Saturday, October 17, 2009

Felt Cuirass

Felt Cuirass Layout
The base material for the cuirass will be made of felt: a cheap, durable, easily altered material. There is more than one way to make felt look something like metal. In this case I decided I wanted the base layer to look like a sort of hammered-metal with lots of irregular stippling. The second layer will be a soft, organic feather detailing followed up by the final layer: a bright silver knot work pattern (the design for which has not been drawn up yet) After much experimenting and a bit of luck I found a process that would give the look I had in mind.

Materials Experiments

The felt is first sealed with fusible webbing. The webbing happens to have a very slight irregularity in thickness. When a mix of PVA (white glue) and metal powder pigments is lightly brushed over this webbing some of it soaks into the felt and the rest beads up on the surface. This gave me the stippled, hammered-metal look with hardly any effort at all. The feathers can then be glued on and silvered with acrylic gloss medium and metal pigment. The acrylic medium is not as heavy bodied as the glue so that the fine detail of the feathers is not lost. Figuring out the materials for the knot pattern is still a work in progress.

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