© 2016 Sally Charlton

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Fruize the Deer

3D rendition of anthropomorphic deer/fawn character 'Fruize' design by illustrator Clara Bacou.

Click here to see on 1stdibs

Making of 1.2m tall fibreglass sculpture of Fruize...

Illustrations by Clara Bacou, see her work at: www.clarabacou.com

Planning and researching deer anatomy. This deer is an adolescent deer with some fawn like qualities; therefore I am researching both fawns and adult deer. I have drawn and studied the anatomy and muscle structure to help me understand the pose and what to sculpt in to get the proportions correct. The head will be slightly larger in proportion to the body as the artist often illustrates it that way.

Casting

Sculpting

Sculpting Process in Wed clay on top of welded steel armature. I have used damp kitchen towel for thinner areas which dry out easily. I will add on the ears later as it makes it easier to sand.

Finished sculpture before moulding.

Moulding

I am moulding in PS-28 condensation cure silicone with very fast (green) and fast (blue) catalyst by pouring silicone directly over the sculpture, ensuring it is covering all surfaces. Using a brush, I make sure it gets into undercuts for the first layer to capture all the detail.

I have layered on silicone until it is about 3cm thick using thickened silicone with polyfibre, and inbetween using towel to strengthen, use less silicone and prevent tears as this is a large three part silicone mould with a fibreglass shell, and the artist would like to create multiple casts.

I have stuck on rectangular silicone strips with pins and more silicone on where the seam line would be in order to insert the shim to create a wall. I have also stuck on larger square joggles so that it makes it easier to insert the mould back in the correct place in the fibreglass jacket. I use more silicone around the edges of the wall and the joggles to secure it in place. Once cured, I will remove the pins holding it in place.

Into the silicone rectangular strips I have cut into where I want the seam line with a long sharp blade so that I can insert thin plastic strips as shim to create a wall all around the mould so that the fibreglass jacket has a flange. A flange is needed so that the mould fits together and that I can bolt the mould together without it moving around.

Creating the fibreglass shell 

I have put one layer of gel coat at 2% catalyst (due to hot temperatures) on top of the silicone mould after walling up. Then when tacky, layer fibreglass tissue on top to stop shrinkage. After doing one layer all over one side, I continued to put 2 layers of fibreglass mat wetted out with general purpose resin. To finish off, i have adding a finishing layer of fibreglass tissue so it is safe to touch and handle. Once cured, I have taken out the wall for the parts I have done and then continued to do the same for all three parts of the mould whilst always remembering to put release agent (white spirit:vaseline 4:6) on the flange of the fibreglass.

I have used the vibrasaw to take off any sharp fibreglass along the edge and to neaten the mould. 

(Finished mould) I have drilled 6mm holes in the mould also to insert the 6mm bolt and wing nut to the flange.

Opening the mould using a mallet to push the wooden wedges all around the mould to loosen.

Pulling the mould apart into three pieces and getting the clay out of the silicone. As there was a steel armature inside i have bent it so I can get it out easier. I have sculpted a rough ear shape so I get an idea of how big I want it to be.

Finished ear sculpt sculpted in monster clay. I will use the same mould for both ears.

For casting, I have put one layer of gel coat all over the inside to get any details and making sure to get in any undercuts. I have mixed the gel coat at 2% catalyst and then put fibreglass tissue onto the gel coat when tacky to stop shrinkage. I have continued to put two layers of fibreglass mat wetted out with general purpose resin at 1% all over the inside parts for strength.

Cutting the edge of the cast so that there are no jagged bits and so the parts go together evenly.

Adding chopped strand and gel coat to form a paste and then placed onto the join line of where the mould will fit together so that when bolted together it cures and sticks together.

After demoulding, i have attached the cast ears on and filled in any seam lines and used milliput to resculpt any areas that have airbubbles or imprefections. After that, I have moved on to sand the whole model until I achieved a high finish. I have used yellow spray primer then used wet and dry sand paper to sand it all off. First using a course grit all over then progressing onto finer grits. I have finished off all over with a 400 grit, then applied white spray primer to the deer.

After painting and airbrushing......