I’m pretty much done with the lion frame! There are a few pieces of bamboo I want to add and some fins to modify. I also need to make the ears and lip, but other than that, the frame is finished.
After finishing the fins last week, I decided to repair the cross brace inside the lion and install a pulley system for the blinking eyes. Installing the pulley system was actually a really helpful tip given to me by my mentor, Corey Chan, many years ago, but I’ve started seeing pulley systems being installed in lions made by Emplion. The pulleys reduce friction between the wire loops and rope, which in turn prevents the eye-blinking ropes from snapping during a performance. It also allows for a faster, sharper blink. At 2-3 dollars a pulley, it’s a really good investment.
Next, I started working on rebuilding the mouth. Since the mouth was practically nonexistent when I got the lion frame, I had a really hard time trying to figure out the proportions and measurements. In the end, I decided to just wing it and rebuild the mouth by improvisation. It turned out okay, so I’m glad!
I decided to use rattan for some pieces of the mouth, since some of the bends would have been a little harsh for the thick bamboo strips. Plus, I had a whole coil of rattan lying around! Here’s something I figured out though: cutting a small groove in the rattan will keep it from slipping while binding. It also increases the surface area of contact, which I’m assuming would give a stronger joint. I only cut a groove for the more important joints that are prone to slipping, since it’s quite time consuming to do it for every single joint.
Lastly, the nose was rebuilt. This was a lot more confusing than I was expecting. To make matters worse, the original nose shape turned out to be really weird, so I won’t be using it as a template for the next build. I kept it for this lion frame though since I worked so hard on it and was recycling bamboo strips from the old nose.
*edit* 7/22/2013 @6:45pm *edit*
Here’s a side view of the completed frame. By the way, some people are probably wondering what those black marks are on the joints. I use this marking system to keep track of which joints have been coated with glue and which joints are fresh.