March 15, 2019

How it's made: sculpting in epoxy

The original Miss Lizzie sculpture is made of two-part epoxy clay*, sculpted layer by layer over a lightweight armature. Epoxy turns rock hard only a few hours after mixing, which is a curse as well as a blessing. It takes a different approach than working in soft clay or wax. Here are some things that I have learned over the years: 

- Always wear gloves when working with epoxy, frequent exposure can cause a nasty allergic reaction to it (like your skin falling off, trust me, I've seen it). Try powder free nitrile gloves, they last long and don’t smell bad like the latex ones.
- Build the sculpture up in layers (like an onion) instead of working on one body part at a time. I find it easier to get the proportions right this way. 
- Don’t sculpt any details until you’ve got the overall shape and depth in all dimensions. If you need to correct an area (you probably will), it will hurt less if you don’t have to destroy many hours worth of detailing.
- A sculpting stand is not your friend when working in epoxy. Putting the sculpture on its feet regularly helps keeping the symmetry and balance on the right track. 

* I use Milliput Superfine White. Favorite sculpting tools? See here.

March 5, 2019

Abrantes painted by Sarah Bieber

Isn't he beautiful? This copy of Abrantes has been painted by young German artist Sarah Bieber. If you'd like to see more of her work (you do), go visit her website!