I began sculpting the splash on the top end of the high striker plank by first using a jigsaw to cut out the outline of the splash. Using the hammer and chisel I was then able to take away the bulk of the wood, all the while remaining careful not to knock off the tips of the splash or take any wood away from the section on the high striker below. Once the bulk of the wood was removed, I moved onto using a Dremel for the more delicate procedures around the tips of the splash.
In order to sculpt a realistic splash, I focused on creating flowing movements from the bottom of the splash and upwards. As such, I carved a dip at the bottom of the splash to act as the place of impact for the splash. This dip is the point in which I plan to position the top of the wire/balloon in place of the traditional high striker bell; as the splash will represent the melting wood reacting to a popping balloon, instead of a ringing bell. The tips of the splash were then carved in directions that were upwards and outwards, to resemble an upsurge reaction from the impact point of the balloon pop. I styled the tips of the splash in a similar fashion to the forms of drips and droplets.
*Photographs 1-19 were taken on 15th March 2017.
Photograph 20 shows a progression onto machine sanding. I was only able to use an orbital machine sander on the dip, as the movement would be too quick and apply too much pressure onto the delicate top sections/tips.
*Photograph 20 was taken on 16th March 2017.
Before I began the more delicate work of sanding the top sections/tips, I had to more or less complete the sanding process of the whole high striker. I say more or less because I still had to leave the bottom untouched until I had attached the lever contraption, until then I could not see if I could add more drips or remove them. The reason for completing most of the sanding process was to limit the risk of breaking the fragile top end, as I needed to move the high striker into different positions in order to sand it.
When I finally moved onto the sanding process of the top sections/tips, I experienced a breakage almost immediately (see photograph 21). Working from the right, I managed to sand two tips before the third snapped. The yellow-gold substance depicted on the tip in the photograph is wood glue. I then applied gaffertape to hold the broken tip in place for the glue to dry throughly and left overnight.
*Photograph 21 was taken on 27th March 2017.
Having established the fragility of the top sections/tips, and waited until the wood glue had dried, I continued the sanding process with extreme caution. In order to reduce the risk of breakage I continued the sanding process by hand, instead of using sanding machine tools that risked applying too much pressure. The sanding process required three different rounds of application: the first using 120grit; the second using 180grit; and the third using 240grit. I usually continue to 320grit however, my usual builder's merchants have discontinued stocking the rolls and time was of the essence.
*Photograph 22 was taken on 1st April 2017.