This is one of my favorite projects. I made this during a time when I was trying to deal with my “dragon problem.” I was forcing myself to make a few non-dragon paper mache items before allowing myself another dragon. Turns out I didn’t get too far from dragons. A friend of mine was visiting in Thailand and she sent me some photos of a snake deity. Apparently, Naga- Dragon Queen of Snakes is hot stuff in the Hindu world (in Thailand at least). I decided to make my own paper mache version after seeing her photos.
The photos of this snake are a bit deceiving. This snake when unfurled is over 6 feet long. But it is nice and compact when coiled. Of course the coiling made adding scales and breast plates difficult. Speaking of breastplates, check out the view from the bottom.
I think it’s cool. And speaking of scales….I have to say, that was quite the labor intensive task.
It took three weeks just to add the scales. Note that they had to grow in size from the tip of the tail to the head. And, as I mentioned, since the project is rigid, getting them into the places where he overlaps was a real challenge. That was true for painting as well. But you know, this kind of detail makes all the difference. I realize as I’m building a piece like this that I’m probably making the piece too expensive to sell by spending so much time on things like the scales. There is a point where you just put more labor into a project than you can get out of it financially. That is, unless you are willing to work for less than minimum wage. And I won’t. (That of course doesn’t even take the “art value” (how much of my soul I put into the project) into consideration.) Sorry, don’t know why I got into that.
I wish that these photos would show the paint more clearly. There is a lot of subtlety in the color that my camera just doesn’t catch. Here are a couple more photos.
If you’d like to see more about the making of this piece, please visit my blog.