I wanted to make a 4 foot bird Girl statue like this little one in my yard.  

The original Bird Girl statue was located in the Old Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia, and is best known from the cover of the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_in_the_Garden_of_Good_and_Evil

The original statue, one of only 4 cast by artist Sylvia Shaw Judson, now resides in the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah.

I started with a simple 1" PVC frame.  I had to use a heat gun to get the angle of the PVC on the arms right since they don't carry a fitting that bends in that degree at any stores close by.

Next, I added the chicken wire.  Have I mentioned that I HATE working with chicken wire?


I used almost 6 cans of it to cover the frame.

She gets a head! I cut the base off of one of those styro wig heads at an angle to give her that tilt.  I bored out the hole in the bas to fit over the PVC at the neck and stick a couple of bamboo skewers in there too for some added stability and stuck in on the PVC.  A nice tight fit!

She gets hair!

I gave her some Great Stuff hair.

I think she likes her new "do".

I'm sharpening my boning knife to give Bird Girl a little trim off the hips and such.

Bird Girl with her new hair cut and svelte new figure.


I spent most of the day filling holes, carving and sanding on day 2 of the Bird Girl 2005 project.  When I was done, my former tenant hooked up his automotive detail gun and threw a couple of coats of paint on her for me.

This is what she looked like when he was done with the base coats.  My daughter, Taylor had to get in the picture with her.  What a HAM!

I hadn't finished the bowls when he decided to paint.  I'll be Liquid Nailing them onto her hands.  I carved them with the WonderCutter out of white styrofoam and a Dremel.  They're half painted here.

Bowls are done and added with Liquid Nails.
I used a plain old dish sponge to add some gray paint to her.  Just lightly sponged it on.  I want to add that I use exterior paint for all of my projects, that way they won't start to run when it rains here in "sunny" Florida.  I think she's done now.  I may go back and add a different color paint for some added depth, but for the moment... this is it!


I give you:

"Bird Girl 2005"


By 2016, Birdgirl had extensive damage from being an outside, year-round decoration in my yard. Between mice and squirrels, she was all chewed up for nesting material. Her head was detached, and her bowls are gone, I have no idea where.
I added some cardboard and then mixed up some paperclay to fill in her gaps.
I reattached her head with bamboo skewers and Liquid nails, sanded her down a bit and gave her a quickie paint job. I did not get to get her some new bowls put on, but I did start them.
I started with some terra cotta saucers as a base for my new bowls. I wrapped them in aluminum foil.
Then I covered the top and sides with homemade paperclay. Once it was fully dry, I simply pulled it off of the saucer and peeled the foil off. Now I have a bowl that I can finish the bottom on and paperclay it directly to her hands. In 2020, she will get a new paint job along with her bowls. Coming soon!

As you can see, now we are in 2020, and she is in bad shape again. I brought her into my office and began to work on her. I pulled off the old paint and papier mache that I used to patch her the last time that was loose and used Liquid Nails to reattach her head. I also FINALLY attached her bowls that I made a few years ago.

I covered her in a few layers of drywall mud over the course of a week. Finally, we had a sunny day and I was able to take her outside and start sanding.


I used a piece of sandpaper that I folded into a sharp triangle to get the face contours sort of fixed. I don't want her to be perfect, but I do want her eyes and mouth to look like eyes and a mouth. That's where I am now, waiting for some small spots I had to fill with more mud to dry so that hopefully I can get her done this weekend.

Updated 10/17/2020

Today, I was finally able to take her outside and sand her down again. She is ready for priming!




October 24, 2020

I finally moved her to a room where there's a good fan and plenty of ventilation and gave her 2 good coats of oil-based primer.




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