May 22nd, 2013
Completed a 5 ½ foot tall praying mantis sculpture for the 2013 Summer Sculpture Series Downtown Midland.
The big guy will be delivered this week and all things considered it was a very fun project.
The “Mighty Midland Mantis” was constructed from ½ inch pieces of plywood that were designed to fit together using minimum hardware.
The project was very much like assembling a large wood puzzle.
The sculpture will be displayed in the downtown are of the city during June, July, August and September.
May 19th, 2011
Finshed Boris The Bolter yesterday and soon he will be delivered to a local company for an industrial polycoat application.
The build took from February until mid-March and resulted in over 100 hours of work.
To see more photos and documentation of the process including links to some time lapse videos click here.
May 12th, 2011
The Boris troll is now completely built and waiting to be painted this coming weekend. The assembly proceeded according to plan and there were no real surprises other than the amount of time it took to complete the texturing process.
The assembly started by attaching the body to the feet. Four 1”x3” pieces of lumber were bolted the short pieces of lumber that had been built into the feet design. The four pieces were secured to the inner structure of the papier mache body then the cardboard chambers were filled with recycled water bottles and expanding foam.
The feet were further refined by adding cardboard strips creating a natural looking connection between each foot and the body.
Next the top of the body was cut to allow a proper fit for the head. Before the head was attached the hands were mounted onto the body using a combination of screws, hot glue and wire. After the hands were in place the head was positioned then all of the connection points were covered with multiple layers of papier mache strips.
A tattered cape was added by coating pieces of distressed burlap coated in a combination of joint compound and latex paint (Monster Mud). Ignore the color of the cape in the photos because it is the result of the recycled paint used to make the Monster Mud. After the cape had dried (hardened) the hair was extended off the back, flowing over the cape.
The final step was to apply different textures to the entire sculpture. Texture is very important for this project because the painting technique that will be used is dry brushing. Early on I had decided that I wanted a lizard or elephant-like hide and this could be accomplished by pressing loose weave burlap into the partially dry clay.
Because the troll is so large I didn’t want the same small texture to be used on the entire body so I created three different sized “weaves” that could be used on different parts of his body. The smallest texture was used on the nose and eyelids, the medium size was used on the head, ears and arms and finally a large scale weave was used on his body and feet.
The hair and fingernail texture was achieved by running the tongs of a plastic fork through the wet clay. The cape retained the natural burlap texture and each fray will pop when the paint is applied.
The wrench and bolts received no special texture other than the imprint lettering, again the dry brushing technique will make the lettering stand out as the words will be black against a rust colored surface.
Before the painting begins I need to scrap and sand the base, drill some holes so that the piece can be mounted to a concrete base and do a little tough up sanding to remove any burrs or other unwanted imperfections.
April 25th, 2011
A quick update on my troll for the 2011 Midland Downtown Sculpture Series, each individual element for Boris is complete and the next step is assembling all the pieces and filling the interior spaces with expandable foam.
At this point the basic shape is roughed out but there is still a lot of work to do adding finishing details and textures. Boris still needs warts, hair, arms, burlap cape and the final skin texture.
Note that in the photos the head is just sitting on top of the body structure, when it is actually assembled it will sort of be sunk into the top of the body, lowered about 10 inches and positioned looking more straight forward versus looking up.
Currently his progress is dependent on the weather because he needs to be completed in our garage as he is too large to get through the doorway of our house. Lately the weather has been a little too cold (and wet) for me to comfortably work in the garage, hopefully this next week temperatures will start to warm up into the mid 60’s.
Overall he is shaping up according to plan and I’m really looking forward to seeing him complete and take his place downtown Midland.
February 12th, 2011
Boris is a troll designed for the 2011 Downtown Midland Summer Sculpture Series.
The committee meets next week to select a number of trolls that will be displayed in our downtown area throughout the summer.
Boris will be created from several papier mache techniques and sealed with an industrial clear coat.
Boris will stand approximately 4 feet tall and be 3 feet wide and deep.
The rendering is a 1/6 scale clay sculpture based on some rough concept sketches, the clay miniature will be used to obtain proper measurements and proportions for the full scale papier mache version.
August 3rd, 2010
These three pumpkins were started a couple of weeks ago and are the result of mixing three of my different projects into one…the trash bag pumpkins, the new cardboard strip pumpkins and the screaming ½ skulls.
The progress so far is promising…these guys will eventually have eyeballs and get painted with an airbrush.