The Gryphon

3D rendition of the original illustration by Sir John Tenniel for Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. 

After making the armature and attaching it to a shellac sealed MDF board. I then started to block out the griffin, whilst looking at lion and eagle anatomy. I have also looked at sitting animals such as lions and dogs to help me with the positioning of the legs.

(Finished griffin sculpture) I will attach on the wings, ears and arms afterwards as I want the wings to be able to be manipulated. I will base my design very closely to the original illustrations, except changing the pose slightly to match my context; which would be on top of a gate as a protective icon, in a Gargoyle like pose.

After walling up down the centre and around the legs of the griffin, I have poured silicone on the side I have walled up to catch any detail. I continued to put a thick thixotropic silicone layer all over, including any undercuts. I then applied my gel coat, fibreglass tissue, fibreglass mat x2 an then finished with a tissue layer.

After doing one side, I found out that there is an easier way to mould by putting silicone on everything and then creating the wall. I decided to continue to do the remaining two parts with that method.

I have put release agent (white spirit 3:7 vaseline mixture) onto the fibreglass and silicone flange, and then poured silicone all over my sculpture in the same way I did before. After the thickened thixotropic layer, I created a wall by pinning and sticking long rectangles onto where the seam line would be with silicone. Next I cut into the cured silicone wall and inserted shim into the cut to create the wall.

After that, I layered the fibreglass on as I did previously (gelcoat, tissue, mat x2, tissue).

After fibreglassing the outer jacket on all three parts; whilst remembering to put release on the fibreglass flange, I have removed it from the board. Using a vibrasaw I cleaned up any sharp bits around the edge of the mould, remembering to leave enough room to bolt the mould together. I then continued to drill 6mm holes around the flange in which the bolts would be fitted.

Finished wed clay low relief sculpt, copying Sir John Tenniel's illustration. I will sculpt the same on the other side so it is double sided.

I have applied shellac on my clay sculpt as I will apply gel coat resin on top of this to create a mould.

After applying the catalysed gel coat (3% catalyst) I proceed to add fibreglass tissue then two layers of wetted out fibreglass mat then tissue to finish.

Casting the inside of the griffin by putting a thick layer of gel coat resin at 2% catalyst then applying fibreglass tissue to stop shrinkage. After that I apply two layers of fibreglass mat to add strength. When its in the green stage (partially cured) I use a sharp knife to neaten up the edges of  the cast so that the seam line is clean and it goes together well.

I then bolt two sides together tightly and then apply a paste of chopped strand and gel coat (3% catalyst) on the seam line so that the two pieces stick together. I do the same for the other parts and insert from the opeing in the bottom.

I have sculpted an arm/claw shape with two fingers as stumps so i can cast two more fingers and attach it to make a full claw. I will make the talons out of two part epoxy Milliput as they are very easy shapes to sculpt. I have also sculpted an ear and tail, all moulded with a box mould. 

Attaching the ears, tail and arms by drilling a small hole in the middle of the place I want to attach it on both side and then insert a small piece of steel wire then place car body filler around the seam line and sculpt it into the desired form. I then cleaned up any unwanted seam lines and then recreated a stone texture.

I have made the wings by placing a strong but bendable round steel wire in the mould to create an armature. Then I poured in tinted latex into the mould then left to dry for a day to create a latex skin so I can paint a stone texture to match. I then pour in two part soft foam into the mould then wait for it to cure. I repeat the process to get another wing. I then attach the two pieces of wire sticking out of the wing from the armature into the fibreglass stump by drilling a large hole in the correct place. I secure it by bending the wire from the inside of the fibreglass cast. I fill in the seam line by layering cotton wool and latex on the seam lines and imperfections. 

Finished piece of 'The Gryphon' comparison to the illustration. I have painted it all using acrylic paints to dry brush and give dirty washes and some stone effects spray paint to make it all match and especially make the wings blend in with the body so no one can tell that they are made from a difference material.