Sunday, June 20, 2010

June Projects: Charles W. Morgan, Eleggua, Peyote Rattle and More!!!

Although I have been working at the museums quite regularly of late, I am still finding time to work on some little projects here and there. Lest my patient readers begin to fear I've dropped off the face of the earth, I'll take a moment to share...

1. An old model of the whaler Charles W. Morgan that I had been meaning to assemble for at least the last year. I finally started on it, and am about 3/4 of the way through. I'll confess that I never had the patience for model building growing up, and still find the process supremely tedious. I made one other model of the US Navy hospital ship Haven a few years ago to display in my hospitalmuseum; I think the Charles Morgan may be my final foray into model building! This model won't be painted... I have another idea in mind that I will share as the project nears completion! Before getting started on the model, I drove down to Mystic Seaport, where the actual Charles Morgan is hauled out of the water for a major restoration, to get some inspiration:

The brick "tryworks" on deck, where blubber was boiled and rendered into oil.

The area below deck at the front of the ship called the "forecastle" where the majority of the crew members slept. Most of the props and bedding in the forecastle and throughout the rest of the ship have been stripped out for the duration of the restoration.

2. I have had a handful of bone choker tube beads laying around for a while; I combined them with some India glass trade beads and made a nice, simple Plains Indian-style choker. This may end up in the FinderMaker online shop when I start stocking it up, as I'm not generally one to leave the house done up in Native American-style regalia (if you were to infer that I am apt to parade around inside the house in Native American regalia, though, you might just be on to something!)

3. This is a replica of a wonderful coconut and cowrie shell Eleggua effigy I saw online . It was for sale, but was way out of my price range, and anyway it looked like a fun project to replicate at home! I'm not done with it yet; just need to find some colorful little feathers and a few other magical sundries to adorn it with!

4. I made one of these peyote ceremony rattles about a year ago, and, after running across an extra gourd I had purchased at a farmer's market last year, decided it was time to assemble another. I think this one has turned out beautifully so far; the feather and horsehair tip on this one is extra fancy! The next step will be to add the peyote-stitch beadwork over the white leather portions; I think the beadwork on this one will have several shades of green in it. I can't wait to share photos when it is done!

5. You are probably getting awfully tired of seeing this thing! I took the strip of lazy-stitch beadwork off of the front once again and re-did it in the pattern you see presently. I also replaced the earlier cobalt beads on the red sheepskin portion with old turquoise-colored glass trade beads, and affixed the abalone and tin-cone hair drops around the sides and back (I will do a complete post with photos of all of this when it is completed!) I chose some of the finest wild turkey feathers from the batch I found at Mount Hope Farm, and have wrapped and stitched red sheepskin around the base of each in preparation for affixing them to the top of the cap. I'm finally happy with the way that front beadwork strip looks, and will definitely be keeping it!

6. In fact, I liked the beadwork pattern I came up with for the cap above so much that I just kept going with it on my little bead loom... I guess I have a hatband now!

7. One of my earliest FinderMaker posts showed me crafting a replica of an old whaling harpoon. I had made examples of two of the predominant styles of hand-darted harpoons: the double-flue and toggle irons, and figured I should add the third common style, the single-flue iron, to complete the set. The baked fimo head has been epoxied onto the shaft, and the seam sanded smooth; now the shaft and head will be painted to resemble old metal, then affixed to the cedar pole that is all shaped, sanded and ready to receive it. This is a fun project to work on using readily available materials; if your collection of nautical artifacts could benefit from the addition of a real showpiece, I encourage you to go back and follow my how-to!

Thank you so much for sticking around... I regret that I've allowed so much time to lapse since my last post! I'll be sure to do updates as I complete these (and other!) projects. Thanks for joining me!!!

1 comment:

pam said...

Thank you for the update! It's fun to see what you have been up to instead of posting! :-)

Hard to balance personal projects and writing blog posts. But this kind of update is a great way to keep us all in the loop!

And thanks for the tour of the whaler - I hope you will share more images of the inside once restoration is completed. Fascinating! i had no idea the blubber was actually boiled down and rendered into oil right on the ship. I would think they had to be very careful with the fire.

Well done! Another enjoyable post!