Now that the lion is finally mostly dry except for the base which gave me a bit of trouble all along, I hoisted him up carefully to insert a couple of blocks to rest it on so the bottom of the base can dry out better.
The base was originally built up on top of a sheet of safety glass on top of the plywood to keep the moisture from warping the plywood. But unfortunately the glass prevented moisture from drying out of the bottom, which resulted in it drying mostly from the top and sides, and that started causing the slab to want to warp upwards and crack.
As it warped up a bit I broke the glass and was able to get some of it out but the model at 825# was too heavy and too fragle to attempt to lift till now.
But it’s no big deal I can re-contour the bottom of the slab to a flatness, having already done that to the top and side a while back to remove most of the warp. With the bottom flattened out by shaving it down, it will stand on it much better.
The cracks in the base however are a concern for structural stability
so I am keeping the hoisting straps on it for the time being, that’s a lot of weight now supported on less base and the base has cracks across it that I’ve cosmetically filled.
I waited just a little too long to cut the head off while the clay was soft enough to do so, that may need a carbide sawzall blade to do now as trying with ordinary blades dulled them in a few seconds!
I wanted to remove the head and hollow it and the body a bit more and evenly, and then attach something inside to the table for stability just in case so the body can’t fall over should those base cracks weaken further.
I didn’t want to do too much along that line earlier due to the instability and softness, but I waited just a wee bit too long.
I estimate he weighs around 600-650 pounds right now.