Monday, October 28, 2013

Silver Hands

A slight change of pace today.  As the name itself implies, The Girl Without Hands features a main character who looses her hands (through a foolish deal with the Devil that her father made).  A little later on she receives silver hands to wear... eventually getting real, human hands again thanks to her goodness and the kindness of an angel.  I'm thinking of turning the angel into a female scientist in my rendition of the tale, but that's really by the by.  What really matters right now is that I'm planning on creating silver hands as part of the overall costuming.

I've spent some time looking at 19th century prosthetics, as well as metalwork from the 18th and 19th centuries plus some pieces of contemporary haute couture which thematically works.

I love this utterly creepy Victorian prosthetic arm.  I don't believe I want to make on myself that is articulated, but I still am fascinated by this piece.

At the moment I'm looking at a couple different techniques for making the hands, although it'll probably be a little while until I can get into the metals studio and try them out.  I'm interesting in trying both electroplating and electrotyping to create metal hands based upon life-molds taken from the model (whoever that turns out to be).

Electroplating permanently bonds a coating of metal to whatever it is you've properly treated and immersed in the chemical bath, while electrotyping adheres to the agent itself and creates a copy from a mold.  Since I want to create metal hands that are essentially wearable in glove-like fashion, whatever it is I make will have to be hollow.  Electrotyping seems like it would be an ideal solution in this instance, although the technique was maining popular during the Victorian era.  To create something like that through electroplating, I believe I would have to create a cast of the model's hand and arm out of wax, which I could then coat in metal using the electroplating after which I would melt the wax out.

I have no idea yet which techinque might be more appropriate or yield better results... if I want to do raised relief decoration on the silver hands (which I would like to do), it seems as if doing that on a wax cast would be the easiest way.  But I think I won't know until I get in the studio and actually try it all out.

Or I could do a combination of metalwork and stitchery... like these killer shoes by Alexander McQueen.

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