Friday, April 29, 2011

Ok, I just gotta share the follies! ;)

Ok! So there are now two little guys falling asleep here in the sun on my back porch!! :D

Watch em tip over and sprawl out flat in a second.. ;) (actually I probably will want to move them to the shade now but I really REALLY really want the resin to be fully cured. I was out there nearly in a Hazmat suit mixing the chemicals.

The bottom one is supposed to have a hole just under his chest/forelegs there but that was a flimsy bit of rubber making the hole & it came off with the first casting. I kinda suspected it would . It would've needed to be a bit more complicated of a mold - and that's a pretty easy area to hollow back out.

And if you click on the (distorted view!!!) enlargement below you can see two funny things... a chunk of the rubber fell into his nose and got cast in there (purple lines just under the surface)... and the seam lines running down the bridge of his nose and off his cheek - rockingly clean casting eh? WOOOT!

And I've still got a good deal of work to do with either.... The first one cast out with a goodly # of flaws - crinkles here and there that didn't come out in the second. I believe it was from the mold release as I put it in only in a few spots but that's where the crinkles liked to center. The first casting didn't come out with both ears so I tried again. The 2nd time the ear came out - woot! Buuuuut with a bubble so it broke. Easy fix there as you can see (right ear on the bottom fellow). He came out even cleaner than the first guy. So I'll be smoothing out and adding a few more details onto him.... then he'll be ready to offer to folks! :) Probably won't take more than a week to do right. Yay!!! (does happy dance!). :D

I wasn't going to share but seriously. How freaking cute are the sleepy foals tipping over in unison in the sun? Meanwhile, those who know molds and casting can look at my monstrosity that I'm totally filing away under "wow I can't believe I got away with making THAT work" ... ;)

Photoless Friday? lol! :)

I probably won't show "in progress" pics of this until I'm 100% satisfied. I didn't have a spare clean hand to take pics of the molding anyhow. THAT was interesting...

Adventures in making a waste mold of the clay foal.... The mold rubber I have been using here normally was on backorder. I order smaller quantities because I don't use much for the little medallion type things. BUT I have 3/4 of a new container here... so if the preferred product hadn't been backordered for a month or more then all would've gone just fine.. But if all had gone well I wouldn't have had to improvise like I did.. & isn't that half the fun?

Sooooooooo I'm using the alternative rubber. It has a 'Pot life' of 45min. That's pretty fast. Meaning it started to change consistency at that point and you'd better be happy (it still is something you want to pour and walk away from for half a day though). It's nice and thin (low viscosity at least) so this honestly helped. Helped me to see when it started to set and helped me to do what I had to... Dribble much? It was like being back in college except that I was a lot more careful with this stuff than we were then! lol! I poured all the rubber I had in after mixing (that's a pita in and of itself actually becuase you want it all to be started and curing at similar times... at the same time, I simple didn't have clean disposable containers big enough. Anyhow, got the rubber half way up his neck and then - ooops! No more.. Scrape the container all you like missy - that's IT! lol!

Sooooooooooo now I've got a bit of a dilemma. Leave the clay head exposed like a little buried dad at the beach? Or find a way to cover more. So I set about to tilting the whole heavy ensemble.. Not quite enough. Even the ears are still out (and tilted they are now the lowest point to give you a frame of reference...).

SO THEN, a big ole light bulb goes off - ding! I study the body and try to really recall precisely how much space he is taking up... ready for this crazy idea? I bury more clay around him to displace the rubber further.

It ALMOST WORKED COMPLETELY!!! Ugh!!! So close!!! So I've sliced up clay and have slowly sunk it down the sides of the mold into the rubber.. keeping in mind too that they have to not want to fall in due to the box being tilted so extremely... I've got almost nothing left. I start spooning some of the mold rubber over his little face (which is kind of fun with his eyes half closed & all - like bathing a horse, well one who likes it anyhow!). It's thin but it's thickening so it starts to not pool off but stay a little. So I approach this more carefully as I'm now using the brush on method with a hard applicator so I can't actually touch or press but viola!

Course the real trick was doing this for a while until it went from thin pancake batter to ... uhmmm... what's a good universal food ... shoot... yogurt? A nice creamy yogurt consistency (I eat Greek yogurt so that's more firm & it wasn't like that). ;)

So of course today I have the final hurdle to overcome.... now I've got a slanted "bottom" to my mold. Fortunately it all cured wonderfully last night. At least on the outside. Now in a few minutes I get to flip it and demold and see what I've got inside. Crossing my fingers like mad!

Meanwhile, the bottom is leveled off with plaster - woohoo! So it's all out on the porch drying in the sun It's actually like a little mother mold and I thought long and hard about peeling off the sides and making the plaster into a half box essentially. I'm not going to most likely but who knows, the demolding... this could be ugly. It's been literally 15 or more years since I had to deal with a more complicated shape like this...

Wish me luck today!

Storms being a distant memory the humidity is falling below 50% now and dropping... I have probably only enough resin for one maaaaaybe 2 tries at this foal so I am crossing my fingers. I have a backup media here to work in although it takes 24hrs to set though but all the same, this is why I decided to have a go at it myself. The costs here are high enough (iow this stuff aint cheap to play with!).

I really am cracking up about my rubber displacement however. :) Course I have to leave the clay in there most likely until I'm done (at least where it's closest to the body) so there's no chance of deformation...

Wacky artist over here signing off for more adventures now! ;)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Necessity being the mother of invention...

