Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scorpion fish

Here's my scorpion fish. FINALLY. You may recall the wooden sweetlip I prepared earlier. The technique for building this fish was exactly the same, except a lot more painstaking and incredibly annoying.
The scorpion fish is also known as the lionfish, or in PNG, the two-toea fish. This is because the fish is on the two-toea coin. Frankly, I've always thought this fish should be on the kina coin, or even the 20-kina nota, because two toea won't even buy you half a Chupa-chup and this fish is far too regal and stately to be so symbolically cheap. Nevertheless, we have named this fish LaToya.
You see these fish out in the slightly deeper sections of coral reefs. The spines on its back are made of a translucent membrane that is extremely poisonous, but beautiful (ain't that always the way?) and slowly moves in the current, giving the fish the appearance of a glowing, shimmering anenome. There are more spines and extensions on its pectoral fins, which means the total water space the fish takes up is much more than its actual body dimensions. It is saying to other fish, "Beware me. I am awesome and I will poison you good. Keep away."
In real life, scorpion fish are not that big. You could fit one into a small esky. This wooden one, though, is just over a metre long and about the same height.
I used the same techniques to paint and decorate the body, before pouring a solid resin over the whole thing. The time-consuming differences were the gluing of gold thread to outline the pectoral spines, the 200 individual sequins and shells and the hundreds and hundreds of colour-matched bugle beads to outline each spine.
I then put two small screws into the back and hung it using a very robust fencing wire. It's not incredibly heavy, thanks to the MDF, but if it falls off the wall it will snap and then I will cry.
This one took me just over a year to create, start to finish, with many breaks. Over the Christmas holidays I finished it off in a solid two-week effort. Very pleased and grateful that I and the fish both emerged in one piece. LaToya and I now share a deep mystical understanding. She hangs over the couch.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Fuck, that is fucking awesome!!!