Editor’s note: Be sure to check out the companion piece!
When I saw the new Gabriel resin blank, I just knew I wanted to create a piece that resonated as an antique relic you might find at a market somewhere in a far away Italian village. Planning out the process in my head, I headed straight over to eBay to find a shrine that would suit such a magnificent statue. You can find many antique wood clock shell bases that work great for shrines. And, if you are lucky enough, you can find one with the glass still intact with no cracks!
Once Gabriel arrived, I set out to choosing my paint color choices and started the transformation of him. I knew I wanted him to look regal, so blue and red it was. Once I had him all painted I applied a coat of crackle medium for those cracks and crevices that I wanted the dark wax to seep into. Once he was finished, it was time to move onto the shrine.
The wood shrine had the same paint treatment. Acrylic paint, crackle medium, and dark wax. Then, it was time to provide the background of the shrine. The clock base was missing it’s back, so I cut out some cardboard and then covered it with antique papers from an Italian antique cello sheet music book I had. For the drama piece behind his head, I used the Helios I and II and glued them onto the paper covered cardboard.
I went to place Gabriel inside, and he was too short for the box. Time for another plan. By taking a wood box I had on hand (a block of wood work work too), I used Apoxie clay and connected him on top of the wood box. When the clay was cured and set up, I went about using some velvet scraps of fabric in the same colors of his painted cloak and glued them around his body making sure I was covering any exposed clay color. The trim at the bottom of his cloak is an antique gold/sequin lace trim and his belt is made of braided wire thread. I secured him to the bottom of the inside of the clock with screws.
I thought I was finished, but when I glanced at the shrine from afar, it still looked like it was missing something. I had an “aha” moment and thought of the many porcelain Limoges flowers I saw in Italy and decided to make some of my own….out of polymer clay. I looked up a youtube video and found a tutorial and set about making them.
The flowers added just the right amount of detail and dimensional objects that I wanted for the outside. This reproduction relic is just what I imagined in my head so many weeks ago.