Cast Aluminum Commission

I was approached by a client to fabricate a fender ornament for his custom motorcycle. He wanted an “alley cat” and by george that’s what I’m going to give him. So here’s some of the process of what goes into a cast aluminum piece:

And first there was clay-and it was good:

After a design sketch is approved, I model the character in polymer clay

Usually I’ll send pictures of the completed sculpt for final approval before mold making commences. Once approved, I used a brush on silicone (for the mold material) along with a plaster mother mold.

Then cast-pocalypase!

I only need two workable casts for the client, but extras are always made..because it’s better to be safe than sorry. These are wax because we are working with the lost wax process of metal casting.

Sprues and vents OH MY:

For the metal to flow into, and the air bubbles out of, we have to attach the sprue and vent system. You would think heating wax to wax would be pretty easy, but gravity tends to be a pest and it always takes longer then you think.

Next up: PART 2- ceramic shells and molten metal!

Gearing up for the solo exhibition

I know it’s been quiet around these parts lately, but I assure you it’s a positive thing.  The theme and the plan for the first FigureFunnyBusiness solo exhibition is in the works, and production is in full swing. I’ll have some  pics of some new works posted this week, and I think a little process walk through for those of you interested in “how to” info.

So stay tuned, exciting things on the horizon.

Breast Prosthetic

A few months ago- I was approached by a photographer that I have met on a few occasions, to make a squirting prop for a photo shoot she was doing. She explained what she was looking for, to which I told her ” I’ve never made one before, sure why not.”

Sooooo, not knowing a thing about what I was doing..I did a lot of looking around, and gave it a shot. I’ll post pictures after the cut so you can see the process and the final product.  It MAY not be “safe for work.” However, if you’re at work…why are you reading my blog (hide the kids)?

 So AFTER taking an alginate casing of the models needed anatomy, I built up clay AFTER running a tube (that will hook up to a syringe) across the plaster positive (image above of the rough build up).

then came the shaping and clean up, some texture application blah blah, until it looked like what I started with.


 I then made a plaster sombrero..wait, no I made a mold of the build up

Then took the clay of the original plaster positive (I know it’s confusing, but remember I don’t know what I’m doing, so explaining it throughly is totally out of the question). After cleaning the clay off, I have two parts of a mold that fit together with a space between them where the clay had previously been. This gives us a void to fill with silicone. So I again ran the tubing across the plaster positive, and filled the mold with silicone.

WAAAAAA-LA! After pulling the silicone from the mold, it’s time to clean up the flashing (those edges), and take it to the shoot.

This is the result of my efforts, (the appliance not the photograph) not bad for a first timer. As this is a little off my chosen path of sculpture, it was a fun and challenging project, and I had a good 3 days working it out. Sure it probably could have gone smoother, but it was a good learning experience.  Make up appliances are for an entirely different breed of obsessive compulsives than character sculptors. Special thanks to Rose M. Barron for her image, go check out her other work, she’s quite talented!

The Time Machine

I recently read the Time Machine by H.G. Wells for the first time, followed by the George Pal movie (another first). I loved the book and it’s message, but was honestly a bit let down by the movie. Before you start yelling at me, let me explain.. I’m a fan of George Pal (I mean really how can you NOT be) and though he won awards for his special effects on the film (hello stop mo) I was really upset it wasn’t a puppet film. SO I did what anyone would do- I envisioned a puppet version, and made an Eloi and Morlock maquette based on my readings.

STOP MOTION taking over!!

Incase you live under a rock (which I doubt you do because you are now reading this) you have hopefully noticed that in the past month or so 3 yes 3 feature length stop motion films have come to U.S. theaters. Enjoy these trailers, and hopefully go see the real thing on the big screen!
First up: Laika- ParaNorman

I mean really-Zombies, and misunderstood social outcasts? How can you not empathize?! Seriously it was beautiful, the animation flawless, and the story relevant and touching. Bravo Laika!

Second in line:Toys in the Attic

Jiri Barta (the Czech animator!!) brings us this feature utilizing his skills in object animation. I’ve always been a fan of Bartas work, and was surprised that he had a theatrical release here in the States. Love the textures of the objects, and the unconventional aesthetic he brings to the screen (well, I guess it COULD be considered conventional in regards to the history of Stop Mo..but I can go on that diatribe forever).

Last but certainly not least: FrankenWeenie from Tim Burton

what can I say, it was great! A throwback to his upbringing on classic Monster films / meets a stoy about acceptance and love. In my humble opinion, I liked it just as much as Nightmare- and that’s all I’ll say so as not to ruin it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet.

Now- go to the movies!!


Laika (yes the animation studio) has at this point already released ParaNorman. In celebration of their accomplishment (and yes it was an immense accomplishment  I’ve seen it three times thus far and am BLOWN AWAY by the level of advancement they have brought to Stop Motion) they had a Zombie themed creative challenge for their supporters. I submitted the following entry, and had a fantastic time being able to participate.

I leave you with this question- If everyone is concerned about the “Zombie Apocalypse,” then why don’t they just turn off the T.V.?

I know I’ve been slacking

I want to apologize for my lack of updates lately. I hope you don’t take my quiet as a sign of inactivity I ASSURE you it’s quite the opposite! MANY new interesting things are on the horizon, and in the next few short weeks, an actual website will be up and running (about time I know). I’ve been working on some large scale works and many pieces that are long in their realization (what can I say, art is a process) in short-things are happening fast and furious round these parts- even though they seem slow and some what depressed.
I will depart for now with this very good news:
I was approached for inclusion to the 5th annual Imagine Science Film festival in New York, and will have the opportunity to screen Amygdala in front of many great scientific minds (and their fans). I’m honored to be included and hope some of you will be able to enjoy the whole event.