Friday, March 16, 2012

Wooden Dragon Continued

I used the band saw for a majority of the cutting and then sanded down the parts. The shape of the tail made it particularly hard to cut with the band saw because it would hit the wall and get in the way. This picture is of the head body and tail finally put together. I took a photo with it to show how tall it was getting.

I attached the legs and added feet and claws. I made the feet flat so that it could stand on its own two feet and I added claws to the feet. The claws ended up helping give the dragon a wider footprint and made it more stable. Because I ended up having to make my dragon a lot thinner than I had originally planned he did not have a very wide stance and so the ankles ended up having to attach to the sides of the feet which gave the dragon a bit of a wobble side to side. The claws helped with this and later triangles were added to the ankles for extra support. He can stand on his own pretty well but if he were to be outside in the wind I think I would add an additional pole or something for stability as he could still be knocked over possibly in a large gust.

Once the dragon was all put together I painted on white outdoor primer on him. For any interior parts I felt I could not reach with the brush I used a spray on primer. I then started painting him a cherry red color with some outdoor paint. It took a lot longer to paint the sculpture than I had originally thought it would. The paint also ended up costing a lot more than I expected.

I added touches of black to his horns, tongue, and claws. Here he is after he was finished being painted

Here is a close up of the black trim on his horns and tongue
We had to take the sculptures home by the weekend because they are so big and take up so much space. We did not have a truck and we weren't sure if or how we were going to get it home. Luckily the back seat of my husbands car folds down and we were able to get the dragon in deep enough to be secure. We used straps to hold him in and the trunk closed. I am sure it confused the other drivers on the road.

Once we got it up the stairs I realized how ridiculously huge this sculpture was. I had to take a picture of it on the balcony because I found it kind of funny. It is a little bit big to fit in the apartment and I am hoping to find a more permanent home for it soon.

Some parts of the dragon turned out really well and some parts of the dragon had to be compromised for time. I would have really liked to have made him wider with slats in between his torso and head. I also would have liked to have made the more complex wing design I had decided on which would have made him more 3-D. I also thought about hanging canvas or something from the wings to give them a membrane. Time was not on my side with this project and I simplified it quite a bit to get it done by the deadline.

All of my original measurements were pretty spot on and my initial planning went really well. If I had been more confident with the wood working tools and had more time I think that the dragon could have been just like my plans. As it is I am almost glad that it is not because it would have ended up taking up even more space!

The sculpture has outdoor paint and so it can go outside if it has to some day. I am hoping to find a place to keep it other than my apartment because it is so large.

All things considered I think I learned a lot about working with wood and I feel a lot more comfortable with the tools and process. I think that the next time I work in wood the project will go a lot quicker and smoother and I will know more what to expect.

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