Arte e Artigianato, con un Po 'di Magia


(Art and Craft, with a little Magic)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Skyship ERIS - Part 2 (December/January, 2018/19)

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS:   After research was complete, and sketches and plans were drawn, I actually started building in early December. 

I started with the balloons. I wanted a multi-lobed design with a coarse cloth surface, so I bought some cheap dollar-store balloons, and tried to glue them in a cluster. No glue worked very well, and then my son Paul suggested that I stuff the balloons into the "butt-end" of extra-large pantyhose. Well, that worked fine, and I was able to arrange the balloons, and apply layers of plaster bandage over that, to set the shape. Then, I popped the balloons, leaving the hard shell intact. At this point, the balloon cluster is about 12”High X 19”Long X 11”Wide.


5 balloons, covered with plaster bandages.


Finally, I cut some muslin material into pieces, stained it different shades of tan, and glued it on for a final rough-textured surface. The restraints are cord with brass loops and fasteners. A threaded rod was run through the balloons to support and attach it to the ship.






At this point, I put the ballon assembly aside for the Holidays.

In early January, I started work on the ship, or sky-vessel. The Gnomes call it a "ship" because that is a form they are familiar with, for water transport. The advantage of a "skyship" is that is doesn't have to be waterproof. This allows for more freedom in the design/build process.


The basic structure of the ship was built from clear pine wood strips, cut on my table saw. As in traditional ship construction, a keel was laid down, on a simple jig. The cross-frames and other braces were then added to give the ship its overall basic form.




Now the ship could be removed from the jig, and readied for sides and decks.

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