Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Impishness



I was going to spend the day glazing lottery pieces, but with the school board vote (tonight!) looming large in my mind I was really too agitated. I talked myself into the idea that even though the lottery is falling further and further behind schedule, everything here is pathetically behind schedule. Using that logic, I told myself that anything I worked on was a helpful step towards getting things back on track.

Designing the mold for Imp was just the mentally consuming puzzle I needed. There were a lot of issues to think through if I was going to make the project work, but nothing I did today couldn't be undone later if it proved to be a mistake. (And I could further rationalize the time spent by telling myself that molds take forever to dry, so if I wanted to be able to tackle making these guys when the lottery horses were done, it would be better if I did this now so they could start drying sooner.)

I don't have a lot to show for all that thinking, other than those inked lines on the little guy. They don't look like a lot of work, but deciding where they go is the biggest hurdle in mold-making. In his case, I have two possible paths to take. I can try to cast him whole, or I can cast some of his legs separately and then reattach them in the greenware stage. Given the trouble I have had with distortion on the Arabian's legs, I've decided to try the piecing-together route first.

But in order to do that, I've got to make a rubber master. (That was the last and final rationalization for veering from my plans: I have leftover rubber that is nearing the end of its useful life.)



Since Imp is so small, I'll be using Legos to box these molds. Legos are wonderful because they eliminate the tedious sealing necessary with wooden mold boards. Here I've gone ahead and made a simple Lego frame to mark off the dimensions of my mold. The green background is a small square of countertop laminate. (I had my husband cut these from the scraps left when we redid our kitchen a few years ago. They make wonderful non-stick bases for molds.)



Here I am adding some Plastelina so I can start to clay up the original sculpture. The Plastelina is soft and smooths easily, and it can be purchased cheaply at the local Michaels, so it's perfect for this. I like this pale blue color because it shows up well against just about any material used for an original, although it reminds me of the blue icing they put on birthday cakes for little boys. (The texture isn't much different, either!)



Here I've placed Imp on his Plasteline bed. Once I have him positioned where I want him (keeping in mind that this is where the slipcast piece will be inside the plaster mold), I will begin claying up the original so that I can pour the first piece of the rubber master mold. That won't happen today, though, because I ran out of both Plasteline and time!

Perhaps tonight we will get good news about the fate of our school, and tomorrow I will painting with renewed enthusiasm. If not, I may be drowning my sorrows in sticky blue clay!