Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Tip


I'm going to try to post my tips on Fridays since I'm assuming that most of the readers here have the most time for these pursuits on weekends. Hopefully these ideas and tips will provide some fun things to practice or think about! Since I'm working on the molding tutorial right now, I thought I'd post a quick tip from that series.

When casting in rubber, your nemeses are air bubbles! They weaken rubber molds causing them to deteriorate quickly and they produce unsightly pin holes and extra bumps on castings. To help battle air bubbles, begin casting projects by applying one thin layer of rubber at a time and use an air compressor to blow the surface bubbles out. In the photo above, I am using an airbrush hose (sans airbrush) attached to a small air compressor. Be sure to blow air into all crevices and be very thorough. Once you are done, set the project aside for a half an hour or so, and then come back to blow out any air bubbles you may have missed. Don't forget to blow on the little drip spots since they often harbor bubbles! Once the first layer is cured, repeat several times to develop a bubble free skin around the sculpture. When the sculpture has a good coating of rubber, the remainder of the rubber can be poured on with no worries about air bubbles.

Remember, if you have an idea for a future tip, please do post it to the tip request post below! You can also email tip requests to me at melanie@chinookart.com. There have been a lot of responses here and on the Model Horse Blab for the collaborative sculpture project. Thank you! These polls close on Saturday so if you have not voted yet, pick your choices on the right! The next group of polls for breed, position and gender will go up shortly after these close.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

You design the sculpture


Just one more post for today, I promise. ;) This is a project I've been dreaming of and pondering for the last few years, and I always wondered how it would turn out. Now seems like a good a time as any to see, especially with mostly indoor weather in the coming months! So, without any further ado, introducing the "Collaborative Sculpture Project."

The way this project will run: Frequent updates will be posted to the blog for comments, critiques, and idea gathering. While I will have the final say in the ultimate direction of the piece, it is you who will make most of the decisions! Information will be gathered through polls and posts here and occasionally on other sites like the Model Horse Blab as well. To kick this project off, please vote in the polls to the right to determine size and breed type. Once those two are determined, new polls will be put up for breed specifics and position! I expect to have some fun with this project, and I hope you will too!

This is my first try with polls in Blogger, so if you have any problems, please let me know and I'll look into it. You may vote for any number of choices you like, and the option with the most votes is what I'll get started on. If you have specific remarks or other comments, reply to this post. Stay tuned!

Post your tip requests!

Is there anything in particular you'd like tips on? Whether it's painting, sculpting, photography or whatever else you can think of, let me know what tips you'd like to see on this blog! I would like to start posting a weekly tip, but first I need to know just what you need to know. Please no large general requests like "How do you paint?" (I already have articles for that). For the best answers, send specific ideas like "How do I detail clay that's too soft?" (Short-Not-An-Actual-Blog-Post-Answer: Stick it in the freezer for a while.) So post your tip requests here, and I will start compiling answers, complete with photos and other fancy stuff where applicable!

Fresh Paint

Oh ha, I typed that title in and didn't even realize it was a pun until I finished. Anyway! I just finished this little guy for Michele Thorsteinson. I thought I would post a couple pictures here since the galleries aren't up on the site yet. He is the Classic Mustang Stallion, painted in oils (with a few acrylic details) as a chestnut roan frame sabino.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Just something I whipped up...


Even after all these years, seeing a horse shaped object form out of crude blocks of clay and unassuming pieces of wire still amazes me. It's fun to start on a new project and see the gesture come to life. Today I started on a sculpture I've been researching for a few months now. I intended to represent a Morgan of old breeding with a ground covering powerful trot. I decided that my ideal subject for the purpose is the legendary Flyhawk. As photos of Flyhawk are scarce and not of the best quality for more than the most basic reference, I am also using a couple modern stallions - Caduceus Denver and Olympus Way To Go - to help fill in the blanks. Here are the results of a day at work! The rest will take much MUCH longer of course, but for now he will be set aside so I can come back and fix the problems with a fresh eye later.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pony Necklace

Once in a while I need to do a new sort of project to recharge my creative batteries. I've been wanting to try out some beading ideas for years now, and finally found a great local supplier of some really nice beads. Melissa (Libbie) Mistretta and I spent some time there last week, and I came back with a nice selection of earth and water toned beads to make a necklace for a pendant I created out of PMC silver clay. The pendant is a shrunk down version of my celtic pony head which has been available in the past in resin. The beads are swarovski crystal, freshwater pearls and czech glass.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall Photos

Well, fall is here - my favorite season! After all the overtime prepping body after body last week, I decided to take a little time to photograph the old guy Chinook Studios is named after. The colors suit him so well this time of year, even with his funny clipped coat. Here are a couple of my favorites:



For those who don't know, Chinny is insulin resistant and most likely has Cushings. He gets along just fine, but I have to do some special things for him to maintain tip top shape. One of those things is a 3/4 inch modified body clip. It may seem weird to body clip a retired horse for the winter, but it seems to work well for him! So, every year the old man gets a new design clipped onto his butt. Usually I go with some sort of nerdy theme - pi has been popular in the past... This year I decided to go with a couple of designs from Portal, a fantastic new video game. If you're familiar with it, you'll probably get a kick out of his new Weighted Companion Cube, and slice of cake. Ok, nerd portion of this post over, I promise!

I am working on some new articles for the website detailing how to make a rubber mold, so stay tuned for that! It's interesting to see, even if you aren't going to be doing any mold making yourself.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Welcome!

Welcome to the new Chinook Studios blog! I will still be maintaining the mailing list for official announcements, but I thought it would be nice to have a place to put extra stuff like tips, photos of things I'm working on, and just general chatter. More of that later, for now I need to finish with all this website business!

So, lots of exciting news for today! Jasmine is now officially released, and the new website is up and running. A few problems seem to have cropped up in part of the code which is weird because it was working fine earlier today! You may still see a trouble spot or two while I finish cleaning it up. Please do let me know if anything isn't working right for you and I'll address it in my updates. The gallery is temporarily down but will be up and running in a neat new format soon as well. :D Happy November everyone!