Entries in molds (2)

Sunday
Oct072012

Flying Spaghetti Monster Ornament

The mold for the snowman ornament turned out well, I just tried pouring the first cast of it today. Moving right along, up next is the flying spaghetti monster! I gave him a santa hat and tried to make his spaghetti look like the curls of Santa's beard. Now I have to make the mold for this one, and then we'll see how a cast looks painted. Right now all the parts of him seem to blur together, to my eyes. But once I've got one painted it should look better. I hope.

Monday
Sep102012

Cernunnos

Also known as The Sculpture That Wouldn't Die! I cleaned up the studio last week and sat down to try and get back to a larger project. Cernunnos has been waiting patiently all year, so I worked on him a bit. He's a perfect example of how my sculptures sometimes don't go exactly as planned.

Normally I will make the base separate from the figure so that they can be packed separately for moving/shipping. The whole sculpture started with Cernunnos' stag head, and the size of the head determines the scale for the rest of the figure. He's turning out to be a fairly large figure, but I made the same sort of armature for him as I do for my smaller figures. Bad idea. Once I attached the head to the wire body armature and sat him on the tree base, the weight of the head bent the armature right down the middle. He looked like he was trying to do yoga. My solution was to reinforce the spine of the armature with some epoxy clay and attach it permanently to the tree trunk he'd be sitting on. Oh, and I had already started wrapping the armature in wool strips to preapre it for needle felting the body, so in some place the epoxy clay is slapped over the top of the wool. This is what happens when I work on projects in fits and starts. I lose sight of the whole plan and have to improvise as I go. Anyway, the body is now quite strong and firmly perched on the tree. The legs and arms are not set in any pose yet, and the head still needs more sculpting (antlers, ears, etc.) but the basic form is there. It looks  little ridiculous with the plaid wool strips and the random lumps of clay, but here he is right now:

The color change on the tree bark from brown/pink to gray is because I switched from polymer clay to epoxy clay. Once the figure was attached to the tree, I couldn't put it in the oven anymore to bake polymer clay. Epoxy clay is a room temperature cure and you can make a seamless transition with it so that's why I am using it for the rest of the tree. Once it's painted, you won't be able to tell the two areas apart. Oh, and I will have to sculpt the rest of the head, the hands, and the feet along with the rest of the tree, AND paint them all before I make the soft body and cover it with clothes. Otherwise I will splatter paint all over his garments. This whole sculpture is turning into a logistical nightmare! But I will finish it. Promise.

As a side note, here's how I made that tree bark texture. I used silicon mold making putty and an old manzanita branch to make bark molds. The maznanita branch is one Brian picked up years ago somewhere in California. The actual bark fell off the manzanita long ago, and the wood dried and developed fine cracks in it. They were the perfect scale to make into molds to mimic larger tree bark cracks. Mix up the putty, press bits of it onto the manzanita branch, let it cure and voila! Instant tree bark molds. I pressed them all over the polymer clay surface and then tooled the clay a bit to join up the different mold impressions into a believable whole. It worked great and saved me hours of direct-sculpting miniature bark.