Sunday, October 14, 2012


Polyphemus was one mean son of a bitch to Odysseus and his men. 

"The cyclops grabbed two of the men and bashed their heads on rocks. The remaining men cried aloud as he ate their comrades". He ate whole sheep in one bite, and tried to trap sailors in his cave (like a live supermarket for fresh meat).

But Odysseus gets even, poking the cyclops eye out with a stick after getting him drunk on wine before making his escape. 

He was one cool due, Odysseus. When the sirens sang to lure him and his sailors to the deep, he put wax in his ears and had himself tied to the mast so as not to be lured to his fateful death. Pretty resourceful really.

Anyway, here is my tribute to Polyphemus and the most awesomest-ever adventure of Odysseus. This is my most adventurest (is that a word?) assemblage shrine so far, gifted to my husband Luke for his 1/2 century.

Interesting that my biggest source of inspiration - the king kapisi of assemblaaazzzh Micheal deMeng, has just posted a blog on cyclops inspired work - the Santa Clops. I'm probably the world's biggest Scrooge when it comes to Christmas, but Michael puts back some reason for the season. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Making of the Tentacles, for Alberto

This is the story of the making of Polyphemus, the cyclops monster of Homer's odyssey.

Polyphemus grew from some tin foil (or aluminum foil as they say in the states), some wire, Ave's 2 part apoxie clay and a baby doll head. Some say I'm a sick puppy.

Baby's head got seperated from her body in a sad accident (ahhh poor baby). Luckily I found her abandoned cranium and resurected her, gave her a sex change and made her into He-Baby.  A builder left behind at our house, a box of these fabulous nail strips from his automatic nail gun, which I refilled with rusty screws and attached to baby's head. No longer a baby, now some sort of Punk revival dolly he became the base for Polyphemus.

But now for the tentacles...... hmmm how to make these. Alberto had an idea (lightbulb), buy some Finger tentacles from an online shop. Muy buen idea mi amigo Alberto, but not so easy to find finger tentacles in NZ. Too impatient to wait for the American post, I decided to make my own.

Here comes the clever bit. Looked on line and found a great tutorial by Propnomicon, a fellow blogger and tentacle maker extraordinaire. This gave me the basis for the idea. Fueled by the insanely talented Michael deMeng's workshop 'Mad Alchemists Guide to Assemblage', I discovered Ave's 2 part apoxy clay and ordered it up from a local taxidermist supplier.

So.......... take some strips of fencing wire and wrap with foil, bend into shape.

Roll out the Ave's clay into thin strips. Wind it around the foil and smooth over any lumps.

Stick into Punk revival Dolly head (since glued onto the top of my shrine), and add texture to the tentacles with a button or something like that.

I added an evil blue eye (Daniel Craig's), and painted it with gesso.

....added an eye patch, an earing and painted with color washes and.....Bale..... Polyphemus es finito.

This shrine was made for my husbands 50th birthday gift. Next post, I will put up some photos of the completed assemblage.