Check This Bear OUT!

The lights in the arms had to be done before the arm was put together.

The lights in the arms had to be done before the arm was put together.

Light ropes in the torso

Light ropes in the torso

This is going to be a long post, I’ve been busy and adding to it over the last few days before falling asleep.


Yesterday and today I got quite a bit done; I’ll be tiling the form with the glass very soon. Today it was time to start assembling the puzzle.

Yesterday was spent hanging the lights and doing the necessary adjustments to the armature. I also got the fiber optic fibers for the upper paws glued into place. We also got the arm attached on one side of the arm, we’ll do the other side tomorrow, which will fully attach one arm and get the second arm started.

It was necessary to glue those into place and then put the fiberglass over the fiber.

I knew that putting this together was going to be a challenge, because of the kerf from the saw. When putting the bear back together after it was cut off of the form, that had to be taken into account; that kerf is about 1/8″ and that throws off measurement! But with the proper clamps, that 1/8″ discrepancy is not an issue.

It always surprises me that one of the most common mistakes in fabrication is forgetting that kerf. Like I said, me and my sexy assistant, Chuck, we use a number of clamps to get the parts in their proper spots taking that 1/8″ into account. They make these cool things, cross shaped doo-hickeys, for tiling, called spacers. I find them to be multipurpose cool little objects.

Here’s some more images of the lighting installation:

Lighting for the inside of the head  DSCN3040

The lighting for the inside of the head and the first illumination!

It required my thinking hood. I think really well with my hood on, headphones and the grinder going.

But I think this is going to work out just perfectly. The light fixture lights need to be finished hanging; at this point, they’re hanging loosely where I want them to go . The only thing I’m thinking of redoing, is the long life lights that are too white, I think. It’s going to depend upon how it looks once the glass is on. It’s better to do this change after the application of the glass, because how it looks through the form is never totally indicative of what the final look will be.

The first illumination


The putting together of the arms had a challenge that my sexy and ever-so-smart assistant, Chuck, came up with the idea of using a kid’s punch ball in the arm. It was a team effort, one of us had to hold the balloon at the bottom of where it needed to be, then inflated the thick balloons with the compressor.The ballooon

It worked perfectly! The balloon filled the arm and held it in the right spot for the application of the fiberglass to the seam. In fact, that worked far better than expected. I see a future in buying some sheet rubber. Had we thought of this sooner, that would have been what we did; cut the needed bladder out of some heavy duty rubber, put on a two way valve, and these things can be used anywhere.

I tell you, I am so glad that I married that man. He is not only sexy, but he’s an art tool, in his own right. He’s had a helluva lot of construction experience, and those skills apply to this, along with my skills in welding, and sewing.

Sewing experience, particularly in making a 2D surface become a 3D object like a stuffed toy or a purse, has been invaluable in my art experience all the way around.

See young artists, never scoff at learning a new set of skills, you just never know when that skill will be of use in a particular situation, and/or in an art project.


This balloon was popped and pulled out after we were done with the initial cure. I’m doing more fiberglassing tonight. I have claws to finish sanding, as they are going to be the first glass that’s applied to the bear, then the jaw set, and the tongue, then the face/head will be fiberglassed onto the torso of the bear.

It’s an epic project and I just LOVE IT!!!


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