January 9, 2013

there is a light that guides you

photo concept partially inspired by bloodmilk's wonderful piece the 'crystal tomb part iii'

this piece is tragically beautiful and extremely personal to me. i bonded with it the minute i saw it.

bloodmilk's designs are pleasantly light and yet the craftsmanship and materials used are of such quality you would think that this would weigh more than it appears - i can easily wear this necklace for long periods of time (and do, especially when painting) without fuss.  

the artistry this designer puts into her jewelry is simply breathtaking but if you have a chance, do read her descriptions for each piece - all of her mourning jewelry pieces hold extremely deep and emotional meanings attached to their invention. exactly why this piece struck me so once i read its description - i knew it was love and that it had to be mine.

i was especially touched to know that bloodmilk went out of her way to handpick this particular crystal for me as mentioned in an email (i love a seller who communicates with expedience and kindness) because she felt it was "much bolder". i love the ghostly flares and seemingly trapped wisps of phantasmic-smoke locked inside this pyramid...

i saved up all the money i made from selling my art in order to purchase another artist's work.

supporting fellow artists in this economy / industry is so vital! i urge you to do the same.

i also advise you to visit their blogs - knowing what inspires an artist allows you to form a kinship  with the pieces they produce.

bloodmilk's blog is time travel over the map of your soon to be departed soul and all its heartaches and unspoken desires. 


 now, let me tell you - this shoot was difficult! to capture one photo, it takes days and days of preparation.

i have had this concept of shooting candles on my shoulders for quite a long time.

when i discovered this necklace i felt it fit in perfectly with my idea of a guiding light - 
a light to guide you through the crystal tomb perhaps...

i created the candle shoulder pads with white sculpy by shaping them to my shoulders, baking it, and then using soft sculpy to act as something malleable to adhere the candles sturdily.

i did not bake it after this step to ensure that the candles would stay put and not break off, possibly setting my hair on fire and leaving me with a photo-shoot battle wound. 

so far, i have only had causalities with smoke bombs on certain items of clothing and my nostrils, haha

once i got the sculpy "shoulder pads" fitting to my liking with the candles in place, i lit them and allowed them to melt down to create a more textured and realistic effect BEFORE i lit them again on my shoulders...intense!

an outtake to give you an idea of just how hard it is, but how much dedication i put into every self-portrait i take - i do all this on my own. 

i had flames only a few centimeters away from my hair and face, so it was a little nerve-racking but i was extremely happy with the end results! another reason why i had to place my braid on the opposite veil and not go with the veil i intended to wear to shroud over my head and shoulders - i rather like the look of the top i am wearing in this photo as it allows your eyes to focus more on the jewelry.

i took quite a few shots in order to finally get 'the one'. i had to time the moment of lighting the candles with enough time to pose to my liking with it on since i can't seem to get my remote control to work properly. i invested a whole six dollars on a remote that didn't work for this shoot, haha

the wax melted perfectly onto my skin (which only hurts a little at first, let me tell you....) 
after i got over the initial fear of burning myself or dropping the shoulder pads while raising the other arm to take the photo.

the goal is poise when working with fire in such close range to your face (and potentially flammable hair!) so once i put on some chelsea wolfe, fever ray, zola jesus and dead can dance i felt a little more at ease.

ah, yes. the clean up. that is one half of the shoulder pads and about 1/4th of the mess i made on the floor, haha!

wax everywhere. the trick to save wood with wax spills is using a credit card or DULL blade to scrape it up without tarnishing the surface and then using a hairdryer on the lowest heat setting to warm up the residue - then wipe it away with a towel!

and there you have it. the process and the portrait.

i am happy that bloodmilk gave me this opportunity to finally execute this idea 
simply by her creating the magic that she does in her dark and lovely world.

xo, fox


Manda Rave said...

That necklace is stunning and your photography is beautiful dear, as always!

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