I was serious when I said I wanted to make one of my own, and my brain has been whirling with ideas. So the first step to recreating this gorgeous beast is to figure out the approach…what will it be made of? How will it be constructed? How can I streamline the process to make this as easy as possible?
First I took a little time to really scrutinize the photos and quite quickly you can see that this is really only one piece duplicated over and over again.
So in theory I would only need to recreate one piece to use as a mold. Of course what type of mold depends on what materials I am going to use. The original piece is made of lightweight fiberglass and then sprayed to be this beautiful gold color.
Now truthfully I don’t know the first thing about molding fiberglass. I have googled the process and read a few website showing some tutorials, but everything is for a one sided item (like a press mold). I’m not sure how you would make something that is a complete piece. I could also cast the fiberglass, which is basically make a base out of styrofoam and then layer fiberglass on top. That would make a lightweight finished product (I think…this is all in theory) but of course to make something similar in scale to the original I would need to make 84 separate pieces. The idea of doing that all by hand is daunting.
Then I gave some thought to changing materials to either clay or porcelain…I could quite easily sculpt the starter piece out of clay. This medium would really allow me to get the smooth as silk finish, by burnishing it in when it is leather hard, the glaze options would be endless (OMG could you see this as one giant raku piece) . Also if I made a plaster mold out of the sample piece I could slip cast the rest which would make the process drastically easier and quicker. But for all the pros, the one con I’m really worried about with this approach is how heavy it will be. One piece would be a decent weight, say the weight of that vase you may have on your dining room table. Now imagine 84 of them all connected together…yeah a beast is right. Also, if I did go this route I need to think of a way to connect them since I don’t have access to some crazy huge kiln. The pieces would have to be fired several at a time and assembled (somehow). Truthfully it might be prudent to do a sample run my making a MUCH smaller version of this design, something that would be used as well art went completed.
So…what do you guys think? Any holes in my thought process? Any suggestions or comments? All is welcome!