Felting Alfresco (outside! Its Summer!)
Mer-Pet 2 part 2; Parts are missing, She needs her mouth and abdomen!!
Next day it was back to the side yard and I started working on the inside of the mouth
1-3 I have to think about this, I have it unfolded. So am I working on the roof or floor of the mouth? I got myself sorted out, wrapped the wire and added the base layer. Let’s look at the details of what the mouth should look like.
4-7 reference images for mouth
The last 2 manta are swimming upside down. The upper lip looks deeper than the original photos I had viewed.
Consulting the open mouth photos I had found, I added the gill arches and gill rakers.
These poor guys are being caught and killed for the gill rakers which are used as Chinese medicinal products to the point there numbers have dropped significantly. Dive groups are trying to educate governments that live Rays will generate more money through tourism (dives/snorkel tours) rather than what they will get from a corpse.
8–11 Adding the gill arches and gill rakers
12-13 Glenn holding the parts together.
14 I added the dark interior to the upper pallet of her mouth.
I also extended the upper lip which seemed to be longer than I had originally thought from other photos I was consulting. This is likely a mistake. I suspect the image I was looking at was falsely labelled as a manta and was a Mobular of unusual sized and colour. (Another option is that this manta has had Lip Injections to make her look sexier to any male manta who is a lip man?) I may be able to decrease the extension a bit.
Now for the outer gill flaps on the underside of the body.
15-16 making gill pieces
I used pins to hold the folded edge of the gill pieces. They work well to keep my fingers away from the pointy end of the needles and acted like handy extra hands. I left the wispy side un-felted to improve attaching the gill covers.
By feeling from the underside, I located the first and last gill arch. I used a bit of grey fibre to indicate the position on the outside of the body. I estimated the position for the gills in between.
17-18 adding gills
If you are going to make a manta and want to add gills I would strongly suggest starting with the one farthest away from the mouth and work back towards the mouth.
Now let’s add the lower jaw/ gills smoothing into the body.
19 Checking the back after attaching the abdomen/mouth. Looks good.
20-21 Check the attachment on the underside and the alignment of the mouth
The join to the body on the underside is too severe an angle. I will need to add more fibre to smooth the join between the body and wings. I also noticed that the join between the lower jaw and underside of the Cephalic fins needs a bit of work and the jaw angle is off a bit too.
Back to the side yard and let’s do the final adjustments to the understructure. It’s a bit warm today but there is a light breeze.
22-23 the side yard studio, it was a bit warm.
24-25 working on her lip problem. I used the edge of the foam I was holding my needles in.
26-28 I started to blend the body with the wings. I also thickened the white fibre on the underside of the wings.
It was good to see one of my Guild Friends drop by on her way to do other errands. I picked the catnip behind the big anvil for her furry kids to enjoy.
29 -30 if you look very closely the slightly rusty coloured thing under the very large plant of catnip is a large anvil.
Now Glenn can use his hammer and anvil again without attracting all the neighbourhood cats! (aromatic hammered catnip not as good as it sounds)
Then it was time to get back to work, but more on that next week.