Too clever by half!

Another Witch maquette, this one a larger version of the head and upper body to work out details. It’s not necessary for it to be over-designed or perfectly rendered. A rough thing would have done perfectly well for the purposes of a compositional aid, which is what this essentially is. However, it would seem I’m pretty much incapable of allowing it to be a simple task, and instead I fiddle and fart about, just because it’s fun and I get swept away by the problem-solving.

So here’s the thing. To fit all those lengthy teeth into such a slender head, nature has equipped the Witch with the dental mechanism of a snake. When not in use, the fangs lie horizontally to take up less vertical space in her mouth, only jack-knifing into place as the lower jaw drops. In a maquette I could have attached the teeth to a bar that moved them out of sight behind the head, from where they could be pulled down manually. But instead I contrived a set of hidden levers that swing them in an elegantly descending arc when her mouth opens, and traces the reverse trajectory when it closes. Pointless for my purposes, but nonetheless satisfying.

Sometimes you just have to play!

12 thoughts on “Too clever by half!

  1. Clive, these hinged maquettes look as though you will animate them in video…or do you make them moveable only to work out stationary compositions for prints?
    I had a dream a couple nights ago of an animal with vicious teeth similar to your maquette threatening me. Frightening. A coincidence to see something like it.

    • In the past I have taken maquettes made for compositional purposes and used them for animation, and vice versa. Although these maquettes are intended as studio aids, I may well use them in other ways. There is a book-trailer to be made, and animation may play a part in that.

      When I make maquettes, I’m really just exploring ideas, and the use of them thereafter is up for grabs. I make them carefully, because it’s in my nature to do so, and as such they become objects in their own rights. I show them in exhibition, but these days I never sell them.

      • It’s interesting to hear your approach to making the maquettes… especially interesting to me to know how you could use them in animation—they can go this way or that—flat media (2D) or in motion.
        It could be possible to use both in a live reading of that story….using video projection of the animation. (Well, that’s where my head is at!)

  2. I adore these glimpses of the process and the mechanics of your maquettes!! Keep ’em coming, and please keep feeding your witch. Hallow’s Eve is getting closer…don’t want her to get hungry…

  3. Clive, I love it when you allow yourself the time and space to play (aka “fiddling and farting about”!!). The Witch maquettes are such a treat, but I am also thoroughly enjoying the pictures you are painting with words, as you describe, in gruesomely vivid detail, the anatomy of this particular witch!!

  4. I was put in dental braces at 11, but not the kind you get rid of in a couple of years. I have worn some sort of contraption ever since, and I still have to wear it at night, to be able to sleep. If I don’t, my teeth begin to hurt and to move, just like your witch’s teeth do… I don’t use maggots, just toothpaste, and brush, and dental floss, but when I look at your witch, I can see myself in her… Just a bit, but it is a scary bit.
    And, obviously, I love it .

  5. Fiddling and farting about , that is what I love to do best; you do it magnificently ! And now you know all you can possibly care to about the dental composition of our snakey brothers . Excellent little creation .

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