Back in my Projects for 2010 post, I listed these old mannequin legs as one of the projects I wanted to tackle:
The main obstacle to realising any of the ideas I’d had for these legs (coffee table, garden sculpture) had been that the ‘cut’ at the waist was not level or waterproof. I had intended to make a top out of wood to level it, but it was always beyond my abilities. Then, thanks to Paul’s interest in cars rubbing off on me, I hit on the idea of treating it like a fibreglass car body, and shaping a new top. After all, the legs were already fibreglass. It was the inside of the waist bit that was wood and non-rust-proof metal.
First I needed to create a base shape to work to. Working with fibreglass is not unlike working with paper mache – lots of strips wrapped around something. I needed to make a base for the fibreglass to wrap around that was much closer to the final shape. So I wrapped cardboard around the body, lined it with bubblewrap to allow space for the fibreglass layer (and to make the ‘mould’ come off easier), and filled the gap inside with expanding foam:
Once the foam had set, I cut the top level:
Then Paul and I applied a few layers of fibreglass. While I was away on my trip, Paul applied the car bog and sanded it smooth. He did a fantastic job:
Then yesterday I painted the legs with Solarguard – outdoor paint designed to go on just about anything and to resist the harsh Aussie sun.
I plan to sit a plant pot on top, containing some sort of fern or succulant that hangs down over the sides.