Monday, August 13, 2007

Made Fresh Today - August 12th, 2007 School Nurse

I know I'm a day behind. I was double booked this weekend and it was super hot and when I got home yesterday from the Garlic Festival at the Carp market I had had it. So let's pretend it's Sunday morning and I am making this.
And I did make this at about 5am Sunday morning.
BTW why am I making something on a Sunday morning before having to do a show in the heat? Because with all the work I had to do all week I FORGOT to make this special order and when my poor Chris was filling in for me at Carp while I was at Strathcona Park, the nice school nurse from Texas, (who's on a plane this morning flying back to Texas), dropped by to pick up her order from me at Carp that wasn't there.
She ordered it last weekend.
I totally forgot.
I called her Saturday night, we arranged a drop off point for me to get it to her before I went in to Carp market on Sunday, and all I had to do was make it.

This is the first nurse I've ever made. So to familiarize myself with the archetypal "nurse" I searched google images to get a feel for it. I didn't realize that there are so many fantasies involving nurses out there. Some of these images were certainly interesting but not good for a mirror going into a school.
I did get to see variations of the nurse's hat, which was requested, and noticed what nurses are paired up with. Their "attributes" I like to say. In art history when you are looking at pictures of saints for instance, you can tell who they are by their attributes, what they have with them. St. Peter= keys etc. Nurses have needles (nope) stethoscope (maybe) clipboards (dull) and I thought, oh band aids!
So I was off and running.

Here's the nurse getting ready to be cooked:

After the plastic fuses together and it's warm and malleable I can shape it, but at 5am, after being out in the sun the day before and dragging myself around from the work of the previous week, I had some trouble. It was the "thumbs-up hand". I have a weird dyslexia where I reverse hands and fingers. I had to keep looking into a mirror to see how the hand actually looks when it's doing a thumbs up. My brain just wouldn't turn the image for me. On top of that, the arm position looked wrong, it was out too far and the upper arm was too long as this is actually an image requiring foreshortening, but I really couldn't get that at all. The first time I tried to shape it, I figured the thumb needed to be more pronounced and so I shaped it, pushing it against the background of the white dress but it looked more like a peek-a-boo nipple. NONONO! Wrong! Perhaps my initial search for nurse images was affecting me... So I pushed it over and figured I should emphasize the outer fingers and as the plastic was by now starting to harden (you have at most 3 minutes, if that, to work your design), every line for the fingers created a corresponding line in the white dress and it looked as if she was clutching her chest. Heart Attack! Again, NONONO! In the end I re-heated the surface with my heat gun and re-worked the surface, removing extra "clutch" lines on the dress and re-shaping, once more, the hand. Had I had the time, I would have re-done the arm probably, but I had to get it done. And, knowing how tired I was, I didn't have the confidence to believe I could do it better next time round. I really had to work this one out. In the end I added a few embellishments; simple shapes that make all the difference.

I let the school nurse harden up and glued her to the mirror background with the caption and the stars.

I was very happy with the final outcome. My nurse client was as well. I did hand it to her flat, instructing her to keep it flat so the images don't shift around until the glue dries in about a day. Usually it's okay after an hour but as she was planning to pack it in a suitcase I figured better to be safe than sorry.

Here's the finished mirror for the school nurse. Her attribute? The Golden Band Aid.

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