The Snake

Click here if you haven’t read Part 3.

I was saying to Jackie at work, that I wanted to wrap a snake around the center post, I thought it would look cool. The owl coming down to get the snake, you know good verses  evil kind of thing. I just couldn’t figure how I could bend foam around the cardboard roll that many times without breaking.

Again I was in the waste room and saw a piece of soft red foam that they use for packing. By now you might think that I live in the waste room but I don’t. It’s just collector in me that can’t resist a good piece of “rubbish”. To me it’s not rubbish, it part of snake, an owls wing or a stone for a wall.

I took it and put it in the office to take home latter that night. By now everyone at work would see me carrying some piece of rubbish from the waste room and their comments would always be, “So what are you going to make with that?” It was becoming a little joke.

Bruce was in the office when I walked in to leave the foam, his first words were (you guessed it) “What are you going to make with that?” to which I replied “A snake” he just laughed and so did I.

The next day in my garage, I looked at my square piece of soft red foam and started to cut  thin pieces, just to see if I could join it together and get the length I needed. I also needed to see if 1. it would wrap nicely around the roll and 2. would the joins hold together when wrapped around.

I cut both ends of the thin pieces of foam on a 45˚ angle and used some contact adhesive to join these two together (contact adhesive is very strong and flexible). I just applied glue to both ends, waited for 15 mins until they were both dry and as soon as they came in contact with each other there was an instant bond.

I left that aside for a moment and went to work carving a snakes head out of regular foam. This was just an experimental piece to see if my ideas would work.

To join the tow different foams together I cut the body and the head of the snake on a 45˚  angle and joined them together the same way as the soft foam. When I came back after about an hour to see how strong the joins had become, I knew I had my snake.

This wasn’t the finished piece it was only a test.

The next step was to work out how wide I wanted the snakes body to be so it was all balanced. If you have noticed a recurring theme in this blog, it’s all about BALANCE and perspective.

Have you noticed when you walk past a picture frame that is crocked, you want to straighten it because its just not right and you don’t see the beauty of the picture because you want to correct it.

You only have one shot at a first impression, so you want to get things right the first time. You don’t want people to look at your work and be mentally trying to correct it. You want them to enjoy the beauty of your work.

Anyway enough of the guru wisdom thingy for now, I’m sure I will blab out some more down the track.

Ok let’s get back on track, thats right the snake and proportions. I worked out through trial and error that 35mm (just under 1 1/2 inches) wide was the look that I wanted for the snakes body. As the foam was square and a snake is not, I would have to round it off some how. To achieve this I just ran a sharp blade down the length of the foam on a 45˚ angle and smoothed it with some sandpaper.

Now to carve the real head. I wanted the snakes mouth to be opened with it’s fangs showing, like it wanted to attack the owl. I started by drawing a rough outline on either side of a small block of foam and simply carved and sanded away until I was happy with the shape.

For the fangs we bent some thin nails, cut them to length and glued them in with Araldite (as I didn’t want them to move at all once everything was dry). I glued the head just off centre to the foam fingers supporting the ball and then hot glued the body of the snake as I  wrapped it around the cardboard pillar. See that wasn’t that hard, was it.

“Yeah it was.”

Now the exciting part, painting……

Click here for the grand finale

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