Friday, 5 October 2012

Halloween how-to: a framed Jenny Haniver

Image courtesy of The Pink Tentacle.

These are Jenny Hanivers.  They're made by drying and altering the carcass of a skate or stingray so that it looks like a demon or dragon.  For more details, see here.  The next couple of posts will be a tutorial on making one of these out of paper mache, in a nice frame.  Just the thing for your Halloween decor, and a fun way to spend a quiet evening.  

There are detailed step by step instructions after the jump.


I've got a picture frame here which I got from the thrift store for a couple of bucks.  Obviously, I want Jenny to fit into the picture frame, so I've covered the frame in plastic and I'll use it as a work surface.  I've started with a wiggly tail and a couple of fins that will make the wings of the Jenny Haniver.  The fins are made from several layers of tissue soaked in watered down glue and pressed together.




Here, you can see that I've glued the wings and tail to a strip of cardboard.  The card will act as a spine for Jenny, keeping the different parts together.



I fill in the torso with tissue and glue.



Then I decide I want to add a pair of arms, so I make them out of rolled tissue strips and glue them to the torso.


Next I add a face made from paper pulp, with a spike on top that will form part of the head fins.  Go ahead and snigger, you know you want to.


And finally, here's Jenny's finished head.


All I have to do now is give Jenny a coat of paint, and prepare the frame.  I'll talk some more about that next time.  The last picture for today is a shot of the finished, painted Jenny Haniver.  I've used very light colours because I want to mount the specimen on a black background and this will help it stand out.