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Old 07-02-2019, 01:44 AM
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Kinstrome Kinstrome is offline
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Default T10: Coming Terrarium based on Dragon Driftwood. (+ Journal)

What? Another dragon-themed terrarium? Didn't you just do one?


Yes I did.

^I snagged this piece of ghostwood off of Glass Box Tropicals as soon as I saw it. Somewhat expensive (it's ghostwood, after all), but absolutely worth it.

I didn't know exactly how I would use it until it arrived earlier this afternoon. I knew I saw an animal head of some sort --- a deer, or a horse, or something --- but when in doubt, just about every ambiguously-detailed "head" can be a dragon head. Because, who knows what a dragon's head looks like?

I thought about using a marble to make an eye, but the slot I wanted to put it in was just a little bit too narrow. So:

^I used an old woodworking trick and boiled the wood until it became pliable. (And I also accidentally sterilized it, which is nice and probably unnecessary.)

This was risky; I didn't know how manzanita would react to boiling temperatures, and the piece of driftwood in question was already pretty rickety. It survived, though.

The process also turned the water in the pocket amber-colored and left a faint smell of lumber. I don't think I'll be boiling sausages in it again, at least not for a while.

...So, I took the driftwood out of the pot and went to work. I didn't think to photograph the marble before I put it in, because I've had it for years and it never seemed like a new element to me.

^I was very pleased with how it turned out. It looks very much like an eye, I think, with the flesh pockets to the sides and the lower eyelid encroaching up on it. Frankly, I thought I would either 1) push the marble too far and lose it in the dark pocket to its right, or 2) outright break the wood. Now, quite the contrary, it's lodged in there so securely that nothing will accidentally knock it loose.

Now, there are a few things to note:
  • This is intended as another uninhabited terrarium. I'd like to keep its production animal-safe, just in case. But if I pass the point of no return, I will not risk any animals' lives by putting them in there.
  • I have not decided on an enclosure for this driftwood, or much of anything else, either. It is about 24" by 8" or so, so it isn't a small piece of wood. I would like to have more than a head to this dragon, so I'd like to find a large tank at a reptile show or build one myself.

    I have decided, however, that I will have no water feature in this terrarium. At least, unless it becomes functionally import or very likely to not run into problems.
...I guess that's about it, as far as important things. I'll post updates as they come to me. I am known for long posts and myriad posts.

This is much a log of the steps of this project for me, but I always appreciate input! Many thanks again to jgragg for his immense support in my previous build thread, as well as to anyone who offered advice and intelligence there or in the many other questions I've asked.

EDIT: An important thing I forgot to mention: The "head" isn't complete. At least, probably not. It seems to me it could use a jaw, unless people are able to see the thin horizontal recess running along the right side of the piece as a closed mouth. If that is the case, it is basically a complete head, with horns, an eye, a full mouth ... and all the other stuff.

Last edited by Kinstrome; 07-02-2019 at 01:49 AM.
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