finished off the teeth it was time to put in the light. I got some conductive thread to use, but felt more comfortable using insulated wire. So I needed to cut a hole from the top of the head through to the eye socket. I then pulled through the wires and had the original coin battery holder all ready to go.

Angler Fish Process 123Angler Fish Process 124
Next it was time to put the wires through the "fishing rod" I cut the rod down the middle to let the wires go in. I did test the wire to see how needling the wire would work, but luckily the coating is thick enough to not get damaged.

*No pictures - But next I felted most of the rod closed, up to where I needed to attach the LED. I also felted the base of the rod to the head.

Angler Fish Process 125Angler Fish Process 126
I broke my original blue LED light from playing with it too much. So I had to run to RadioShack & I ended up getting a bigger light. The bigger light meant that the coin battery that I had was a little too weak to make it super bright. So I swapped it out for a 2 AAA battery holder. I had t cut into the socket more for it to fit & will have to do a couple tests to see how long the batteries will last & how hot it gets.

Angler Fish Process 127Angler Fish Process 128
YEA!!! ALMOST DONE!! Just need to finish cleaning up the wires, felting everything closed, make the eye balls, & add some fun colored accents. It feels great to see him come together. So close, I just need to finish!!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Angler Fish: Day 17 & 18

Sorry it's been a couple of day since I last posted. I actually had to go to work for a day, then had to recover from going to work for a day. That's right, I had a job (for a day)!!!! It's been a while since I was a working girl, so it wore me out. It was a nice fun job, finishing up a couple small sculptures for Disney. It was at a new shop, the local scenic shop that makes alot of the Rose Bowl Parade Floats, so it was a great networking experience. Hopefully they will call me back soon!!

In the mean time I have done a little work. I need to finish up another Custom Order for this weekend, and I also wet felted some teeth for the Angler.

So I made about 50 spikes for teeth. I wet felted them like in my previous tutorial on "How To Make Felted Spikes". Be sure to check it out, cause I'm lazy and don't feel like reposting the whole tutorial here for you today. But there are detailed instructions, although I just noticed the awesome animated GIF I made for it is gone... Boo!!!

Angler Fish Process 112
So here are the 50 teeth I made. It only took me about 1 1/2 hours. they are kinda loosy-goosy so I still need to needle them a bit to firm them up. I like make spikes cause it's kinda mindless work, so I sat and listened to the radio & felted.

Angler Fish Process 113Here's me needling the teeth a little. I'm going to share a super easy trick with you. The easiest way to felt down wool is to first compress the fibers down, then felt them. If you compress the fibers, you only have to needle them a little. So with these teeth, I squeezed the tooth together, felted down the tooth, turned it and squeezed and needled some more. It kinda silly and self explanatory, but it works!

Angler Fish Process 114
Here's the difference between a needle-felted tooth & a non needle-felted one. You can see how much cleaner the refelted one looks.

Today, finish needling the teeth & start attaching to the Fish. Also, get the electronics put into the "fishing rod" and attach that. ALMOST DONE, only a couple more days!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Angler Fish: Day 16

So it was a productive weekend & I'm in the home-stretch for finishing the Fish. I ran into a few problems, but nothing I couldn't handle. We didn't do anything exciting this weekend cause I'm really trying to finish this fish up, but I think we might try and see the new Harry Potter today or tomorrow. I have to do laundry & some other stuff today (like bank & post office) YUCK!!

Angler Fish Process 99
I tried to hand steam the fish at first. I thought it would be really easy & great, but it just wasn't getting the job done. I think I learned that for next time I really have to follow the dyeing directions. I didn't exactly apply the dye at exactly 150˚, so I think this kept it really runny. So after about an hour of trying to steam the fish, I went to the big gun!!!

Angler Fish Process 100Angler Fish Process 101I stuck it in the microwave. I spritzed him with some water and wrapped him in some plastic wrap. I think I 'nuked him for a total of 10 minutes, which was a little too much.

Angler Fish Process 102Angler Fish Process 103The dye did run a tiny bit, but I fixed the big runs by pulling the wool up & cutting it off. He is mostly set, but still the dark dye runs a little bit cause I got some on my hands when I felted him. He also looks more purpley.

Angler Fish Process 104Angler Fish Process 105Angler Fish Process 106

This is what happens when you cook felt & foam in the microwave for a little too long. You get a big melty burn hole. OOOPPs!!!! Oh well, I just filled in the hole & then took some of the dark purple wool I cut off the surface & covered the white. ALL FIXED, can't even tell I totally screwed up!!

Angler Fish Process 107Angler Fish Process 108This is what fish looks like after an afternoon of felting the surface down. I also sculpted the deep parts back in. The body is done except for adding accent color like black in the shadows & some "scale" highlights.

Angler Fish Process 110
Took this picture as a test for placement for the "fishing rod" and one tooth. I am going to dye the rod today, then cut it open & put in the electronics, and finally attach it to the body. Then the only big thing left is making the teeth. I think I'll probably wet-felt the spikes & then needle them a little to firm them up & attach them. SHE's going to have alot of teeth!!! GRRRR!!!!

Angler Fish Process 111
Fun picture of testing my blue LED light. I have to get a couple of parts from RadioShack today, but then he's ready to light up. I think I'm going to hide all the hardware inside the eye socket, then leave the eyeball removable so that you can access the hardware, but it stays completely hidden. Pretty Smart, huh!?!?!?!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Angler Fish: Day 14

Special Saturday Edition!!!

I just couldn't wait to share how I ended up finishing him off til Monday, so I'm posting today!!! I am currently steam setting the dye, which is going alot slower than I thought, I might have a good idea with that, but I'll have to work on it & then share it on Monday.

Angler Fish Process 93
I started with a cup of clean water and a "Stencil Brush". I used this brush cause it has a big flat scrubby end. It also pretty stiff, so you can really get the water down into the wool.

Angler Fish Process 94
Then I brushed the water on to the areas that I wanted to lighten up. These areas were pretty much all of the high or tallest ares, like the eye brow, around the outter most of the lip. Then I also lightened the fins to help pop the darker spikey parts.

Angler Fish Process 95
So I scrubbed the water on in a very uneven way, I used kind of a stippling movement, or kinda like dotting the surface with water. I didn't want a hard line, but more of a gradation of color. Then I blotted the water with a towel which took up the wet dye.

Angler Fish Process 96Angler Fish Process 97Angler Fish Process 98

I like how he turned out!!! I think he looks alittle more scary and skeletal. The harsh shadows really push back those deeper parts & pop up the highlights. I like the fins to, now you can see the spikey parts. I'm very excited with how he turned out. Next step- steam set the dye, so that if he happens to get wet again he won't get dye everywhere. Then onto needle-felting more. He got pretty fuzzy with all of the scrubbing, and the I get to add the "fishing rod", his teeth, and some accents colors!!!!