As an artist, sometimes I feel like I spend too much time on a computer. You become too reliant on "undo" and autocomplete and other cheats we use in our everyday jobs to create beautiful things. So I like to break away and use my hands once in awhile to make things.
Every December, my employer used to have a mystery gift exchange. Usually people just buy a bottle of something and put it in a bag. Every once in awhile someone would find some crazy BBQ apron or weird hat or something else that was unique and interesting. I wanted to be in that group.
One year I had the idea to build a life-sized Han Solo frozen in Carbonite, but I needed to start early. So in April I began starting to figure out how I was going to do this. There are a lot of steps between an idea like that and the finished product.
I started with a frame for it. But it was pretty big, so I decided that I could add a couple hinges and a handle so that it became portable. Once the frame was built I could focus on the body.
A styrofoam head from Michael's and some modeling clay was the base for Han's face. Then a layer of plaster bandages to capture the likeness. More plaster and my own hands were used. And a pair of old jeans, an old shirt and lots of carved pink foam fire-proof insulation was used for the body. Oh, and a ton of wood glue to lock everything in place.
And to top it off, a few coats of hammered silver oil-based paint provided that "Carbonite" feel and brought the whole thing together.
On the day of the gift exchange, I hid it in a back room and just had a re-purposed silver pencil box wrapped up. It was wrapped in plain brown craft paper with a "FettEx" label on it, address to a "J.Hutt" in Tattoine.
It ended up being hung up in one of our conference rooms and was always an interesting conversation piece for new people rolling through.