Monday, August 1, 2016

Enlightened One

The Enlightened One was in my brain one morning when I woke up. Every step was clear as a bell…and as an artist with several media under my belt, I knew better than to expect it to turn out just like envisioned!

There is an accompanying video HERE, and I suggest you watch for more in-depth explanation of my process. I will do a step-out with still images below.

PaverPol Bronze
1/4-1/3 yd Gauze fabric (yard goods like diapers used to be made of)
Strofoam base any size or shape
Activ-Wire Mesh 24" x 4"
1" crystal or other ball for head.
18 gauge (-ish) for backbone of figure, wrapped with floral or masking tape
6" or so Fine gauge copper wire


Trim the piece of Activ-Wire Mesh to be 2" at the bottom and 4" at the shoulders. Regular craft scissors will work. Fold in 1" on each ene to fold under for attachment to the base.


Cut piece of gauze fabric to fit base. I used one piece to wrap around the entire base, but you can accomplish the same thing with smaller pieces. OR, you can cut small pieces and collage on. You will want to let them dry fully before doing the back side.

I poured the well-stirred Bronze PaverPol into a smaller cup to keep from contaminating the main bucket. You can dip the entire strip in the small bucket, or brush it on. Another tip is to fold it in half, using your clean hand to hold the end, and the other to dip, wad, squeeze the fabric until it is saturated. Any white spots can be dealt with later.

Wrap the fabric around the base. This part requires patience because it takes the PaverPol :30 or so to start getting tacky. In the meantime, keep manipulating it until you get it to stay. Use any kind of tool dipped in water to help remove your fingers from the fabric. Set the base aside to dry. I put mine on a plastic cup so it would be easy to remove when dry. A non-stick mat will also release the dried base.


Cut a strip of fabric the length of the wire and wide enough to wrap around it. Saturate this piece of fabric and lay out flat on your work surface. Place the Activ-Wire Mesh centered on top of the fabric. Next, begin to fold the fabric over the mesh, and place the covered wire in the center.

In retrospect, it would be easier to anchor the wire to the mesh because I had issues with it moving around. Masking tape might work, or you could brush it with PaverPol and wait for it to dry. I was elbow deep in PaverPol before I discovered this challenge!


Fold in the bottom 1" ends and overlap. I had to finesse the wire, but again was in no position to regroup, so I had issues with the ends of the wire. A better solution would be to insert the wire ends through the fold of the mesh. Then wrap the fabric. This way the wires could be inserted into the base for a bit more stability.

I used some scraps of fabric that were already saturated in PaverPol to anchor the base.


I immediately stood the statue upright. Again, it would be easier to let the fabric set up at least :30 laying flat, but I was afraid it would harden too quickly. It won't. Had mine been set up before I bent it, the fabric would not have drooped on the inside. I kept helping it dry with a heat gun and wet plastic tools until it would adhere to itself.

The result was OK, even though I had envisioned completely smooth fabric inside and out.


Using the end of scissors, I poked two holes in the top of the form. Using the copper wire, I put it through the existing hole on the chandelier crystal and down through the shoulders of the form and twisted it to hold. I used PaverPol to anchor the head. It had to be supported until set.

Of course, I made a mess on the crystal. I was able to scrape it the next day using a craft knife. Take a bit more time with the crystal and try not to get PaverPol on it.


Keep all the dried PaverPol skins from your hands and work surface. They will be great in a future project.


Vicki Ross for all my social media links

1 comment:

  1. Now that is a wonderful way of getting your hands dirty! This is so cool looking.