First - the inspiration board. I wanted to cull together pictures that came from many sources - Peter Pan has been the subject of many, many stage productions and several films so there was no lack of material. I shied away from the Disney version only because that one is so very iconic - I wanted to form my own interpretation rather than just replicating a known design. The fact that he ended up looking VERY much like the Disney version just goes to show how deeply ingrained that iconic image is, apparently.
Once I had my board setup, it was time to gather materials and get started. The scene I was recreating was this:
Thus defenceless Hook found him. He stood silent at the foot of the tree looking across the chamber at his enemy. Did no feeling of compassion disturb his sombre breast? The man was not wholly evil; he loved flowers (I have been told) and sweet music (he was himself no mean performer on the harpsichord); and, let it be frankly admitted, the idyllic nature of the scene stirred him profoundly. Mastered by his better self he would have returned reluctantly up the tree, but for one thing.What stayed him was Peter's impertinent appearance as he slept. The open mouth, the drooping arm, the arched knee: they were such a personification of cockiness as, taken together, will never again, one may hope, be presented to eyes so sensitive to their offensiveness. They steeled Hook's heart. If his rage had broken him into a hundred pieces every one of them would have disregarded the incident, and leapt at the sleeper.
Though a light from the one lamp shone dimly on the bed, Hook stood in darkness himself, and at the first stealthy step forward he discovered an obstacle, the door of Slightly's tree. It did not entirely fill the aperture, and he had been looking over it. Feeling for the catch, he found to his fury that it was low down, beyond his reach. To his disordered brain it seemed then that the irritating quality in Peter's face and figure visibly increased, and he rattled the door and flung himself against it. Was his enemy to escape him after all?But what was that? The red in his eye had caught sight of Peter's medicine standing on a ledge within easy reach. He fathomed what it was straightaway, and immediately knew that the sleeper was in his power. Lest he should be taken alive, Hook always carried about his person a dreadful drug, blended by himself of all the death- dealing rings that had come into his possession. These he had boiled down into a yellow liquid quite unknown to science, which was probably the most virulent poison in existence.Five drops of this he now added to Peter's cup. His hand shook, but it was in exultation rather than in shame. As he did it he avoided glancing at the sleeper, but not lest pity should unnerve him; merely to avoid spilling. Then one long gloating look he cast upon his victim, and turning, wormed his way with difficulty up the tree.
"Peter Pan - James Barrie"
I knew I wanted to create the tree trunk as the diorama - what I could not wrap my head around was the way Hook was described as being unable to "get in" - I just could not fathom that, so I just had him sneaking in while Peter was asleep and poisoning him. Never mind that if Hook HAD been able to sneak in, he would have probably just stabbed the poor sleeping boy in his bed, but that's just a detail I chose to ignore. Artistic license and all that. First, the trunk.
Reindeer moss and polymer clay mushrooms have been added, as well as a bit of "Lava Rock" which is a black paste-like substance that is used to create terrain - I bought it from a train model shop and it makes wonderful rock like terrain when dry. Hook has hair which was made from mohair that had been cut in small hanks, wet and wound round a chop stick and brushed with just a bit of the watered down glue solution, and allowed to dry, a hand and the beginnings of a costume. This is where the challenge gets difficult. Costuming has always been my weak point, but a challenge is meant to be just that, so raise the sails and into the wind!! He has his horrid flask in hand with its little drop of poison - I created this by taking a string and allowing hot glue to drip from it, timing it so it would dry into that drop shape before falling off. Then I dipped the other end of the string in hot glue and poked it into the flask and there you have it. Noxious instrument of death done.
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
UPDATE: I am sorry to say that my Hook project did not win, place OR show at the judging. Im not sure why as some of the scores made no sense at all, but hey, we can't win them all, right? The important thing is I had a LOT of fun making this, I used new techniques and I ended up with a very nice display piece that I am super proud of. I will just have to push myself harder on the next challenge, right? Right!