Work in Progress - Celestia and Luna Busts
This is a huge commission I am working on for one of my collectors. Since it is taking up so much of my time and I don’t have much else to show until it’s done, I thought I would do a post showing the progress I’ve made so far. This is a large scale piece that is 100% epoxy based clay. Some changes were made vs. the original art work in order to help the look of the piece in three dimensions.
Materials : Free Form Air, Apoxie Sculpt
Current Measurements : 11 inches from base of neck to top of hair, 11x14” Wood Base
Current Hours : 45
1 . Mock Up : This is a paper mock up of the final piece, showing proportions and placement. The base is a project in and of itself; I will be discussing the base more in future progress images.
2. Armature : Since these are busts, I don’t really need much of an armature. I used 1/4” aluminum wire as an anchor for the clay to grab onto. I cover the base in foil to keep the clay from sticking as I need to be able to remove the busts for sanding and detailing.
3. Base Structure : I could have started with styrofoam or even foil, but I opted to use Free Form Air Epoxy Clay from Smooth On. It is very light weight but cures rock hard. I built up this base form in three sessions, allowing each layer to cure before moving on to the next.
4. Secondary Form : After a session with the power sander, I use Apoxie Sculpt to start filling in the gaps and adding more shape to the faces. Free Form Air is great for base shapes, but difficult to use for details. I also prefer the smooth, final surface of Apoxie Sculpt; Free Form tends to stay a bit on the gritty side.
5. Refined Form : Lots of sanding has been done as well as refinement to the lines and details in the face. The horns aren’t seen in this picture, but they are sculpted around stainless steel bolts. I drilled holes into the foreheads and inserted coupler nuts so that the horns are easily removable (for shipping and moving purposes). Also, both sides of the faces are fully detailed, even though hair will be largely covering the back facing sides of the heads.
6. Hair Prep : I decided that I would need to make the hair as separate pieces that will be glued on after painting. There are too many tight spots that I will need to reach for the hair to be attached from the start. I wrapped the busts with foil and masking tape to prevent the hair from sticking. I temporarily attached some wire mesh for initial support for the hair. Ponies in spaaaaace!
7. Hair, Base Structure : I once again started with Free Form Air. I pulled the cured clay off the busts by removing the masking tape and foil. I was then able to add more cay to the underside of the hair. I cleaned everything up with my Dremel and power sander before placing both hair pieces back onto the heads, making sure that the horns were able to be removed through the hair.
8. Hair, Refinement : I laid in Apoxie Sculpt to detail the hair and add some more form.
9. Hair, More Base Structure : In order to keep the hair removable, I had to make the hair in two sections. This will prevent the busts from getting “trapped” in their hair shells! I used more Free Form, this time with some embedded wires for the flyaways.
10. Hair, More Refinement : And again, I’ve laid in more Apoxie Sculpt to start detailing the front of the hair. I will leave the flyaways for last so I don’t snap them off while working.
So much more to come!
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