Making the Cow / Calf Elephant Sculpture Audubon Zoo Sculpture Project Join the Journey (Scroll Down)
A Miniature Elephant Family Proposal The miniature elephant family proposal.
Miniature Cow/Calf Zoo Project Elephants Cow: Somewhat gathered in her legs, showing unity with her calf and a soft interaction.
Starting with a block of foam and all reference images for the maquette The miniature elephants have been approved with the exception of a few minor changes. The next step is enlarging the miniatures to maquette size. All of the maquettes will begin in foam. I always like to start with a simple skeletal sketch on the foam to help cement the anatomy. I sometimes redraw the skeleton as I work, to keep the all-important bone placement in mind.
Refining the Foam The maquettes will be three times the size of the miniatures and approximately 1/7th life size. In other words, my 5.5″ tall cow elephant mini will be 15.5″ in the maquette size, and approximately 108″ (9 feet tall) at life size.
Cow/Calf Zoo Sculpture – The first layer of clay The cow gets her first layer of clay and some legs. The calf is started for size comparison.
Cow/Calf Audubon Zoo Sculpture – Starting the calf I’m anxious to give poor Mom a head!
Sheet metal for the ears Ellie gets a head and some ears.
Clay on the ears – Zoo project I have been working on the cow and calf in preparation to take them on the road with me to a round of shows beginning November 9. I will be able to refine details with the bulk of the anatomy in place. The public loves to watch an artist at work and in the past, I have actually gotten a LOT of work done while selling bronzes. It’s nice to have a husband that knows how to engage the patrons during the shows. He’s a great team member!
Waterfowl Festival, Easton, Maryland – Traveling with the clay to my shows, I actually get a lot of work done! December 10 – Here is the progress from the road. I will ship the clay back home after this show in Vegas and finalize more details over Christmas.
Maquette December 2015
I took the cow/calf to Audubon Zoo January 25 and got approval to move forward with the enlargement phase…And she is off to the foundry for molding!
Looking forward to working with everyone at Audubon. The energy is contagious!
March 15, 2016 – This 3D scan shows the detail captured in the process. The surface information from the maquette is plugged into a cad program which relays the information to a CNC mill. The enlargement factors are entered and the maquette is cut to the appropriate increased size in foam… in this case, x 7.03 larger than the maquette.
April 1, 2016 The baby is cut in foam to the specified height Synappsys (Alan Ray) is in charge of the milling process. I love these guys (Mark Palmerton/The Crucible) because they are staying on task for our tight time frame. Most of the detail has been captured in this foam enlargement. The foam will be refined, sanding in details that were lost in the milling process. Then, we can add a layer of clay and begin sculpting… the fun stuff!
APR 24, 2016 Momma elephant is being milled in foam
April 24, 2016
April 24, 2016 – More Elephant Pieces – Audubon Zoo Project
May 17, Steve has assembled Momma and she is standing!
Lots of work to refine the details in the foam
The foam particles are tiny and not healthy to inhale, I really hate these particle masks
May 23, Michael is filling in the seam lines
May 24, Preparing for the first layer of clay
Steve applies the hot clay with a hot pot, heated hose and pressurized spray gun (their invention)
Still missing some ears!
Bringing the Cow and Calf together – Zoo Sculpture
Done in clay
This little guy stands on his own, but he does help hold up Mom
I have permission to sell the baby in an edition of 5
The cow’s head was cast in one piece, amazing!
Lots of elephant ‘parts’
The crew works on her at all angles
With four legs down, she does not require internal armature for support
You can see the enormous panels the foundry is able to pour in one piece… less welding
And she’s up!
The patina is simple, darken her with potash and scrub out the highlights
And a protective layer of wax over a heated elephant