Humans are obsessed with measuring time. Which is understandable, since their lifespan is so short. Some people’s lives more so than others, revolve around the clock. Jobs are extremely important for humans, as this gives them the currency they need to purchase their food and other basic (and not so basic) needed items and services. Because of this, sometimes people will take their jobs too far, to the point of becoming unhealthy and/or miserable. Something that puzzles me is that even though they complain about this kind of situation, they completely accept it, and I think you would agree with me if I said that it’s a very normal occurrence nowadays. Sometimes, working too much can break a family, but at the same time, a family can not subsist without paid work (at least in what “we” call “first world countries”). What a cruel irony, isn’t it? How did this come to happen, I wonder? I read somewhere a few days ago, that people used to work an average of 4 or 5 hours a week before the Industrial Revolution, but because of the changes that non-human labour (machines) brought, workers ended up “enslaved” to their jobs after complaining too much about the lack of work. Now, I don’t know if this is true or not, but however it came to happen, the truth is that average work hours have increased a lot over the course of a century. I wonder how far this will have to go for the working class to rise up and change things again. This seems to happen from time to time, after being pushed for too long by higher powers.
Even though the system that is currently in use (Gregorian calendar) is almost 500 years old, very inaccurate, its quarters are not equal, it doesn’t follow Nature’s rhythms, months have different lengths, weeks always start in different days that are hard to guess, and a long etcetera, most people still use it to measure time. Why? I believe it’s because humans are creatures of habit. They love their comfort zone, traditions and resist change. Am I wrong? Maybe. Do you have your own opinion? Of course you do, and I would love to hear it in the comments.
Now, down to business! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. I sure enjoyed mine! I love the liveliness of the Christmas period: carols playing in the background, so many colourful lights, people everywhere… It’s the perfect time to mingle with humans and learn about their culture customs! Anyway, I took a little break -as many of you did-, so I made little progress on Odrajux, but I took the chance to take a lot of pictures and share the steps to prepare the shield more in-depth.
The first thing to do, is to outline where the neck goes. I use a 5B+ pencil so I don’t need be too rough on the wood to see the line. Then, before drilling the holes, I put masking tape all over the line on the front side. I drill from the back of the shield because sometimes it splinters a little while drilling, and it’s better if that is not visible. I use a 2.5mm drill bit, as the galvanised steel wire is 2mm thick. This gives enough room to stick the wire through, but not enough for it to be loose afterwards. I normally make eight holes in total, four of which are normally on the cardinal points of the neck, as you can see in the picture:
When the holes are ready, I sand down any imperfections and proceed to cut some pieces of steel wire twice the length of the neck plus a few inches. If for whatever reason the dragon will need extra support (heavy horns, very open mouth, etc), I make them even longer and add them as support for the head and not just the neck. Because I drilled eight holes, I only needed four pieces of wire, which I bend into place and then hammer them flat against the shield. I put some masking tape on the wire to avoid damaging surfaces.
The next step is to protect the shield. I do this by simply wrapping it in plastic. I normally use a thick, above-average quality carrier bag that won’t break easily, and stick it right into the sharp wire all the way to the base. Then I simply turn it over, cut the excess plastic and tape it together. Quite simple, really. Once this is done, I stick the neck piece in and secure it to the wire with a lot of hot glue and tape. In this case, I decided to leave four wires outside and four inside of the neck, but this varies depending on the design. For example, when making Kaltakess, I made 10 holes/5 wire pieces and left them all outside. I did this to give a sort of like vein/muscle 3D effect to the neck, all the way up to the “ears”.
I hope you enjoyed this detailed tutorial, and remember to let me know what you think about time measurement and jobs (if you want).
Time for celebration! Now only because of the holiday season, but also because The Arcane Dragonry just opened a shop on Etsy! Etsy (as well as Paypal) offers a very safe and controlled environment where you, your money and your purchases are covered, in case something goes terribly wrong, so it’s perfect for those of you who are extra wary of buying things on this amazing thing we call the Internet.