So… Ross isn’t quite sure about writing this blog, since he normally uses Twitter to tell people about his current, past and future art projects, however, just to keep our website moving I thought I would take the power and tell you a little bit about what he’s been up to lately.
So, we started this website a few months ago, and at the time Ross was working on quite a few projects at the same time, going from embroidery to painting to modelling to crafting… replicating props from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Films.
Occamy Egg Shells
This is a replica of the ‘occamy egg shells’ as seen in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film that he modelled out of polymer clay. The process to get the final design was quite long since he used an Easter egg mould to get the main shape, but those eggs didn’t look quite right, since the proportions were not very realistic. Also there’s the difficulty of making the shell in layers to make it look as true to the original film props as possible, therefore a few versions were abandoned, but he kept trying until he managed to create one good enough to keep in his collection.
Ministration Feeding Chart
Another replica from the Fantastic Beasts film is the ‘Ministration Feeding Chart’ which we replicated first on the computer to get the right colours and design, creating it completely from scratch using as reference a colouring book and pictures from a ‘Making of’ book. Once we had the design ready we printed it into cardboard and then Ross did his magic to age it and make it look as similar as the one seen (just for a second) in the film in Newt’s shed. He went as far as replicating the same handwriting on each category.
New Salem Philanthropic Society Sins Sampler
Now this one is very impressive (for me), it is the ‘New Salem Philanthropic Society Sins Sampler’ from the Fantastic Beasts film. It is real embroidery and he did it completely from scratch, and considering this is the first time he tried doing something like this, first time ever picked up thread and a needle I have to say it is jaw dropping. This is a piece that appears on one of the walls of the New Salem Philanthropic Society chapel in the Fantastic Beasts film and even though for the general public it may seem like just another thing on the set, it happens to have very powerful meaning. These are like the ten commandments (maybe more than ten) of ‘witch hunters’, and the level of details Ross managed to achieve is just impressive. He not only embroidered it from scratch, he also aged it and framed it (he also aged the frame). On his visit to the WB studios to meet people from the propmaking department, he was told how impressed Miraphora Mina, one of the designers of the original graphic, was with the embroidery.
Another piece of embroidery is this little, simple but elegant handkerchief, belonging to Percival Graves. Again, considering this is the second time he attempted embroidery, I find it very impressive.
Newt Scamander’s Notebook Drawings
And the last replica, are these drawings from Newt Scamander’s notebook with details and descriptions of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’. He replicated them from images we found on the internet and managed to even decipher some of the writing they contained. This was a bit difficult since the images currently available are so small that you can’t actually read everything they say. However, considering the aged parchment and the details he managed to capture I just think they are amazing and can’t wait to have more walls (we actually run out of them) to display them.
Albus Dumbledore’s Portrait
This is a piece you have probably already seen on Ross’ social media. It is the portrait of Headmaster Albous Dumbledore, as seen in the last Harry Potter films. This (like a few of the other props I mentioned on this post) is a work in progress, but even in the stage it is at the moment, I think it’s excellent already. He is painting this using acrylics, and the technique Ross has is so impressive, that it actually looks like oil paint. As I said before, I can’t wait to see it finished and to have more walls to see it hung in a place of honour.
The Monster Book of Monsters
Now, this one is a very challenging one, if you consider that he’s doing it out of scrap materials at home. I think it will take some time to finish, since Ross is a perfectionist and if not happy with the results, he will start again. However, I think what he’s done so far looks quite cool.
Portable Potion Making Kit
To finish, we have this cute miniature Travel Potion Making Kit that Ross made to take to his meeting with Mr Jim Barr at the WB studios. As you can see in the gallery, all the items included were brand new, and he aged them using DIY techniques with an astonishing result. The process included the (covering of the inside with fabric), breaking some items and then repairing them, and exposing metals to heat and natural acids to give them the aged effect. I think it’s important to say that this prop isn’t a replica but an original creation by Ross which makes it even more special.
I hope you enjoyed this catch up article, and I promise that even if Ross doesn’t want to write himself, I’ll keep you updated on a more regular basis from now on.
Thanks for reading.