Monday, 23 July 2012

Making a skull chalice: part 1

UPDATE: see the finished skull chalice here.

I recently saw this on the net, and oh boy do I want it.  Unfortunately it's $400 plus shipping.  That's not an unreasonable price for something like this, depending on how it's made, but I don't have that sort of cash lying around and in any case I can make one myself. 


Skull chalice from http://www.themysticcorner.com/

The Chalice of Herne the Hunter from http://www.abattoirlarue.com/

Those are my two main inspiration images for this project: the skull chalice from The Mystic Corner, and The Chalice of Herne the Hunter, an amazing work by Rick LaRue who describes himself as a modern primitive artist and who has been making incredible art for longer than I've been alive.
Step one of the Anderson method for making a skull chalice involves a trip to the Salvation Army store.  There’s no point in having a skull chalice you can’t drink out of, and that means I need a washable, waterproof liner.  Some kind of small bowl or vase would be ideal.

One like this, for example
Yes, I know the faux-rustic glaze is a dreadful '70s cliche, but I think it suits this project.  I want this to look as if it originated on the Eurasian steppe circa 1200 AD.

Step two involves paper mache.  Paper mache is not a material you tend to associate with beverage containers, but there are ways around that which I'll be talking about later.  A ready made skull would also be an option, but I don't have a ready made one and this way I get one sized to fit the liner. You can see how I've wrapped the liner in a plastic bag and paper mache'd around it. This area will be the cranium of the skull.



No doubt Dave Lowe can see where I'm going with this.  Go on Dave, make one of your own.  You know you want to.