Work on the unfinished Troll Screamers shown above as well as several NEW Troll Screamers will resume soon. I have several body parts ready to go for the new creations.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


I am seriously thinking of using the motto/tagline "Late again - Whats new". Honestly i have so much crap going on right now in my life i just do not seem to have any 'me' time anymore!. It's so bad i am going to bed so late to try to stave off the coming of the next day i can hardly get up the next morning before 09:30am. When i do get up i am like a zombie for around three hours before i can get going both mentally & physically.

Right i am with it now (for today at least!) so whats been happening with the projects i have been featuring so far then? Well very little but here is the progress so far. Below is the first of four bowls i am working on:

As you can clearly see not ready for painting yet as i have to tidy it up somewhat yet. A small section on the inside 'blistered' on me for some unknown reason & i had to clean it up & add some new strips inside. This bowl when i come back to it will be ready for painting in a few minutes though so no time lost there in the end.

Next two matching style bowls though as you can see one is deeper then the other. Unlike the first bowl these are ready for paint & feature 'flat bottoms' rather than the typical half round form. Again I am not showing the fourth bowl i am working on 'yet' & all four bowls as far as painting on the design goes, well i am lost for ideas. I have a design i am thinking of using for the matching bowls above but am not 100% sold on the paint design yet.

Next up is my 'grunge skulls.

Before i begin to show you the progress (or lack of) here i think i will do a quick re-cap of what i was doing with these first:

If you remember (those following the blog so far) I purchased three styrene skulls just before Halloween. These were two jaw less & one full skulls, three for £5 GBP (around $10.00 USD give or take) shown below.

Now what attracted them to me was the fact one of my sons a trained tattooist has been self tattooing some gas mask skulls on his legs & these skulls are very close to these skull designs. I told him i would get around to making some real life versions one day. Well seeing these skulls i figured i'd grab some. However i wasn't totally happy with some small features, but these i was able to alter easily thanks to these skulls being made of styrene. Below are the skulls showing where i altered them:

Apart from the teeth the alterations were identical for all the skulls. The finished results below:

Normally when i make my own skulls i then mass produce them using my foil copying method. That generally only gives me crude unfinished skulls that i have to later enhance (ad the final details to) for these guys i wanted to get the full finished copy straight off to save time. So for these i copied them in sculpting plaster. Now for those who have never made plaster molds, it is not like latex molding. Basically you can't cast around large or sharp corners or curved edges at all. well you could but you'd never get the item your casting out nor the copy even later.

To reduce the problem you simply then have to break down the item to be copied into smaller easier to cast forms. In the case of these grunge skulls i simply halved each skull down the center (through the face) then framed each section in a half of a pizza box as shown below:

Now normally you would need to have the boxing slightly higher than the item being cast so you can form a more solid, stronger 'block' over the whole item being copied. Since i have a weak shoulder & reduced strength in my left arm i don't want a huge block of plaster to throw around when finished. So for this project i concentrated the plaster on the skull itself. The pizza box was there to catch any small crumbling edges that would more than likely break off on removing the whole thing when dry. I copied all the three skulls in this fashion but have only shown two of the final casts below:

The finished 'negative' molds. The copies look dirty but that's just the dark floor wax i used as a releasing agent. There are several commercial releasing agents available & many home grown types/methods, but i use this for two reasons: The first of course this blog is based on helping artists who may be working to a tight budget. Second i find this floor wax dries to a fine powder which i can brush/wipe off or simply paint over. I of course use water based paints so can not say what reactions if any oil based paints may have on the wax.
I had hoped the styrene skulls might have released from the molds intact, but as i feared they simply broke apart on removal. In the end they were cheap to purchase & i can make several dozens of new skulls from these molds anyway.

The next step for these molds will be to clean them up once the wax dries out (turns powdery) then i will give the insides of each mold a coating of water base paint as a primer, then follow that through with a layer or two of high gloss spray paint. By doing this i will reduce the absorption of future coats of floor wax increasing the length & use of the molds several times over. It is said that a high quality mold made from quality sculpting plaster such as i have used here can produce up to one hundred casts. I don't need that many as yet but by painting & sealing the plaster i in theory should be able to extend that 'shelf life' several times over.

Now these grunge skulls are destined for several projects some of which include new wall mounted grim reaper creations as well as those gas mask skulls i mentioned. Below are two sketches i made of some of the gas mask skulls on my sons legs. I have of course emitted several of the key details from the sketches but what you can see should give you some idea of how they should look when i get them finished:

Last but not least those queen conch shells i had to paint. Whilst again i have not started painting them yet they are now at least ready to paint. I do actually have six of these made but am only painting the two for now:

I  painted the underside with dragon skin (bone mix) to smooth them out to give me the highly polished smooth effect there.

So to round off my boo boo is at last fully healed leaving me with a wonderful pink scar so apart from 'life' & lack of sleep getting in the way this lot should be finished soon, well eventually lol.

More soon.

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