Technicalities of Little Shiva’s Chair

I am furiously dreaming up titles for Little Shiva’s chair at the moment.  I say furiously, because the title depends on my mood.  This is a bit silly, because the initial emotional pain which gave me the design was minor compared with what he eventually ended up doing to me.

So far I have come up with about ten titles, varying in viciousness.  I do not really want it to be entirely vicious, and I am hoping that the process renders me less furious by the time it is finished.  It is just as well it is a big piece, because I am not likely to forgive his making sure I cannot work in banking contracting any time soon.

I think my favourites for today relate to honour and dishonour.  This person has been rendered corrupt by cowardice and I am very, very angry as a result.  This usually makes for a better piece, however, I can see for example, from the work for Boris that I genuinely like him but I am very gentle with the direct work.  The associated work being mainly Conservative allows me to be a bit more savage.

In the case of Little Shiva, who actively damaged me for no reason at all and told a lot of fibs to other people because of his own insecurity I am quite livid, so it is taking a lot of work and energy.  It is a very complex piece.

I am working it, as usual, in layers. So, for this piece of work the basic shape is formed in 3d embroidery, which you can see some progress towards with the Wolfe bags on the fashion page.  This is an egg chair, so as you can imagine, equates to being a giant handbag in terms of sculptural embroidery.  I certainly don’t know of anyone else who does this, so I guess it is quite special.

To explain to any fellow embroidery geeks, my form of embroidery is based on horizontal tension rather than the more traditional precision, variety and surface texture, which is why I have to layer things very carefully.  I am on layer two now, and I have made the rather brave decision of doing the top half of the egg first to make it easier to work due to the size.

By the time I have punched in the carpet elements, knocked out the windows and overstitched it will be as solid as shoe leather and the egg will then be waterproofed before I start sculpting the outer shape, probably in papier or fabric mache.  It will then be gilded and beaded before being finished with resin.

I am thinking of also making the base for it, since I am only going to do this once, but we will see how it goes over the next few months whilst I build the shell.

There is probably another month’s work to do on the interior and ‘arms’ and I have also to create a viable trident for the top.  Thereafter it will sit in my studio taking up most of the space whilst I determine the level of precision for the shell.

There are a huge number of things that may go wrong with this, but the most worrying element is whether I will be able to get it out of the door when it is finished, so it may be that the dirty studio has to be cleaned and used, in which case the resin cannot happen until the summer months.  With something of this size and shape you cannot fully coat it every time and it has to cure between coats, which can take a couple of days or weeks depending on what you’re doing.

I am currently worrying away at the interior gold whilst I finish layers one and two.  Layer three is decorative and I also have to figure out how much 3d embroidery I add to the sculpt.

As you can gather it is a rather crazy thing to do and in terms of time we are looking at 25-30k, so I do not think I will be making too many of them.  I should also be concentrating on smaller pieces of work as a build up to this one in terms of establishing my name.

You know what it is like however, you have to work as the spirit moves you, and the spirit is screaming Little Shiva at the moment, probably due to loneliness but who cares about that when you can make a spectacular chair?


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