The bear is now off of the form. It looks pretty neat, actually; a transparent bear is something one doesn’t see everyday!
I know I was short on pics the other day, but today makes up for it, I promise, loads of pictures!
Cutting the form with the 4″ grinder, for the awkward areas. Note sexy assistant…That’s Chuck, my husband
Down the back of the bear head
Cutting the shoulder area
The glass jaw set came out of the mold material today.
Fanatabulous! There was very little flashing, just around the top, where the glass frit went in. Nothing a good diamond bit can’t solve. That’s pretty much the only use I’ve ever had for diamonds; as tools for me to fabricate things out of wonderful art glass.
White opal, cast glass upper jaw set
Most people don’t realize this, but diamonds are actually very common; the market is artificially inflated for a pretty rock. I think I need a diamond blade for my bandsaw, now that I think about it. I feel another tool frenzy coming on! Just a few more tools and I can make just about anything!
So check out these teeth. They were pretty hard to capture on camera. Getting the shape of the fangs is a challenge, but a fun one. It’s soothing to sit there with the Dremel and the diamond bits, shaping the white glass into the right shape. It becomes an abstract shape, when one works on it for awhile. The shape and the production of that shape, become consuming, time slipping away unnoticed. In the psychology field, this is referred to as “flow”; flow is a theory that when we get involved in something, to the point of losing time and becoming immersed in what we’re doing, to the exclusion of all around us.
A fancy way to explain The Zone. Athletes get it, artists get it, scientists get it. It does seem to stave off dementias and to lengthen life span. Which is fine with me; it’s a great reason to not answer the phone. Not that I hear it much; I have a GREAT sound system.
- Part of the jaw set before removing the extra glass
The fangs, upper jaw set
Shaping the tooth into the right shape for the bear
This is the lower jaw of the jaw set. It’s safe to handle now. I like to work without gloves so the only safe way to do that is to wear gloves to break off the sharp stuff. I take them off as soon as the sharp stuff is gone. The sensation of touch is very important to me in my work. I need to feel the medium, to get a good grasp of how it’s going to work out.
This glass has had the worst of the sharp stuff broken off, next is the grinding and shaping of the lower fangs. Once all of that is done, I’ll use heat set glass paint to paint the gums the shade of blue grey they should be.
Right now, the tongue is in the mold material. I didn’t like the way it came out the first time.
So I broke it up in the frit maker so I can reuse it in this new and improved tongue.
Here is the kiln, on the downward part of the casting cycle. At this point the kiln temperature was 905, Fahrenheit. The glass for the tongue is beautiful stuff. It looks just lovely cleaned and sanded to a sea glass texture and translucence.
It’s been a long and very productive day. Tomorrow is finishing the chasing (clean up) of both the top and bottom of the jaw set. Then the claws. Presently there is a paw full of claw in there right now. tomorrow, if I like the claws, in goes the tongue. The eyes have to wait until the final coat of fiberglass goes on, then I’ll put clay over the eye area and make a mold of the shape I want.
It’s time to wrap this post up; I’ll be back in a day or two with more images of the process. Until then, be safe all!