• Dramatic little cornice lion continued

    Seeing how the lion head fits, the 11″ long backing form looks just right to show that nice classic double curve an inch or so on either side of the lion while keeping the whole thing small and compact .
    I have to see if the boxes of clay I have had sitting around are still useable, but once I start making the clay backing form in the template box it all has to be done quickly, including making the complete rubber mold before the clay starts to shrink, including making the plaster support shell since if the clay shrinks the rubber will move with it, so the shell has to be done as soon as the last aplication of rubber is no longer tacky.
    Right now I don’t have the molding plaster to make the shell.
    Maybe next weekend I can form the clay backer if that clay is ok, and it will firm up a little over a week without shrinking, and then I’ll order what I need in 2-3 weeks and press the lion into the still soft clay and then make the rubber mold.

  • Dramatic little lion cornice

    The template for the lion is done except for attaching the one side piece once I decided how wide the sculpture was going to be, after coming home and measuring the lions head and found it was 9″ wide, I decided on 11″ wide for the backing block, so just like they did the old plaster ceiling moldings this box and template is used the same way but on clay.
    I have the 1st section of the little mold made, after it hardens I can mold on the next section, it will take 3, maybe 4 pieces.

    Mold started of my lion mask
    The mold is done and I made a cast in it to see how it looks, it can be used with the clay  backer formed and shaped with the template I made earlier.
    Now I can take this and incorporate him into the new clay backer and while the plaster cast is still wet make a mold of the whole thing since the rubber I use is unaffected by moisture in the model.
    This would have to be done on the moist clay once formed since clay shrinks as it dries and plaster does not.

    I went ahead and shaped the clay backing block for the lion with the template box and just set the lion in it’s approximate position for the photos and then sealed it up in a plastic bag to keep it from drying too much too quickly, once the clay sort of firms up I can remove the sides of the box and finish and tool texture the 4 sides and the face nicely, and then look at setting the lion in and filling the gaps around the sides of it.

  • NYC subway eagle plaque S2

    Since I have most of the 2 gallon kit of mold rubber left over that needs to be used up, I decided to set up this clay model I did in 2008 after an original polychromed terracotta at the 14th st subway station in Manhattan. A volunteer back then took several photos and obtained measurements for me to work with. The model has been kicking around in the studio, the basement and elsewhere around the house while I decided on how I wanted to do the molds.

    Originally I was going to do 2 molds, as a one-piece panel, and as thinner tiles in terracotta. For now I’m going to caulk-in the seams to have it as a one-piece panel with the seams looking like mortar joints.

    Setting up the model for the mold involves cutting a sheet of drywall in one piece to surround the assembly so I can raise/lower the drywall to get the final depth of what I want for the resulting castings’ thickness.
    I wanted to keep as thin as practical to lessen the weight, but the lower tail fin section was thinner than I felt it should be, so I lowered the drywall down 1/2″ from where I originally thought it might go, that leaves the thinnest portion 1-1/2″ thick.
    I started caulking in the seams between pieces to fill, but not obliterate them- so the liquid mold rubber can’t drizzle down through the spaces before it sets up.

    Only the rubber portion will be done for now, the plaster support shell for this and the plaster mold for the beaver will have to wait until I order some of my casting material, molding plaster, and a few boxes of clay if they clay I have on hand is not usable (been sitting around for a couple of years it still dries out even in the unopened plastic bags)
    It might be a month before I order that stuff since I still have 3 bags of casting material on hand and it all has to be freight shipped, so it’s about a $600 outlay for what I’ll want to order.

    One of the original polychromed terracotta eagles at the 14th St platform.