(As always, click to see the pictures close-up)
The most recent issue of Cloth Paper Scissors (my favorite magazine in the world!) included a feature article by the ridiculously talented Michael Demeng on making calacas. Of course I had to try.
The way you make these is to take Dollar Store figurines or wedding cake toppers (expensive!) and lop off their heads. I know - rather violent, no? I used a chisel, hammer and safety goggles and it was easy peasy.
Then I replaced their missing heads with skeleton heads torn from a garland, also from the Dollar Store.
Next, you cover the whole thing with modeling paste (which is like working with tartar control toothpaste - not fun but very textured) and decorate and paint them as you like. Using a paint pen was easier for fine details like the eye sockets and mouth.
For me, having a very tactile finished project is important so I glued lace to the dress and added dimensional flowers and added a veil turning my "pretty girl" into a "winsome bride".
The veil was one of my favorite parts as I sprayed it with yellow, brown and a bit of blue homemade glimmer mist and then burned the edges to make it curl after I attached it. The effect added a lot of age and movement to the figure. I used the same colors to dye the lace.
For the platform she's standing on I used a piece of scrap wood from our etagere that Brayden lit on fire back in May. I know those pieces would come in handy! The back (tall) piece is balsa wood, I love how it warps a little from the paint and gel medium and that adds a little bit more movement too.
After the wood glue dried, I covered the whole stage in modeling paste, waited for it to dry and then added painted book pages and acrylic paint. To finish I embellished the piece with wrinkle ribbon and blue Prima flowers.
You can see last year's shrines here.
This is my entry in the Mixed Media Monday "Shrines" challenge and the ethereal, non-corporeal, magic or supernatural challenge at Alter-it Monthly.
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