Thursday, July 31, 2008

'Senior Moment' elephant sculpture is back from the foundry...

I'm excited to see that my elephant patina is looking good after a close scrutiny up close and personal.
I've taken some pics on my Canon powershot which is good enough for web purposes but not high enough resolution for any decent size printed output.
Also, my lights are pretty small. It's getting to be a stretch for them doing sculpture this size (20" tall)
So it's getting photographed elsewhere with a higher res camera and better lights.
Mind you, I like the way he's looking in my pics.
Nice job Bronze Smith.
More goodies on my website...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

'Bumper to bumper' turtle sculpture-work in progress 3

Well my turtles are cast, and patinated too thanks to Kristen's handiwork at Bronze Smith foundry in Arizona.
We have collaborated on several pieces now, most recently my elephant in Rodin's thinker pose.
The pics from the foundry aren't perfect for color, you can see the difference in their appearance from the two shots of the main turtle both indoors and outside.
I think that browny colored background inside is white (or neutral gray).
Strangely he grew an extra claw on his back foot during casting!
Actually, there was a rod running around the outside of the claws to allow the metal to flow to the ends, and it seems the end of the rod got confused for a claw at metal chasing time.
All better now though, my turtle now sports the correct complement of claws on his feet.
When I get the partly submerged ones they will need to be attached to the 32" long polished granite base so they can be reflected in its shinyness.
They won't be arranged like this either, you can see what they'll look like in my earlier post.
I'm pretty keen to finish putting them together and see them all done.
Lots more stuff on my website.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Even more 'Nosey' how it's done...

Back in May I posted twice with various stages of making Nosey mouse from sculpting through casting, with all the steps involved.
There were some missing steps, some more of which are now filled in courtesy of Miles Anderson's pics.
His email is miles (funny 'at' squiggle)
About all that's left is patina application, which I might add later.
The molten bronze is poured into a canister of investment material, which used to contain wax replicas of Nosey, but the wax has been melted out earlier leaving mouse shaped cavities inside the plaster like material. The wax mice were attached to a wax stick which made it to the surface of the canister. That is what leaves the hole down the middle into which the bronze is poured in order to find its way to the mice. To see the previous stages check out my Nosey posts in May.

The white investment material is cleaned away from the bronze once the bronze has cooled.Here's the pair of Noseys which need to be cut off the main sprue and have their tails welded on. Then they get 'chased', which is where they get all evidence of having been attached to a sprue removed, then they get sandblasted, then they get a patina (stay tuned)...
Lots more mice and other stuff on my website.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Death of an elephant...

In our ecologically minded world being a cheapskate can be a virtue.
Once molded the clay can be thrown away, or re-used to make something else.
Maybe some of the molecules in my body used to be some part of an elephant at one point in time.
I re-used my rabbits to make a giant toad, and I'm re-using my elephant to make some more giant toads.
Here's my clay elephant back from the foundry ready for some impending unpleasantness.
The slippery surface must be scraped back since it's all covered in a release agent to facilitate easy mold rubber release. Can't save that stuff, so it goes in the trash.
A wire clay tool, a knife, and most dangerous of all, a cheese scraper, are all you need to get the job done.
The cheese scraper is dangerous only if your co-habitants spot you using it, when it might be all you have to defend yourself with against much more intimidating weapons. It's not very effective as an offensive weapon, or as a shield. Not so slippery now, the serious business of re-clay-mation can begin.
The box is starting to fill up nicely.

Ahh, if only shedding pounds was that easy.
A remnant of his former self ends up in the trash, (foam and pipes and wire covered in clay), while the rest gets to live another day.
Might have to get a bigger box.
He died that others might live.
Very 'circle of life', eh?
It's not all bad news for the elephant, he gets to enjoy eternal life as a bronze. Which should give him plenty of time to figure out whatever it is that's on his mind.
More stuff on my website.