Bo developed as I was working on the resin masters of Iko and Tee-Nah. Invariably, there are left over bits of epoxy putty while working on bigger pieces — and it’d be a shame for that to go to waste. So, I started playing with a Bram’ll Blue Boy (and a Smittyn too).
A mature draft horse gelding, Bram’ll Indigo Beau is crestier and thicker through the torso than Bram’ll Blue Boy, and he has a long, thick mane and tail, plus plenty of feathering. For a big ol’ drafter he’s actually a handy travel size — 1/24 scale (Little Bit size). This chummy character will be offered in resin and perhaps in ceramic.
Wow, he’s looking much better now than when you last saw him in the July 1 post, “Back at Work”.
Back then I was working on lengthening his head, which involves cutting it apart, adding a strip of clay, then re-sculpting. Prior to that I had chopped off the head of this “Marshall” and re-sculpted his neck so that this fellow has a new head-up posture.
Over the course of a few days, I added feathering and a new forelock and mane. All the while he hung out in a plastic box with a layer of damp plaster in the bottom. This allows the moisture content of his claybody to even out while staying somewhat pliable. A damp box like this has the advantage of being easy to get in and out of, which is great if you’re actively working on a piece and monitoring the moisture content of the piece daily.
For his very slow final drying, I put him in a large zip-lock baggie with a foam bridge over him so that the plastic would not touch him (that would form a protected damp spot, exactly what we don’t want). Every few days I opened the baggie for a short period to let out the damp air, bring in some fresh air, then seal the bag up again. It’s just a really sloooooooow, controlled way to dry a piece. This is absolutely critical to prevent cracking when you are working on a claybody custom.
And it worked! When I finally bisque fired this piece he came through in perfect condition. I found one tiny hairline crack in a deep crevice between layers of feathering which didn’t bother me at all, it was easily filled with a bit of bisque-mender. There were no cracks at all in the head and neck where the most drastic work had been done. Whew. Now for some painting!
This photo was taken just a few minutes ago, so we’re finally up to date on this project. At this point he has been through two more firings; one to set the basic body color, another to meld in a bit of glaze to protect that body color because even after bisque firing the underglaze was quite delicate and easy to scuff.
He still needs more color and shading applied to his feathering and more detailing, but you can see where we’re headed. This fellow already has a home, in fact he was a commissioned piece so I’m really thankful that he’s turning out so well!
One of the nicest things about the true-color Ott Lites is that they do not cast harsh shadows. That rather eliminates the need for a diffuser of some sort, like the “quonset hut” I had jury rigged last year. I have shifted to a “sky blue” seamless paper background instead of the warm medium grey I’ve been using for many years. A bit of interest is added to the background by giving it a wash of light from an incandescent bulb — look to the left hand side of the set, the little blue lamp provides that rosey glow in the upper left of Cedric’s photos. All in all, I’m much happier with this simpler set-up!
As you may have gathered, Cedric is finished! We’ll see if we can find him a home this week. He’s headed to Auction Barn just as soon as I re-size some pix and re-familiarize myself with how to list items there. ~ Lynn
4.01.09 Update — Cedric is now available at Auction Barn — no foolin’ !
Cedric is about 85% complete. A few more layers, more detailing then he’ll be ready to go to a new home!
“Cedric” should be completed over the weekend, check back for sales information next week! ~ Lynn
The second Backbeat Thunder resin that I’m painting, “Cedric”, is nearing completion. It’s been interesting to paint with acrylics again, building up color and value with layer upon layer of thin washes. Not entirely unlike my approach to painting underglazes on earthenware. The real bonus — acrylics don’t test my patience by having to wait to for a final glaze firing to see what the actual color is!
In the meantime there is plenty to keep us both busy in the studio.
Barry is steadily building our inventory of the new “Backbeat Thunder” draft horse resins. We’re currently targeting a March 20 release date for the unpainted resins.
I’ve completed the first of the fifteen “Backbeat Thunder” resins that I’m planning to paint and named him “Doyle”.
Yes, fifteen. A bit too ambitious perhaps, but we’ll see! In keeping with the percussive theme, each of the resins I paint will pay tribute to a favorite drummer. Nice strong names: Doyle, Cedric, Burch, Bart, etc. It’s a great excuse to study the liner notes of favorite albums even more closely!
“Doyle” will be up for sale very soon. Folks will have a couple of days to view his photos at lafnbear.com, then we’ll find him a new home. A strong case can be made for either a lottery or an auction. Frankly, it’s getting late and I hate to make decisions when I’m tired. So we’ll leave that one to a fresh brain in the morning.
Had you been a guest today, you would have been treated to one of our favorite goodies, a batch of fresh, hot beignets — think combination of doughnut and sopapilla. Think YUM!!
And you would have seen a couple of “BackBeat Thunder” resins being painted in acrylics — something I haven’t done for awhile, admittedly. But I think it’s going well… must be the beignets, yum!
And so it begins! The master copy of Backbeat Thunder is half-buried in non-hardening clay as Barry shapes the first side of Thunder’s production mold. The mold will be designed and poured in sections. The area that is exposed now will be the first to be encased in silicone rubber. The whole horse will then be flipped over so that the grey-blue clay can be removed. A second pour of silicone will take its place. We’ll then have the two major halves taken care of. More molding news soon!