Thursday, September 25, 2008

Iron Horn - Monumental - More Foaming

I added the rear Loin cloth. The I prepared the shirt to have foam poured in behind it to fill the empty cavity between the shirt and to foam Indian.
I spent the afternoon taping and plugging anywhere liquid foam might force it's way through. I still had a lot of leakage. Eventually the cavity was filled with foam.

The shirt bulged in the middle of the back so I had to remove the waxed dipped cloth from the new foam. I then carved off the bulge, and started shaping the back. I will probably remove the rest of the shirt tomorrow. Since the foam now is the base. I will still leave the long sections of leg skin hanging though.

That's it for today. The process of prep is very slow and deliberate. No rushing a life size piece. Every thing I do, has to be well thought out, when you do a piece this size. Mistakes can be magnified.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Iron Horn - Monumental - Reattaching and Foaming

First off. This will make my sixth Life-size piece. Each one is new and has a set of obstacles that I have to solve. I've never had anyone show me how to do monumental pieces. I'm learning as I work on it. Each problem, has to be overcome. It's what makes it all so fun and interesting to do.
First thing I do today is reattach IH's left arm. I create a space between the main body and the arm then tape around the opening to create a space to pour foam into.

How do you create a space. I took scrap pieces of wood and pounded them into the foam body where the arm and shoulder were cut, leaving about a 1/2 inch of it above the surface.
I then put the arm/shoulder in position and put fondue sticks through the foam to keep it in place while I tape the opening closed. I then pour foam into the space. It works... lol

Now I start on his back and upper shoulders. I need to increase the depth of his upper body. I start by creating a tape reservoir to pour foam in. I take pieces of scrap foam into the space between the back and the tape. This pushes it out a bit. I finish the reservoir and then pour foam into it.

Here it is with the tape removed. I have to cut and shape the upper shoulders. I don't bother with the lower back because it will be covered with the clothing.

I then melt wax, and make a pattern for the back of the shirt. I cut it in the shape of a doe skin with the skin of the legs hanging down. I carefully dip the cloth into the melted wax and place it on the upper shoulders. I then shape the folds and put screws into it to hold it in place.

Tomorrow I'll back fill the space between the lower back and the inside of the shirt. I just have to figure out how I'll do that tomorrow..

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Iron Horn - Monumental - Cleaning Up

Just a photo I took in Yellowstone Park last Spring.

Nothing to show today. Just spent the day cleaning and trying to create more space to work in. Will be back on it in the morning though..

Monday, September 22, 2008

Iron Horn - Monumental - Adding and Taking Away

I cut away the shot pouch, fringe on the shot pouch, and the right arm and shoulder. The reason for this major elimination is, when I created the small version in clay, I had to fill in crevasses to make it easier to make the mold. Because of this, it didn't transfer well into the blow up version. So I've cut away all that so that I can re-create the arm and shoulder as well as the pouch. Photos show the aftermath of this cut away.

Now I build a reservoir for foam on his backside. I needed to increase the size of his bottom. This is so, when I put the loin cloth over his butt, it will hang properly. I also had to build up the back side of his upper right leg.

I removed the paper and started carving and shaping. Then I had to make major changes to the Indians bottom. I had to cut away foam between the legs, because in a life size, you'll be able to see up between his legs under the loin cloth. So I had to give form to the upper part of the legs and make an area for the part between his legs.

At the end of the day, I had the basic shape formed in the areas that I added to today. Tomorrow I'll work on his shoulders and his back. I hope to add the back of his shirt in the afternoon.
I'm holding off adding the rear loin cloth till I get the legs sculpted.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Iron Horn - Monumental - Adding to the leg

Spent the day today correcting a flaw in the life sized foam. The left leg, at the knee, was sunken, so I had to add foam to fill out the leg, so that it would look more natural. The following is a video of that. I also started to work on the front loin clot, and the left bottom part of the war shirt.

Well that's it for the weekend. Check back in next week, probably around Wednesday. Don't hold me to that though.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Iron Horn - Monumental - Feet and Lighting

Today I built light stands to elevate my swing arm lamps so that I can control the lighting on the monumental piece I'll be working on.
What does a sculptor do, after all? We shape shadows till they make familiar forms. To create personality and mood, I constantly reposition the lighting. So I needed to make movable stands for this.
First I removed the tape from the feet where I injected foam the night before.

Now the feet can be reshaped. Next week, probably towards the end of the week, I'll be able to finally start to add clay to the foam.
That's it for today. Hope your enjoying these entries.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Iron Horn - Monumental - 1st day

Today I got around to mounting the life size foam of "Iron Horn". I placed the platform on my home made, elevated, turn table.

Now once the foam is mounted with it's galvanized pipe support, I find the front of the feet have about a 1 inch space at it's toes.

I duct tape the sides of the feet, to confine the expansion of the foam, that I will inject under the feet.

Final pictures showing the full figure. I've added a photo of the original bronze just so you can compare.

