This is my Dream Team project this week and also my entry into this week's challenge at the City Crafter Challenge Blog, the theme for which is 'Shades of Green'.
The minute I saw 'Prima', the adorable and curvy ballerina by Mo Manning, I thought of a musical box ballerina, turning pirouettes. I knew there had to be a way to engineer something that would move so that Prima could achieve her pirouetting potential! As usually happens in these instances, I went to bed with the idea in my head and then bounced out at around 6.00 a.m. with the mechanism clearly in my mind. Let me show you the pictures and then I'll try to describe how she was made.
Papers: Cosmo Cricket
There are two images here - both 'Prima' but one is flipped to face the other way. I printed the images out side by side on my paper and then coloured them with my Copics, carefully matching what seemed like each stroke to get two identical ballerinas, one facing left, one facing right. All will become clear, I promise.
Here's the close up - you can see that I have cut very closely around the images (yup, there are two, believe me!).
The little red roses were made by roughly cutting various sizes of circles from red paper and then spiral cutting the circles and winding them to create the rose. Check out this tutorial on Papercraft Planet - it's easier than me trying to explain!
So, here's the bit I've been dying to show you. This project has been ready for a few days and it has killed me waiting to get it posted, but I needed to video Prima in action and I'm afraid I've been having some troubles getting to grips with the video.
Here goes ......
Well, did it work for you? Did you see Prima dance? Isn't she beautiful?
Unfortunately, I didn't remember until toooo late (of course) to leave one ribbon much longer than the other - if I had done so, Prima would have been able to pirouette much longer but you get the idea.
The mechanism is really quite simple. It is an empty cardboard ribbon reel with two pieces of ribbon attached to it, one which winds to the right and one which winds to the left. I created a groove for the reel to sit in, so that it was held in place, and by pulling one ribbon the reel turns and winds the other ribbon on to itself. Pull the other ribbon and as it comes off the reel, the first ribbon will wind itself on. Backwards and forwards - simple!
I encased the mechanism in a box, punched two holes for the ribbons to thread through and knotted beads on to the end to make pulling easier.
Now, the two Primas I coloured and cut are joined together around a single stick (a thin wooden barbecue skewer, actually!) so that they match perfectly. The stick goes through the box and into the reel (I had to make sure that the holes were small enough to hold the skewer upright but large enough to allow it to turn), so that when the ribbons are pulled, the skewer turns. With Prima secured around the skewer, therefore, she also turns.
I had to make sure I allowed enough room for her arms to turn freely, so the 'stage' back needed to be set away from the working bit. I added the fan of red between centre stage and another box that I attached to the back, to give support to the larger fan I used as the background.
Now, I'm making no promises here but I think quite a few of you would be interested in exactly how she was made so I will try to put together a video showing the mechanism and basic components. How long will this take? No idea, but I'll make sure to let you know when it's ready!
Hope you've enjoyed this one. I'd love you to leave a comment if you have!