Hula girl is on her way January 19, 2010 11:55

I've been so busy it seems like forever since I started this project.  Well, now its underway again, and I'm gunning to have it ready for the San Diego Comic Con this year.  If you check an older Blog post, you'll find pictures of a little sculpt that was intended to be a dashboard Hula girl - the sort that has a spring under her skirt that allows her to bobble back and forth.

The prototype

The first big hold-up was the skirt.  The old nodders from the 50's had a cloth fringe that was probably used for drapes and chairs. The soft fringe was the perfect accompaniment to the soft features of the hula girls. But after several trips to the garment district, I could only come up with one fringe that was thick and full enough for a skirt, and it was unfortunately too short, as you can see by the picture. It wasn't just too short aesthetically, but the fringe is also there to hide the wide gap in the girl's legs that will be cut out for the spring. As you can see, this isn't going to work for that.  The other problem was cost - they were going to be expensive at the numbers I was intending to make, and thus the whole thing went on the back burner till I had more time to devote to the project.

But its back on now.  I am planning on a run of only 150 to 200.  They will be cast in resin, and thus will have more detail than the vinyl girl from two years ago.  The resin will also give them the weight they will need for the spring to work.  As for the fringe, I'll just move forward and hope something can be turned up.  The smaller run will compensate for the final cost.

But there is something else I've been wanting to do with this...

Prototype Mark II

 This is the prototype for a huge version of the dashboard hula girl.  It will be an exact duplicate of the normal one, but at around three feet tall.  It will be fiberglass, and the four or five finished pieces will be hand painted by myself.  They will be scaled up versions of the smaller in all aspects, even down to the spring, which we'll have to do a little research on in order to get the action just right.  The base will need to be weighted with sand to accommodate the spring action.  Who would buy such a thing?  I'm frankly not sure.  I'm hoping a gallery or two in Hawaii might sell them for me.  Or even someone here in Los Angeles.

Side view

Reverse angle

To answer a couple of questions up front, I'm not sure what the final price of one of these is going to be.  Just making the first one is likely to run to between six to eight thousand dollars.  I'm planning on making four or five, but the first one is likely to be sawed apart and used to engineer the balance weights and spring placement.  Even if I make five all total, I'll probably be charging around three thousand dollars for each.  The skirts will be custom made, and I'll start figuring out how to do all that in the next couple of weeks.  I'd like to have a traditional woven grass skirt, only using synthetic grasses so it retains it's texture.

Do I think these will sell?  Hell no.  I really don't expect to sell one, so I'll probably end up with an expensive set of giant wobbling garden hula gnomes.  At least it will be easy for people to find my house.