Inside the Craft Studio

Ahdragha (Or, Crazy Winter Projects)

This past winter, I embarked on a crazy ambitious project. I need to do big projects every once in a while – wild, one off projects keep my creativity going when products for sale get repetitive. It keeps me from burning out when things get busy and makes me stretch my skills.

This year, I found out that Artomatic would be coming back to Crystal City in the Spring. Being a huge, open art event, I like to use Artomatic as a challenge to myself to make something I wouldn’t usually get to. This year, the though process went like this:

“I want to make something sculptural in leather. A leather sculpture. A leather sculpture of a dragon!”

The piece was created in pieces, as when I started working I did not know what sort of space I would have to display it in. I worked on the head first, then the legs, as separate pieces that would be assembled on site. I spent much of the winter cutting and dying 450 scales. Finally, a soft body was made to scale with the head. All told, 13 feet long!

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Starting cutting the many many scales out of my scrap leather.

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Close up on tooling the dragon’s eye.

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Planning out how all of the tooled pieces are going to connect.

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Dying the scales. Each one is a little different, which helped it look great when all together.

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Dying the pieces of the head. Layers of paint and dye made the unique finishes.

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The head, dyed and almost complete.

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Almost done – scales being added to the body during install.

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And done! Ahdragha assembled in her home at Artomatic.

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