Monday, March 2, 2015

Building Layers, Supporting the Bubble, and Making Texture

Once the first few layers had hardened, it became a faster process of building up the collar for Cosmos Cat.  With the basic form in place, I added some "L" brackets to support the bubble.

I want to be able to remove the bubble easily, just in case something happens in the future when Cosmos Cat might need to be repaired or modified.

I continued to build up around the brackets with Hard Molding Paste and created a "fur" ruff to cover the metal brackets and screws.

Checking for fit of bubble onto collar

Checking for fit of bubble onto collar
Original Concept Sketch with Bubble
The fit is getting there.  I still need to build it up in a few spots.

As you can see, I went a little crazy with the hard molding past on Cosmos Cat's head.  There's still a little modeling of his chin remaining, and I'm debating on how much texture to add to the rest of his body.  With his striped pattern, a lot of texture may be too much!

Meet and Greet/Discovering Hard Molding Paste and Building Support

The Cat Care Society held a "Meet and Greet" at the "Cat House" for the artists and sponsors of the Painted Cats.  Attendees sipped champagne and munched on yummy desserts while visiting with each other and enjoying the antics of the resident cat population.

A slide show and portfolio showed the previous four years of the Painted Cats.  This year's designs were displayed in a separate portfolio, onto which one young feline parked herself, as if to say,"Hey! It's all about me, you know!"

Meanwhile, I have been playing around with Hard Molding Paste manufactured by Golden.  It has become my new favorite art material, and I can see endless possibilities for its use.
Golden Hard Molding Paste

I am using the Hard Molding Paste to build up Cosmos Cat's collar, which will eventually support the clear acrylic globe (or "bubble") that will cover his head.  The Hard Molding Paste has some interesting properties, and it will take several layers to build it up to the size needed.

I created an armature around the cat's neck to provide support for the Hard Molding Paste.  I began by drilling six holes spaced evenly apart around the entire neck, making them large enough to insert plastic anchors for screws.

Next, Bondo epoxy was applied into the screw anchors, and a screw was driven into each  anchor until about 1/2 inch of the screw stuck out above the cat surface.  Finally, I attached a thin, flexible wire (rebar tying wire) to each screw head, creating a wire ring around the cat's neck.

The first three layers of Hard Molding Paste were applied in the next photo.  It takes about a day to harden before the next layer can be applied.  It will take a number of layers to build up the collar enough to support the bubble.

The Hard Molding Paste also will be used to build up "fur" on some areas of Cosmos Cat.