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Wayside Willow

Chaz Friend


Welcome to my blog


Here begins my gentle nudge into the world of the blog - never been here before - seems a strange country to me!

Over the next month I shall keep a journal here of my experiences of taking a single project from concept through to completion.

This project is to make an adult sized Mr Toad character for a school to sit beside thier outdoor theatre stage.

By waysidewillow, Jul 2 2019 06:35AM

Terrible blogging here!

I completely ran out of time to record and document the steps of making as I went, so this recording is all retrospective.

I had calculated that the steel armature would take 3 days to make. Whoops- big mistake. it actually took six, with a number of days working up to gone eight o clock at night.

I ended up adding much more steelwork than I intended. It was calculating where the willow was going to flow on the final structure, that kept prompting me to add extra detail. It seemed better to me to work harder on this end of the process, to ensure the flow and direction worked well when the willow was appllied, than to find there was not enough structure once it was made and I was working it on site.

My original plan was to have had the steelwork finished by the Friday and then on the Monday I would put an initial skin of willow on it. That would achieve 2 key things. One: it would reduce the time pressure somewhat on site for getting it fully finished in the 2 days; Two: it would enable me to see how the willow was going to flow over the structure and identify any tricky areas.

It was not finished by Friday... or Saturday... or Sunday. It wasn't completely done until late `Monday afternoon, including the angle grinding of roucgh edges and cleaning up the welds and painting.

By monday night he was safely placed in the back of my estate (just) with the willow tightly packed all round him.

The photo below is Mr Toad on the final day of making, but not finished yet. (I forgot to take a photo when he was)

By waysidewillow, May 1 2019 02:15PM

Mr Toad
Mr Toad

Here it begins: my gentle nudging forward into the world of the Blog. I thought I woud try this out on a single project. Over the next month I will keep a journal here of the process and (perhaps) frustrations of taking a piece from concept to completion.

This is a great project and I'm loving it already.

A school that has links with the RSC has an outdoor theatre stage in thier grounds. They have commissioned me to create a sculptural figure. At the end of February I was sent a batch of pictures and the one above is the one I have selected to baae this sculptural form on. All the pictures were Wind-In-The-Willows characters.

This character presents me with a few challenges; one of which is that there are many different representation of Mr Toad in both film and illustrationn, so do I try to make him look like one of these, or just pull out some key features of different ones, or competely ignore them all and do my own? I can procrastinate on that for a while as my starting point is to make the base, which I shall get cracking on tomorrow.

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