Sunday, February 27, 2011

Commission: noun

Definition: Getting some money for making something wacky that you never EVER would have thought to make, if not for the money.

That's my latest understanding of the word, anyhow. Here are some wacky things that I never would have thought to make.

First up, Captain Alaska! I took the job via email from a group of friends in New England. Their friend (who the Captain is modeled after) just got his professorship, and they thought he could use a puppet.

Apparently he is something of an environmentally-minded person, who jokingly goes by the alter-ego, Captain Alaska! Or was it Alaska Man? I can't quite remember. He makes a great puppet, though!

I tried something new with this guy. I had done a half-beard (or five-o-clock-shadow) before, and just stippled it on with Sharpie. I wanted to do something nicer, something tactile for this guy. The bits of felt took all afternoon to glue on, but the end result was totally worth it.

With the hair, I also wanted to try something new. I've been trying to move away from using faux fur for hair. It seems a little too common, and I like to think that my puppets have a signature style. I don't know what that signature might be, but I always try to give them that little something more, that extra inch of 'hand-made-ness.' I loved the hair on this guy.

Next, we turn to my most returning client, Heather of Green Genes. She came back to me for another gift for her well-loved wife, business partner, and Wonderland obsessor, Tina. You may remember the Alice painting, the Looking Glass nesting dolls, or the cute-cute-cute family of peg people. Heather is a great business partner, a better friend, and my most frequent client. Always a pleasure!

On a similarly different note, Heather and Tina employ one worker-bee at Green Genes, the magnificent Rachael! We became acquainted through my dealings in the store, and then she became great friends with both myself and Martha, my loving wife. Long story short, Rachael's sister got married, and she wanted to get them a weird something to commemorate their nuptials.

That, my friends, is the ULTIMATE wedding gift. The bride and groom floating over the reflecting pool in Washington DC, dressed as Wonder Woman and Hellboy. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING says congrats like a superhero wedding portrait.

This shot shares the moment I completely RUINED the painting! In all the excitement of finishing the picture, I grabbed a wax medium instead of a heavy gel gloss. They have nearly identical labels (unless you can READ), and almost the same 'wet' look. One dries clear, though... the other, opaque, like bee's wax. Not ideal. I let it dry and, sweating, sanded off the wax with a rotary sander. And somehow managed not to ruin it! Hooray!