Page At A Time Introduction
Site Map
Main Project

Updated on Monday and Thursday.
"I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past."

— Stanislaw Lem, Solaris

Older pagesNewer pages

Thursday, October 14th, 2004

In this entry, I'm showing the first stage in sculpting an Eaiean skull, based on my sketches. I could have done more detailed drawings to prepare, but I think better in three dimensions. My plan is to let the detail appear as I work

Below is my canonical sculpting kit:

Sculpting tools

The wire, foil and pliers are for making armatures (inner supports for sculptures). In the center is a variety of dental tools that work well for creating fine detail. At bottom left is a ceramic tile, useful as a base for sculpting polymer clay; the piece can be baked hard right on the tile and removed when done.  At upper left is a ribbon of "green" epoxy putty (commercial name: Kneadatite®), which is the material I'm using for this project. The plastic tray is courtesy of Best Western. I have a set of enamel trays handed down from my grandmother, who once ran an ice cream store in Haledon; I like these because they can be placed in an oven, but they're somewhere in storage right now...
Wire armature
I start by making an armature from the copper wire.  I've decided that I won't be using the tile; I'll just use a loop of wire on the armature as a handle.

There are other delicate bits that will need support; I'll add wires for those at another stage. I assume that I'll only get the lower half of the skull done at this stage.
Armature with foil padding
I pack aluminum foil around the wire.  It's much cheaper than the sculpting material.
Mixing epoxy putty
I knead the epoxy putty, which has yellow and blue halves; when it turns a uniform green, it's thoroughly mixed. I now have about a half hour to work with it.
Applying putty
I apply the putty to the armature...
Checking side fit
and check what I've got against my original drawings.
Checking front fit
I realize that I only mixed enough putty to do the lower half of the lower half, so I deal. The curved holes are sockets for the Eaiean equivalent of mandibles. I create a roughened palate which I see as having rows of sharp  teeth.  The mandibles scrape the food over this surface to shred it.
Bottom of skull
Detail that I didn't have in the drawings - the base of the skull, showing the attachment point for the spinal column and holes that correspond to the foramen magnum in the human skull. I think the Eaie have a redundant spinal cord, but this idea is subject to change.
Having gone as far as I can with this section, I suspend the piece and allow it to cure.

Hanging up to cure

In the next entry, I'll be talking about Ubercon, so I'll be continuing the sculpture discussion at the end of next week, or the beginning of the week following.


all contents of this site, unless otherwise attributed, are © joseph j. anthony, 2004 is hosted by net access corporation -