Ok, the last two sculptures I started ended up having one issue or another and I had to break them back down. It happens, no big. So I decided to back it up and do something smaller, simpler and more like a “sketch doodle” than a serious work.
Back in August I sculpted the teeny owl with the intent of him being part of a set. He was originally meant to be a screech owl, because the plan was to do tiny little owls of varying species.
Here he is with his new buddy, a teeny barn owl. This is a WIP shot, so the barn owl isn’t done yet.
Mailed out the first two sculptures to Mountain View Studios for resin casting. It was a hard debate over which two I wanted to send, since I couldn’t afford more than a couple to start with.
In the end I chose the Stormborne Wyvern sculpt, and the lady sculpture which I’ve been calling “Firewater” lately.
So nervous, excited, happy, sad, nauseous, confident, nervous and hopeful that partnering with a studio to do my casting goes well!
So, over the past few days I’ve had several people contact me with condolences that my recent kickstarter didn’t achieve its funding. It means a lot that so many people shared the project, and those who were able contributed. I’ve mentioned a “Plan B” to those who’ve asked, and I’ve finally gotten around to typing up what that is.
As an artist it’s important to learn from failure. Sculptures that come out weird looking, anatomy fails, sculptures lost to mold lock, molds lost to bubbles, tears or improper shell molds, broken castings, bubbled castings, wrinkly base coats, salted clear coats. You name it, I’ve probably failed at it at least once. So, don’t take it out of hand when I say I’m ok with failure….but I am.
In today’s world the term “failure” is often given as a synonym for “the end”. A fail is just a lesson. Nothing more, nothing less. I’ll end it with the same question I ask myself at the end of any fail.
"Sooooo….what did we learn?" (sometimes this question is asked with more sarcasm with others, as per the kitchen fire italian meatball incident…in this case I can ask it with some dignity however).
Well, obviously I learned we won’t be getting pressure casting equipment (duh). But beyond that, I took a closer look at why. It’s a lot of money to set up that sort of equipment, and I’m still pretty small in the art world in terms of followers. A project that expensive really needed a LOT of contributors for it to be feasible.
I also took a look at how I could achieve the same goal, but better. (more art, more sculpting, more AWESOMESAUCE time spent creating actually available in the shop so I can be sharing it with others)
It bears mentioning that to make ends meet, I’m already doing quite a handful of things. I sculpt, homeschool 3 children, run a website, work outside the home as a cook at our local middle school, create new scents for PCApothecary, package and ship orders and customer service associated with PurplecatCreatives. It’s hard to add moldmaking, pours, and casting cleanup to the list. I would have done it, as I always have….but it is a lot.
I took a moment and really looked at my dry erase board that keeps track of all the things the shop needs and took a headcount of sculptures that are ready for production, but need molds or castings. The list is twenty five sculptures long…and that’s NOT counting the older shelved works brought to your attention in the “Art Under Pressure” project.
I reached the conclusion that maybe…just maybe…it’d be ok to share the load. If there was help I could trust. I’ve never been a fan of outsourcing, because the only work I can guarantee is my own (paranoia anyone?)…but there comes a time when it’s necessary, and even welcome.
In a nutshell: I’ll be partnering with Mountain View Studios, a resin casting company who will be professionally creating molds and castings of my sculptures. Ready to paint castings will then be sent to me for painting and finishwork before being listed in the shop. (Also, I’ve seen Sheri’s work in person before….and it is pretty damn incredible if I do say so)
Going this route will still be costly, but it has advantages even in terms of funds. Like I mentioned above….I fail often. Failed molds, failed castings, moldmaking supplies and equipment….I don’t have to worry about those. Sheri’s castings are known to be beautifully done. Cost per casting is more stable since I don’t have to roll in my ‘learning experiences’ as a cost.
Storage space…OMG….I can’t even tell you how hard it is to do all the stuff I listed above in a 1400 square foot home. Some people drool at the mention of chocolate, or sports cars….I drool at the mention of square footage. I won’t have to store bulky equipment, boxes of molds, or trays of castings waiting to be cleaned before I can even begin thinking about painting them.
The cost is also more spread out since I’ll be using their services a sculpture at a time. This may mean sculptures reach the shop slowly, and in small batches…but it’s better than the list of sculptures that haven’t been reaching the shop at all.
So, there’s Plan B. Sorry this post got so long!
(the first pieces I’ll be shipping to MVS will be the Stormborne Wyvern and the lady…who still doesn’t have an official name…..but we should be mailing them out for production later this month)
What I’ve been up to over the recent snow break.
I haven’t named this piece yet, but the her hair will turn into water near the base, and her body will merge with the base to become fluid as well.
The human form is bloody buggering hard to sculpt, but I’m enjoying the challenge.
EDIT 01-26-2014 I have completed the water lady (still unnamed) and updated the progress pic with a complete panel set for the entire creation process.
A hawk was in the trees behind our house yesterday with the clear opinion of “dem birds you been feedin? Dey look delicious.”
While we were watching he/she made an attempt at one of the doves from the porch. It missed, but was fantastic to watch!
We feed the birds…in more ways than one!
these pics were shot from our kitchen window. I was really thrilled to get such good pics though glass!