Well that's it till next week, when I get the clay, then I'll be back with the application of the first clay.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ain't No Cowboy - Small Details

Today was spent just working on the face of the cowgirl. Just little details. Laboriously taking away small areas of clay, and adding micro areas of clay to other parts of the face. I added detail to the hair, and ears. Here is a photo of Lea Ann sitting for me, between customers, in her store.

Here is the piece as of 4 pm this afternoon.

I brought the head of the monumental foam of Iron Horn and compared it to the original bronze. Here is a photo of that. I am amazed at the technology that it took to create this replica. Just a few years ago, I'd of had to have the foundry point up the original. It would have taken weeks and cost 3 times as much as creating this foam to size.

Check back Next week. I'll be mounting the foam on it's platform. You'll want to see this. I still have a ton of detail work to do on the monumental piece. I'm really excited to share the creation of this piece with you. Hope you'll let me know what you think at

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ain't No Cowboy - Minor Anatomical Adjustments

Today was spent in the Otterbanks Gallery and Gifts. I made adjustments to the curve of the posterior and the cleavage of the cowgirl. Both were in bad need of refinement.
First I defined the curve of the buttock.

Next I had to improve her cleavage. Cutting away the shirt allows me to work on her chest without any hindrance. I use a brush soaked in lighter fluid to smooth the skin. Then I put the parts of the shirt back on that I cut away.

During the afternoon, we had a Homecoming Parade in down Main Street for Ennis High School. All the school grades took part. Thought I'd share some photo's of a small town parade.

Tomorrow I work on the pants and the face. Primarily the mouth and cheeks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Picking up Iron Horn - Monumental Sized

Today, with the help of my apprentice, Julie Burt, I traveled to the foundry to pick up the computer scaled up foam version of the bronze, Iron Horn .
A wax was made of the small version of Iron Horn and sent to a place where they scan the figure into a computer and then, depending on the size, they scaled it up to a six foot figure and then cut it out of foam using lasers. The bigger the less detail comes out. I was amazed at how much detail actually did come out in the foam. The following are photo's taken at Northwest Art castings today as we picked up the finished foam figure.
Julie holds the gun in the first photo. Scott, the owner of Northwest Art Castings in the checkered shirt and I go over the mounting of the foam to the wood platform, with the support needed to hold up the weight of the clay, once it's put onto the foam.

As you can see in the second to the last photo, the foam was loaded into the back of my truck for the trip back to the studio. The full figure probably weighed less than 6 pounds. It's totally amazing to see in person. Julie and I will start putting clay on this piece as soon as we receive the 150 pounds of clay it will take to finish it up. The detail is less, like I said, in this size, so I will have to redo the face a bit and will correct things that don't translate well when you increase the size of a small piece.
What really surprised me was the fact that it was perfectly proportioned. I work very hard to get these measurements right and it really paid off in the final point up.
Well I'll be back in the Otter Banks for Friday and Saturday working on Ain't No Cowboy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

This Week

Just a small update. I'm cleaning my studio and getting it ready to do a life-size of Iron Horn. A bronze that can be found on my website
I'll also be doing some personal business. Please keep coming back though. I'll also be trying to put the finishing touches on a few of my clays, preparing them for the foundry. I took a few days off from everything just to recharge my batteries... they're charged now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

At Home - Trouble at the Dam

Arrived Home from my August Tour. No accidents or break downs. At home we had a major break down.
For my friends who live in the Madison Valley and who read my blog, I've pasted information on the problems with Hebgen Dam, 50 miles from Ennis Montana, where I live. I added pictures I took of the area today at the end of the brief article.

Engineers continue to work to correct a mechanical failure at PPL Montana’s Hebgen Dam near Ennis that increased water flow in the Madison River on Sunday (8/31).
“PPL Montana’s top priority is keeping the public and our employees safe, and our engineers are working to correct the issue,” said David Hoffman, director of External Affairs for PPL Montana. “We see no risk to the stability of the dam.
“We realize the closure of the Madison River is an inconvenience for boaters and river guides, but it’s the right precaution to take to ensure public safety,” he said. “We’re using the best engineering practices to solve the problem and return Hebgen to normal operations as quickly as possible.”
The normal water flow level for this time of year is about 850 cubic feet per second. At 3,400 cubic feet per second, the current water flow is more typical of the levels in May and June.
“Although the river channel is able to accommodate this level of water, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of the public and downstream properties,” Hoffman said.
An engineering team is looking for a solution to lower the flow of water, including installing a temporary bulkhead near the lower gates.
Hebgen Lake is just north of the Idaho border near Yellowstone Park. Hebgen is used to store water from a 905-square-mile drainage area at the headwaters of the Madison-Missouri river system, home to eight PPL Montana hydroelectric plants.
The company will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the incident.

The next two photo's are of Quake Lake and the outflow from it. Quake Lake is just a few miles from the dam.

These are pictures take of the dam today by me. The second photo shows the engineers working on the metal cage that they are going to drop in front of the intake so they can lower the heavy door that they still have to deliver to the dam in a day or two. In Three days the heavy water flow will be stopped.