Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cast sculpture miniature fox

This is the final cast piece from the mold I made of my miniature fox. You can see the original oil-based clay sculpt on my December blog. The instructions and process of how I made the mold are in the previous post.

This was cast using Smooth-On's Smooth-Cast 300 liquid plastic.

This is an easy product that is mixes compounds A+B in equal amounts. The plastic cures in a matter of minutes to a very white plastic. It demolded from the silicone very easily.

The down side is that, well, it's PLASTIC. Not my favorite substance. But this is a learning process . I painted the plastic casting using acrylics to mimic dark stone and the results are fine. I should have done a little more clean-up to the lines where the mold joins together, but for a first try at casting, I thought it came out well.

I could also pour melted wax into this mold, clean up the wax and take it to bronze at some point. We'll see ;--)

Miniature Fox Sculpture mold making

I took the miniature fox that I sculpted in December and made a mold (often called a pour or dump mold). I used Dragon Skin mold-making products by Smooth-ON.

 1). Dragon Skin is a 2-part silicone mold - you mix equal parts of A + B. I also used Liquid Gloves - it forms a barrier to protect your hands from absorbing chemicals or paint - it feels nice, goes on like hand lotion.
2)  I cut the bottoms off of two plastic cups to form a cylinder around the fox sculpture. I put a small bit of clay on the bottom of the fox sculpture to help it stay in place, then put the cups over it and sealed the bottom of the cups to the base to keep the silicone from leaking out.
3)  I also put the whole thing on a small tray in case it leaked - but this time I sealed it well and nothing leaked out.
4) Mixing Parts A + B
5) Poured into the cylinder and curing (left it over night)
6) I took this to class and my instructor, Rik Sargent, helped me to cut the cured silicone on two sides on a diagonal to get the clay out.

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Ascension" Oil clay figure sculpture work in progress

I'm very excited about my first oil-based clay figure sculpture. It's the first time I've used a wire armature. This is loosely based on a life pose from the Art Students League class that I took under Rik Sargent recently. I'm still getting used to the Classic Clay - rather sticky feeling in comparison to water-based clay.

You'll notice that some of the hands, feet, hair and cloth are a darker color. Rik showed me that you can mix casting wax with the clay to make a much harder clay mix that can hold smaller detail better than the oil clay alone. So even though I had fully sculpted her hands and feet, I cut them off, re-sculpted them using the wax/clay mix and reattached them.

Because I wasn't really basing the sculpt on any particular pose from the model, it changed as I aggressively manipulated the figure for more drama - thereby exposing some of the armature wire in the process. In addition, the pipe supporting her is also in the way. I will be making a mold and casting this piece in wax. Once I have the wax, I'll be able to sculpt away the imperfections caused by the wires and post.

Finally, I may make a mold of the wax and take it to the foundry for casting my first bronze. When she's complete, the flowing cloth will be her only support - she'll appear suspended in mid-air, caught in the moment of ascension.

Rik has generously offered to help me through the steps working with moldmakers and the foundry. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class with Rik DO IT! He's a very giving and inspiring sculptor and teacher!