Dragon Peacefully Tolerating Anatomy Changes
I'm still actively pursuing the creation of the dragon. He needed many additions of detail. I have to get him at the final stage before starting to create the mold. Once I start painting on the latex, there's no going back and making any more changes.
The above picture is an example of things I saw that needed a changes. The squared wings edges no longer fit (visually) with the newly added top edge which was curved and not squared off. I also wanted the lines of the newly added inner wing folds to be more even. I've made these changes since taking the picture. It has sat overnight to allow the changes to set up a little harder.
Some of the other considerations I've had to take my time about were not leaving any areas that weren't properly smoothed, no weak areas that will easily break if the wall is too thin, making deeper lines to define facial, claw, and other important feature. Then there were sessions of adding details to the wings and scales to the whole body. These can't be added once the dragon is painted with latex. I had to break the work up into sessions. I work until exhaustion sets in, then I stop when I realize I need to eat, sleep, or rest.
Another factor that materialized was that I realized I needed to have help extending the surrounding boards of the surface upon which the dragon rests. The dragon's dimensions get widened with the addition of the layers of latex, and even moreso when in the next step, I add the Forton MG mother mold. Thankfully, my hubby Peter is very handy and helped enormously with adding and attaching pieces of board to all 4 edges of the original board upon which the dragon sits.
Forton MG is modified gypsum. It's much stronger than regular plaster. Because it is, it's ideal as a mother mold. The walls can be made thin, which greatly reduces the weight of the sculpture. This is s big help when the size is this large. Even so, the walls get expanded outward and must be supported by something solid underneath them as the Forton sets up. It starts out as a liquid, and gradually solidifies. It can't be allowed to droop below the level of the base board. This causes problems later on. I.e., the cured mother mold won't sit flatly when it's placed on a flat surface for storing.
I estimate I must have used at least 150 pounds of clay to create the dragon. If it was solid clay, I would have used much more. Because we anticipated an increase in weight when the molds were created, we had to move the dragon off of its original table onto a table that my husband had to reinforce with boards that could handle the extra weight.
The last thing that has to be done is cleaning up all the clay crumbs. They seem to sprout from out of nowhere. They're usually a side effect of the creation process. It involves laying on gobs of clay and rubbing at them with moistened fingers and tools to form the surface shapes. Crumbs are a big NO when painting on the latex. They can't be left on the surface that's going to be painted with latex. They have to be removed from the edge between the plastic and the base of the work. They constantly fall and end up there as I work on creating and fixing the clay model. If they're not removed, they end up back on the surface of the clay model if the plastic under it is shifted even slightly. It's time to get back to work.
Multimedia artist in clay, paint, and jewelry. Part-time online bookseller.