Hey, all! Welcome to my current big creative venture: Project Delphine! My plan is to transform my human self into a Mermaid. This project will be part of my senior thesis at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and by nature, is a hybrid of sculpture and performance art. I will be casting the tail in a special, silicone rubber called Dragonskin that is flexible, skin-safe, and will be embedded with a monofin (two flippers combined into one). The added support in the tail fluke will allow me to swim in the tail! I will also pigment the silicone with a metallic finish to mimic the shimmering of real fish scales.
This is a project I've been wanting to do bring to life for 2 years, now! And although I had the desire and motivation, I could not get the project off the ground (and into the water!). Since this past May and all through summertime, the mer-spark got reignited and I began researching and designing, again. Between reading, scouring the internet for articles, tips, how-to's, and researching fish, their anatomy, folklore & designing the tail, this project has certainly been taking on a life of its own!
The funds I collect go directly to purchasing supplies required for creating the tail, including the much needed (and rather pricey) Dragonskin silicone rubber, the monofin to be embedded inside, which will enable me to swim and splash around in the tail). Funds will also go toward plaster and clay for model-making and casting, the base (for painting), and pigments. I am also fashioning accessories using shells, fishing netting, and other nautical props, so that by the end of this, I'll be quite the convincing mer-lady!
The performance aspect of this mermaid project will be conducted outside, by either an ocean or a lake. I will now be doing a few of these, and all will be filmed and/or photographed. Photographs and film stills will be used to draw from later, however the tail and rest of my mermaidy costume must be completed before the performances can begin.
Risks and challenges
[Molding] For the molds, I have chosen a sulfur-free clay which is best for use with silicone. I will make the scale pattern, fins and fluke with this clay, which leads us to pigmenting the Dragonskin rubber.
[Pigmentation] I have to use the right metallic pigments to mix into the rubber, as silicone won't take just any old household paint! There are pigments to tint the rubber itself, and those are easy to get from the manufacturer of the rubber. Finding the proper metallic pigments is slightly more difficult because, if they include real metal powder, it can ruin the integrity of the rubber and cause it be less flexible, potentially leading to breakage. I have researched what pigments to use to insure that the integrity of the silicone rubber is maintained while still keeping my vision of a realistic mermaid tail. I found Psycho Paint silicone rubber base and Silc Pig silicone pigments will do the job efficiently. After the rubber's pigmented, it's time to cast!
[Casting] If not properly mixed or cast correctly, the resulting tail can fall apart, have air bubbles (weaknesses within the finished piece) or not be fitted right and fall off my legs. Worse yet, if I don't mix the rubber or cast correctly, I would have to start all over, again (meaning buying another 2 gallons of rubber and casting the tail and parts to replace the failed ones). To be on the safe side, I may need an extra gallon or two, as it is always better to have extra, than not enough.
Then, I must find an adequate monofin online, & fit it into the fluke before brushing on the rubber. I'll be making 2 thin flukes, to be later fitted together over the monofin & my feet, then attached to the body of the tail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)