Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Art Work In Process Post 2

I love hot dry weather when there is paper mache to dry!  The heads I did yesterday were hard and dry and ready for the next step, removing the shells from the master sculptures.

I ran an oyster knife around the edges and along the split lines.  Most of the time that's all it takes to get the shells to pop off.

I then taped up all the joints with masking tape, and did a couple of layers of paper mache over the tape.  They were then ready to sit out in the sun for a few hours to dry.

I go started on the zebra on my other workbench.

Starting from the bottom I carefully glued each stripe into place with hot glue.  I work hard at getting the edges to abut but not overlap.

Before finishing the last of the white stripes on this part of the zebra, it was necessary to make and install his mane.

I know, it looks violent, but when I am both crafts person and camera person it is a challenge to take the shots I want.  Just imagine my hand holding the knife!

I made the mane using black and white strips of "fun fur" which has a very long pile, doubled over so that the wrong sides are glued together.

I cut a slit down the back of the zebra, and using hot glue and my oyster knife I pressed sections of the mane into place.

I  also cut each section of mane at one inch intervals for a Mohawk effect.

After finishing the mane I turned my attention to making his ears.

I cut the ear pieces yesterday when I was cutting the stripes for the body. Each ear consists of a white back piece, a white front edge, and a black inside.

I carefully glued the white front edge to the white backs being careful to do only the edge.  Next I cut a piece of 16 gage steel wire and folded it to fit inside the pocket created by the white edge.  Once in place, I ran a generous bead of glue along the wire and pressed the white edge piece over it.  Finally I glued the black inside ear in place. I did the same for the second ear  and then folded them.

I used a carpenters awl to poke holes into the side of the zebras head.  The ear wires go into these holes and later the ears will be glued into place.  I didn't glue them in place today, because they get in the way when I'm working on the rest of his stripes.  But making them is one more step finished.

By now the paper mache on the shells had dried and I set up to fill them.  Each of the four shells was turned upside down and set securely into a holding box, or wastebasket.

On the workbench I have latex gloves, measuring cups, mixing cups, plastic spoons, the two cans of X-30 foam and bags of cut up foam scraps from previous pours.  The X-30 is a bit pricy at $130 per gallon, so I save the scraps and add them in as I go.

 Tomorrow I will create a few new bags of scraps when I trim these.

I did the pour in four steps.  It went so fast, and I didn't want to get any foam on my camera so i didn't take any intermediate pictures.

But I did get this one.  This is the last pour on the impala.  A second later I picked it up, held it over the deer shell and scraped the excess foam into the deer.

To finish out the day I cut out the hardwood backs and installed the picture wire hangers, but that doesn't merit a picture!

Come back tomorrow and see whats next!

When I get thru with the six, I will write one more post answering the questions you have asked in the comments, like just how and why I started doing this!


  1. Just amazing. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece, but, no rush. Again, thanks for sharing your process.

  2. Yes, I have also wondered that - how and why you started doing this! :)

  3. Pretty incredible work. Thanks for showing how you do this. It takes a lot of talent and patience to be able to create the work you do. It's nice to see how it comes together.

  4. WoW! Very impressed with the detail behind those cool animals. I had no idea what was involved. I'd like to know how you got started in this, too! Did you teach yourself how to do it or take some kind of class?

  5. Wow! That is awesome! I am so glad you showed us how you create one of your animal heads and gave us a picture tour of how it looks in different stages.
    Very talented indeed!!
    Looking forward to seeing the finished product!


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