Update on Mr. Mer part 1

Update on Mr. Mer part 1

For those of you who have not met Mr. Mer, here he is last year as I was working on his anatomy.

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1-2 Mr. Mer 2021

Mr. Mer was underwhelmed with how I had left his basic under-structure of his fishy bits.  I agreed with him that he was not quite as pike-like as I would like. The fish part of the body needed to be thicker and more muscular when compared to my photo reference. How can you fight snapping turtles with such a scrawny lower body?  I still liked the vestigial knees but felt the idea had not yet coalesced into a good integration between man and fish.  I will think more on this as I add bulk to his fishiness.

3 parts of the green fibre collection.

I dug through the greens I had been using, I was almost out of one of the colours I had blended and will have to blend more of it! I was using the large ball of “Olive” Corriedale as the base and adding other greens to mottle and create the colour for the under-structure.  The darker top that I was blending with the olive I am pretty sure some was the Superwash I had bought from the Black lamb.

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4-5 blending wool to build up Mr. Mer’s fish body and tail.

Since I needed a reasonable amount of fibre to build up his fish end I used the hand carders to partly blend the colours. (Nature tends not to have flat colours.) Although I usually hand blend small amounts for details, using the handcards or even dog brushes is easier on the hands and wrists than working with the same amount of fibre hand blending.  When I take the fibre off the cards, it is still quite a long staple. For the under layer and blocking in the basic shape this will work. However, as I get closer to the final shape I tend to tear the fibre into pieces from half an inch to an inch long.

Although I started with the armature and adding shapes build-up of fibre as per Sara’s instructions I have deviated well away from her original Mer-Maid design. She tends to work by adding formed shapes, but for this one, she added a wet felted skin layer to put over her under-structure. I have had more fun using a more blended approach of both additive and subtractive sculpture.  (Adding pre-formed shapes and felting them into place is a lot faster than what I tend to do with using layers and small amounts of loose fibre to sculpt into the desired shape).

You can see I have moved from legs with a tail shape Mer-Man to the beginnings of a more human-fish hybrid.

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6-8 upgrading Fishy-bits underway

I like the direction but need to increase the height and a bit more width of the fish section. I am investigating the popliteal space (the area behind the knees).  I like the angle of the intersection but want to raise the fish spine a bit higher.

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9-10  Needs a bit more

Oh no,  he is not going to like the way that tail looks, it’s a bit bear. I over fanned the armature of the tail and then added wisps of full-length staple. I added a bit to each side using a variety of needles and finally the punch tool (fake clover tool). so when I adjust the tail to the correct position the webbing should ripple like partly closing a fan.

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11-12 Working on the tail

That seems a bit better so I switched back to the body again.

13 elevating the top line of the fish body

I have made both the top line higher and am investigating the angle of integrating behind the knees. Tomorrow Is Library Day for the guild and I will ask Ann what she thinks. So it’s time for Mr. Mer to get into his project bag (not that I expect to have any time to work on him tomorrow) but I am sure he will enjoy getting out of the house and Ann will like seeing how he is coming along.

14  On Library Day, Ann Checked out  Mr. Mer’s Progress, she had a few suggestions.

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15-17 Ann critiques him

As we got the library ready for book pick up, Mr. Mer took up position on top of a small 8 harness loom to watch for guild members wanting their requested books.

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18-20  Mr. Mer is watching for Library patrons

 I noticed he was having trouble bending and has to maintain a push-up to allow him to look out the window.  I have to see what I can do to help him. I will start with an assessment of his ROM (Range of Motion) particularly at his waist but that will be in my next post.

I will hope you are not getting bored with the fishiness of my posts and promise to try to work on something different, but the next post will be part 2. There may be surgery involved!

Have fun and keep felting!!

13 thoughts on “Update on Mr. Mer part 1

    1. thankyou!! he has still more work on the pike colouring to go!
      there is no sea out the window (the Ottawa river is off in that direction but too far to see) only a lot of snow. we can still see the Dairy Queen store so not as much snow as some years!! (but winters not over so i should keep my thots to myself and not temp the weather!) i am not sure if he would like swimming in snow? it seem so much colder than when i played in it many years ago.

  1. Love seeing the progress of Mr. Mer. He’s coming along quite impressively! I’m surprised he is having trouble bending after all those exercises he’s been doing!

    1. Thank You!
      OH!! i had not thot he may have been doing extra exersizes to work on his muscles rather than the streatching i had showed him! i gess he lost patence that i would return and get back to working on him!!

  2. Mr Mer’s progress definitely does not bore me. It’s all very interesting.
    I am a little concerned however that with his pronounced “knees” he may find swimming a little difficult. He appears to be configured to use the human dolphin swimming stroke (bending at the knees and moving his lower legs up and down); whereas his pike fins would maybe be more effective moving in pike-like sideways waves. Or am I reading his physique wrongly, it would be awful if it gave him schizophrenia.
    Looking forward to Part 2. Don’t confine him to his project bag for too long.

    1. Ann i am vary glad you have not lost interst in his progress! (since i still have more work to do! And part 2 will be ready for March 1st.)
      i had been considering his propultion as well as the intigration of the two parts of his anatomy. i am considering that pike parts will be the main strenth of his propultion since his fishyness cosses the knees in both the anterior and posterior plains. i was also thinking that the knees and some at the hips will be more lateral undulation. the hips/wast will alow for grater rotational movement so he may have better hunting options than his Pikey cossins. (those tool useing hands should be able to pull crayfish from the rocks and keep the snapping turtles from thinking he is dinner.)

      i suspect a more tradional mer-person would have the rotated tail posion (like wairing swimming fins) and work with an up /down body and tail movement like a Dolphin.
      i wonder if the change in propultion is fresh water vs salt water? maybe not Sharkboy has his caudal fin in the vertical plane like Mr. Mer.

      blending anatomy is such fun to think about. but i think Mr. Mer’s knees are just a reminent of a distant ancestoral past. (more decritive than funtional). i am thinking the main spinal callome and cord continues into the fish spine rather than forming into a full sacral nerve and heading down the “legs”. (i bet most people didnt think i thot about this! and may be sorry i did?)

      i hope others will try non-traditional Mer-people too! (you dont have to consider the anitomical articulation, just have fun and felt!)

  3. What a fine figure of a manfish Jan! It’s quite obvious that Mr. Mer works out in your absence. Is he looking longingly in the general direction of water? The bag may no longer secure him if he is planning an escape.

    Looking forward to part 2. Great and amusing writing by the way. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

  4. Isn’t he handsome? His tail and anatomy are coming along nicely and it’s cool that you are having such fun combining different anatomical features. Looking forward to the next part!

  5. He is a magnificent specimen of the Mr Mer species. I may have fallen in love with him. Looking forward to part 2, and I hope surgery is not too extreme.

  6. I’m really enjoying this whole process. Mr. Mer will be a most magnificent fish-man hybrid once he’s finished, if the way he looks right now is anything to go by 🙂

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