Friday, December 26, 2008

Project KenDoll - middle stages

3. I remember Gattina owning a work of art in her initial Hotel Dare - it was a photo of a chainsaw. This particular chainsaw had the Chanel logo on the blade. It resonated with me at some level, so I decided to reproduce this for the doll. I mean, a chainsaw-wielding could I not?

To realize this vision, I had to, once again, rummage through the kids' toy chest. I found a broken, discarded die-cast metal
motorcycle. The wheels were missing and, more-importantly, the engine was the correct scale for Barbie-saw.

The engine was a glossy, plastic black. For Gattina, it *HAD* to be Maybelline Pink Topaz...because that's the only shade of fingernail polish in my house. Three coats later and the saw had a fantastic metallic candy finish.

The chainsaw still needed a handle. This proved to be the toughest part of the project. No plastic fiddly bits would work - I started going through my library of metal parts. I finally found the ideal handle in the form of a binder-clip handle. Bend to shape with locking-pliers and dremelled to size. It was thick enough for Barbie's lithe grip and held itself onto the saw.

The blade was fashioned out of a wood tongue-depressor, primed and sprayed with two coats of glossy black krylon. Photobucket for the Chanel logo - printed on glossy photo paper and cut to size.

Time for more printouts. The Gattina logo, Juxtapoz magazine covers, Hotel Dare hairbrush logo, and the Takashi shoebox top.

4. Debadging. The silkscreen was removed by scouring with a Magic Eraser. I probably could've left the hairbrush logo on, but there was something morbidly satisfying about erasing Barbie... The coat-hanger logo would prove to be more difficult to remove (because of its small size), so I just opted to paint over it. More black Krylon and the accessories are ready for logoing and mounting.

6. Hair, hair, everywhere - Another one of Gattina's trademark qualities. She's modelled her hairstyle after Amy Winehouse (beautifully tragic in her own right). If this was going to work, Barbie was going to need SERIOUS extensions. The toy-chest had no brunette hairs, and buying another doll just for hair seemed excessive. Did you know the arts and crafts store has hair for dolls in a variety of colors? Hey, neither did I...

The pre-packaged hair was just one long "thread" of strands curled and spiraled into a bag. It needed conditioning. Various posts recommend hot water and fabric softener. I had one, but not the other, so I resorted to my own personal stash of spiking glue and a hair loop apparatus (scrap board with three drywall screws).
Tie one end of hair to a screw, loop hair around the screws, then apply spiking glue and allow to dry. Bind together with needle and thread, unscrew to remove and affix to existing hair. Fluff and style.

7. The Certificate of Authenticity - I included one because it's like Collector's bait. Those late-night infomercial products all haz ''d be criminal not to put one in. More research on boilerplate COA text for works of art and some Microsoft Word templates - my certificate was done.

8. The backdrop - *THIS* separates the men from the boys (or the weirdos from the truly insane, you judge). The stock Barbie backdrop was a runway scene...and we're going Anti-Barbie. So, what I did was cruise up to the Hotel Dare lounge (top floor) and get a very hip screenshot of Charlotte Bartlett's work-of-genius. The vertical lines in this shot meshed great with the doll and accessories layout. I blew this up and printed it on oversized paper (9" x 12.75"). Trim on the paper-trimmer and...

..OK. You can't just glue the backdrop on, there's all that...doll-stuff in the way. SO, you have to remove ALL of the mounting equipment (the plastic bits and wireties), glue it on, then drill and cut all the holes for the mounting equipment, and re-install everything (doll and all) back to stock. Just like a brake-job, re-installation is the reverse of removal.

...almost done...

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