Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fins and Scales

Many wonderful artists are making their fins out of products like Fantasy Film so I decided to try a different approach.
I will be using Translucent Liquid Sculpy for this so I can put the entire piece in the oven as often as I want.
It will take the heat and remain rather transparent and flexible
Squeeze out a puddle of TLS on a sheet of foil.

 Shape and thin it out with a brush or your finger. this is thicker down the middle so I have more to insert into the clay figure.
 Cure with the heat gun or in the oven.
 Peel it off the tinfoil.

 A slit is made in the lower torso (tail?) to insert the side fins. The sheet I made is cut down the center so I have two fins roughly the same size and shape.
 They are inserted into the side slits and the clay is fused back over the fins. You can see the clay is slightly translucent (see my finger tips behind the fin)
 The tail starts with a number of wires taped down to some foil. These will insert into the tubes sticking out the end of her tail. A layer of TLC is brushed over the wires and cured. The tape holds the wires down so the tail does not get too thick. Once the first part is cured, the tape comes off and the rest of the tail is done.

The tail is shaped.

To make scales, I have taken some brass sheeting and ground out two different sized semicircles with my Dremel Tool.

The brass scale tools are pressed into the raw clay to make deep scales.I am making them deep to hold more color before I cure them. The body of the tail is all large scales. the small scales are found at the base of the tail fin and along the side fins (these are shaped to match my Koi in the pond)
Next time we will look at how I colored these and finished the scales before curing.
Thanks for looking, have a great day!


  1. Looks awesome! Can't wait for the next step:)

  2. I second that - genius indeed!!!!
    carla g. Incantostudios

  3. I am just amazed at the visual of them floating. Thank you so much for sharing.


  4. so beautiful. i love the 'movement' of the figures. thank you for sharing the process :)

  5. Genius is the word!!! <3
    Great as always Mark!!!

  6. Love the look!! Have you tried Fimo Gel? It gives a clearer finished product.
    Thanks as always for the inspiration!!

  7. i just love how he looks like hes floating brill brill brill

  8. Mark, this is beautiful already! I can't wait to see the piece finished.

  9. I love that this was at first a struggle - it was not working for you and nearly scrapped. However, you stuck with it, found solutions and now are well on the way to an extraordinary sculpture. As it says in the I Ching: "Perseverance furthers"!

    Thank you for sharing your process. Bravo!

  10. Extreme works of art you are presenting from your heart...through your eyes and hands...your skill is aweeeeeee.....Tootsie

  11. Ya know...I was always afraid that the wires would tear out of the cured TLS. That is why I never attempted it. :/ I feel silly about it now...

    The brass forms are indeed Brilliant! I need reliable tools for scaling since I sculpt loads of Dragons. I now am going to grab some of hubbys scraps of tin, and make a bunch in all my needed sizes! Tubes, and straws cut simply do not make consistent scales.

    Thank you so very much for all your informative tips!

  12. That is a lot of detail to sculpt before baking. Have you ever hit some parts,(like hands) with the heat gun so as to solidify them so they won't get smooshed or distorted while sculpting the rest? Sorry this will only let me post as anonymous...thewickedwoods

  13. Thank you so much for sharing. I learned a lot from you today!

  14. eu só achei você hoje tudo e muito lindo e como faço para ter seu dvd eu estou apaixonada meu emeio e obrigada

  15. muchas gracias por compartir sus conocimientos... es usted muy generoso y un gran artista...