This is often how I come up with new things. I want to try something out. In this case I *need* to try out a small test batch of rubber before making a mold on my foal. So I made this new widget while watching the last Harry Potter movie. Ok, can I just interject this? The PPV tech I called & spoke to called it Harry Potty - seriously - who stole my friend Jess's nickname for him? lol! Love it! Anyhow, the movie being pretty dark & me watching it during the day... well, I couldn't see much so I was pretty productive (although my eyes got less rest as there was less glancing up for eye-strain breaks).

And there you have the story behind this. I was watching (finally!) the 2nd to last Potty movie.. :D

Shown 2 to 3x larger here it's a 1 and 1/4" wide by 1 and 3/8" tall very shallow (and oily!) relief...thumbprint sized basically. Another widget for the envelopes mostly. I'm undecided on if I like them for other purposes. Maybe someday I'll go in cahoots with my jewelry making cousin Katie. :) (snaps for Katie!!! <3 )

Meanwhile... in the more global scheme of things.. there are artists who are 'idealists'... some are 'surrealists'... etc etc.. So I'm wondering if I should label myself 'the pragmatist?".... (weak!) Anyhow, gotta work on the story telling behind these works! ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

A little helpful trick for the sculptors out there

It's really not a big trick, some sculptors like to have mirrors for this, I find I like sheet of paper with the contrast ramped up to really emphasize the contours... I take a photo of one side, flip it, and bump up the contrast. In truth I take photos from several angles but you get the idea. :)

Above first is reality & next is the grayscale higher contrasted version.

More refinement to come but I've ordered the molding rubber and hope to offer him extremely soon... hope you're on my yahoogroup if you want one! ;) Ah but seriously, I just can't help it being soooo excited about this guy and I'm using the excuse that the pony is going to be a lot more technically challenging to mold (I'll have to have a pro do the waste mold for me - this foal at least I can do the waste casting myself! yay!).

I shouldn't show these (even though I had to take em to balance out a few facial tendons & muscles) because the clay has blemishes. Blemishes being these darkened spots where heated tools discolored the clay... Anyhow, he'll look vastly better in close up in a primered state next week... but I can't help it, he's just the cats jammies to me! :)

And now back to painting actually... believe it or not that's mostly what I've been doing here..

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sat. in pictures (Stoneybrook Steeplechase)

I'll keep it brief and get right to the photo show. I had a booth and managed to sneak out a few times to get reference material for myself. Here's a small sampling...

The booth & you already know what I look like from previous posts so I won't torture you with the ones my fellow took of me attempting to smile nice (and looking pained which is typical for me when I know cameras are around).

Duke and Johann received the most pets - yes, they had do not touch signs but there is just something irresistible about sculpture... there really is. Your typical collector is well trained not to dare to touch the breakables but I was fully prepared for it (I mounted them to marble bases). Collectors would faint to see someone rub their nails over a finish and ask what it's made of... ;) But it's all good. I built my demo gang to roll with the punches. ;)

I got some pained ones of my fellow too but then managed to make him laugh over something & got a real smile. He was indispensable! Setting up the track lighting alone would've been impossible for me and you can't tell from the photos but it really made a difference.

And on to the real stars of the show. I took most photos from the backstretch. The majority of the other side wasn't approachable as it was "box seating" roped off and with private tents. So I tried a few spots and found the best pics for my purposes were on the backstretch (3 hurdles worth). The downfall was that I couldn't see the finish of any of the races.

I did burst photography of this race's start. They walk in circles around the starter counter clockwise and then reverse off and try to walk as calmly as possible to the "line".. whereupon the man flags the "go" and runs like heck... this small field of five made it look pretty scary but to imagine this with a field of 10 or more is rather hair raising!

And then to finish off with an "awww" moment! :) I didn't see this get much use but I dared a few folks to try it out (I kinda wanted to myself but well, I had a dress on.. that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Fun day and while a really raw cold front apparently cut the crowds in half, it was well worth it. Can't wait for next year! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I dabble in drawing but generally..

I dabble in drawing but generally.. I don't share.. for a # of reasons. Primarily because most of the things I draw are straight from a magazine or book. It's an exercise, and while I might not be selling it here even by sharing, putting anything on the web these days is a big thorny conundrum.

Anyhow, it occurred to me that I've got all these great photos of horses now that I took myself these past few years, and that I should draw those instead & share those pictures. Again, these are just exercises. I really just don't have the photorealism "it" factor imo in my flatwork (drawing or painting). But it's good for me to explore shapes and light and dark spaces in 2d - because it helps to grasp shape faster in 3d sometimes if you can "explain" it visually in several ways.

Well so anyhow, here's a cute scratching pony from this past fall's trip with Maggie to Shackleford Island; the original and what I made of it.

Again to see more pony pics check out some I made into an album here

Yes, I did do professional illustration but each and every drawing I did there imo could be greaty improve upon. I'm a harsh critic of my own work but the one thing I had going for me there the most was how fast I could turn around an assignment - lol! In other words, I decided that other avenues (for the longest time graphic animation work and computer illustration) were better to pursue.. until of course I rediscovered sculpting and casting medium improvements and then tossed aside the mouse. ;)

These "sketches" and widget type exercises I've been sharing here are things I take on in the evening when I'm supposedly done for the day. I'm really lucky my fiance doesn't find me boring. I'm pretty obsessive. Guess it comes with the territory. :) & With that, back to it then!