Swan

Only Good Things Happen at the Fair, by Neal Adelman
Ohio University, 2014

*This was a collaborative project. I concentrated on the foam carve and the paint treatment, while my partner constructed the 3/16” steel rod wing armature.  We both participated in the feather application.*

Foam CarvingThe setting of this new work was a trailer overladen with taxidermy animals, including a prize swan. We began by enlarging the profile onto a 1/2” plywood structure. Several layers of rigid insulation foam were applied to either side and carved to shape. The steel wing structure was attached to the plywood and expanding foam was used to fill in the gaps and hide the attachment points. It also eased the transition of the wing musculature and provided a bit of extra width to the breasts and sides. The form was paper mâchéd for rigidity and protection.

Flight feathers were hot glued onto the front and back of the wings in three rows. Hackle pads lined the body, up the neck, and lined the top edge of the wings. Finally the face was covered with the snipped sections of the flight feather vanes. The beak was carved out of poplar.

The water effect was achieved by first basing the plywood in a blue scumble. Then white glue, both plain and pigmented, was dragged in ripple-y movements around the feet.