Since my plant installation idea didn’t work properly, I had to try other resources to materialize my concept.
Iteration round 3
I redesigned the Na’vi jewelry piece and tried to focus more on adopting aesthetic and style that is similar to Omatikaya clan. I researched the type of jewelry that they wore, material used and its significant. I found that their jewelry can reflect their status and social standars. For instance, they use specific types of rope knots and beads. There were certain types of beads that they use but its number and colour might reflect the hierarchy and status within the society. With this in mind, I took note on what beads could be used.
Modifying my idea based on the material used in Pandora
Finding the right beads to match or mimic the ones in avatar proved to be a real challenge. To stay as authentic as possible, I decided to make my own beads from clay. I am not a clay expert but I enjoyed the learning curve.
Teeth and eyes creation
I read the Na’vi collects a special type of resin that secreted from a plant dandetiger and use that as an adhesive material. The resin also accumulate and harden after time. I wanted to reflect that by using resin to cast the thanator teeth. In tribal societies they can use sand casting to create their original pieces by poring the material in sand forms and letting them cool. Unfortunately, I don’t have sand but I created silicone molds to get the shapes.
For the teeth, I first sculpted them in clay. Then baked them and used it to get the form.
For the eyes I used wax and door knobs to get the eyeball shape mold.
I never used resin to cast an object before, so the challenge was to get it cure perfectly with a sheen on it. Actually, the annoying part was the waiting time for the resin to cure. I made a base layer first then topped it with another layer that is mixed with the night glow paint.
A video of preparing the resin, it requires some patience.
I was excited by the process but the challenge with working with resin it requires precision and temperature dependant. Plus, the results can be unpredictable. In my case, some of the pieces stayed moist while other not cured enough, maybe the resin layer was think!
I tried experimenting with different ways to achieve an eye look.
Necklace thread challenge
My next challenge was finding a way to hold the pieces together, especially the teeth and the eyes can be a little bit heavy and they might slip or break loss from the thread.
To better understand what the Na’vi use as their knots, I watched few clips from the movie to see the different knots used by them. However, my final choice factor was based on, as i mentioned, the ability to hold weight and the ease of threading. For the first problem, I thought of using a thicker rope to make a big knot that can withstand the hanged clay weights. As for the the threading process, I thought of tapping my fingers to mimic Na’vi hands. This helped me understand their work process and how they make threads.
my experience with threading, lets say I don’t want to thread ropes anytime in the near future.
Next step is assembling the necklace and testing the glow paint 😀