Wednesday, March 2, 2016


 While I've been away from blogging, I got a fun commission from someone who wanted a rabbit. I suggested two rabbits, and she liked the idea. I started my sculpting process by looking at all the rabbit photos I could find, and sketched poses and thought about colors.
 I knew my plastic grocery bag armatures wouldn't be right for forms that needed to stand and have a real solid shape. So I did something I haven't tried since I was in high school (I'm 61 years old, so that was a spell ago!). I made a chicken wire form for the rabbits and filled plastic bags with little pebbles so the rabbits would be heavy enough to sit firmly.
Chicken wire is good for a lot of things, and very good for armatures, but it is NOT easy to work with. Use leather gloves and sharp tin snips and wear safety glasses (don't ignore the last tip). This wire will act unexpectedly-getting a scratch on the face or eye is not fun, and you can avoid it with safety wear, and by paying close attention to what you're doing.
Anyway, after the wire forms were sortof to my liking-I covered them with layers of aluminum foil so I'd have a smooth surface to work with. Also, the foil acts as a smoother-outer for lumps the wire may cause in the form.
 The next step is to cover the foil layer with a layer of muslin. I anchored the ear dowels inside the heads with a medium gauge wire.
 To make the ears wider, I used plaster wrap over the dowels and made the ear shapes. I didn't show this step in photos. Grocery bags would have worked-perhaps better than the plaster wrap, as that is messy-but it is quick, and you get the shape instantly.
 You can see just a bit of the plaster ear in the above photo. I use plastic eyes, but someday I want to buy some glass ones for my sculptures. I use many layers of fabric and I used flax thread purchased at Cloth Doll Supply for the hand sewing that needed to be very strong. Can't say enough good about that thread. And Cloth Doll Supply is great.
 Here are the finished life-sized buns. The brown one has vintage velvet covering him.

Their little tails were made of that string 'fabric' you can buy around Halloween for ghosts things. I wadded up some and sewed it to itself and then to the bun's bun.
My buyer was so happy with these bunnies. I loved doing them!


jenclair said...

Oh MY Gosh, Debra! Your rabbits are fantastic! LOVE the tails! What a lucky woman to get not one, but two of these wonderful creatures. Jealousy is not an attractive trait, but I am green with envy.

So glad you are back! :)

Penny said...

Welcome back!! Your rabbits are darling! Thanks for sharing your techniques.

A bird in the hand said...

Debra, these bunnies completely stole my heart. Your work is amazing!

Deborah Nolan said...

Dearest Debra- so glad you have returned. I sure miss you. Wow your bunnies are amazing. You have certainly been busy. Got your email- will be writing you soon. Xo xo Debbie