The out-of-your-mind, scary, gravity-challenging bone dress
This project was a very learning experience as a lot of other new materials were used such as latex (for molds etc), expanding foam (2 components and normal version) worbla and paper maché. The rest was fabric, wood (mainly mdf), different types of glue, wire, craft foam, paper, clay, lots of paint, velcro, strings, little screws, metal parts and wonderflex. Without knowing it would take much effort, money and patience, everything was finished in 2013.
The trick was to create a dress as light as possible and easy to transport without the risk of breaking pieces. For example 3/4 different construction crown and ox bones versions before getting the wanted results. You can guess that frustration was definitely one of the feelings during this process. There was a moment where every negative experience came together with personal private changes which caused naming it “my doom project”. There was even a time where the dress was left untouched before I was able to work on it again. Even the big question popped up: “continue or not?” Since 90% of the work was already finished, it seemed unjustified to quit this labor of passion. Eventually it proved 2 things: my love for the character and determination.
In order to create everything working step-by-step was needed. The starting point was an existing underskirt. While making the dress it became clear that the underskirt had to be replaced with a self-made black one. Some metal boning was recovered and black tulle was added to create the look. The dress was far the easiest part, except the bodice and upper sleeves. A few models were made before finding the right. (Please note in 2011 no corset boning or a descent corset book was available here) Later on came some after work on the dress: effects with make-up and some nice spider web. The spiderweb was an unusual fabric used for decoration purposes. It was cut (based on the original enlarged drawing) and glued on to the dress.
Another easy part was the jewelry: making some teeth. These were cloned, painted and combined with screws from old little cell phone figures and left over jewelry parts: strings, chains, …
Then every bone / skeleton part came. The back part looked like a shoulder blade: Scapula but it was actually the pelvis, better known as hip bone. It was made from different materials and a construction with wire was set up so it would be able to move yet being secured. My next steps were the bones. Thanks to a family member some ox bones were retrieved. Everything was cooked with vinegar to be cleaned. Later on others were retrieved and molds were made. In total 14 real bones and 5 fake were used to prove my fake ones were well made. The skulls were made from a lucky find mold; the jaws were completely made from scratch. Several bones were tried out: chicken bones, lamb bones, … but none of them gave the matching result. Therefore an example was made and cloned.
By accident I stumbled upon the matching real bone for the central piece. All other bones were made, sanded, painted, detail effects were added, the whole time long. With a bad summer, long drying times it was impossible to finish it correctly in 2011, so it got postponed. In total about 500 bones were made. Some amongst them were bad experiments or dried wrongly.
Most time was lost in finding and using the right materials, the right paint and the right attaching/combining methods. Of course the shapes mattered a lot too. This project has far been the most difficult and challenging ever made. But the satisfaction in completing a project was unseen! The astonished facial expressions, positive comments from some friends and BG fans and results: A daily deviation on Deviantart, being featured on some internet pages, being chosen to represent Belgium in the Eurocosplay finals contest in 2013 and most of all receiving positive comments of the author. All reactions no one could ever expect.