19 May Crowd-Learning Challenge 2018
New challenge! I’m going to learn how to create my own handmade resin toy, I start off with zero knowledge so to accomplish this goal I have to learn: modeling, molding, casting, painting and packaging… and hopefully, I’m going to learn it while getting paid. Easy job! 😀 😀 😀
Now that I got your attention let me point out that my main motivation won’t be financial profit, I won’t even run a Kickstarter campaign as I did some years ago, I will be lucky if my hourly rate gets close to 1US$/h but hey! even if it’s 1 penny per hour I’m technically being paid, which is an accolade because people usually pay for it. I just want to have fun, learn a new skillset and share it with the crowd, if just 1 person in the world gets inspired, enjoyed or challenged to do the same I have made my contribution to a better world.
So what’s the plan?
- I will limit the production to 5 sculptures that you will be able to preorder once I setup my shop.
- Each sculpture will cost 250US$ (shipping not included), so I have a budget of 1250US$.
- If I fail or I don’t meet SOSFactory quality standard I refund all payments, fees included.
- I will post monthly updates sharing my Crowd Education Challenge progress.
Only 2 available
- Putting together the arsenal
- Sculpting a test model.
- Creating the final Sculpt, hopefully.
- Polishing and assembling.
So the challenge starts and I only have 1 asset, my will… which it’s not a little thing, but not enough to get the ball rolling. So first stop in my learning experience is sitting down and creating a route. For now I reduce it to 2 key points:
Finding the object that I want to sculpt: don’t require much thinking, I will start humble so I look for an small, simple and fun to do model. I decide that SOSFactory’s monkey soldier is perfect for this purpose.
Finding the material more suitable for my object: I have no idea about the options out there but I know wood is discarded, on last year I spent a few months working with wood and it’s not for me, too slow and too dirty. Water based clay is also discarded, too dirty and fragile.
After some research I found the product that suits my needs! It’s Chavant NSP clay. It’s not too dirty, not too expensive, easy to model when warmed and retain good detail.
In the future I may consider 3d printing, but first I would like to learn the whole creative process in the traditional way.
So I spend 1 month to get familiar with all sculpting terms, tools, techniques and materials. For now I don’t care about later stages of the sculpting process, all I care is that I have a high quality clay commonly used in the Art industry, so it can’t be a bad choice.
2.- Putting together my arsenal
I spent a few weeks watching random Youtube videos about traditional sculpting techniques with water based clay and also videos to learn the specific features of oil based clays.
I got sculpting tools to manipulate Chavant clay which are the same as for normal clay. I practice a few hours from time to time. For now I just want to learn get familiar with the clay.
Lots of newbie questions!!… how could I get a polished final model out of this mess? Do I paint over the clay? How do I replicate the model?…
I spent a few dollars in a book named Pop Sculpture that helps me a lot to understand the whole process.
A chat with Inktoys gave me an overview of later stages like molding and casting just to be sure that I’m using the right material. Later on I will do extensive research about those steps.
So I must create a model in clay that is not final, I will duplicate that model into resin and I will work the fine details. Then I will create a master mold out of it that I will use to replicate the final sculptures.
3.- Sculpting a test Model.
So the fun starts finally!… I spent a month for a first model that didn’t work quite well, I could write a catalog of mistakes but I summarise it in just 3:
- Create 2d front, side and back views: unfortunately I only had a front view of my model, I will have to figure out solutions for back and side views.
- Plan with blocks: another huge mistake I made was starting with a rounded mass of clay, I better had started to split the volumes in blocks, just like traditional 2d drawing.
- Don’t work the details: as a consequence of the previous mistake I found myself working again and again the same details because the elements where not in the right place.
4.- Sculpting a Final Clay Model, hopefully
Ok, this get closer to what I had in mind. I learnt that I can use citric base cleaning products to soften the surface when get’s messy.
I also made some research about molding complex sculptures, I decided modelling the ears apart so I can control the head shape as a whole. Once I get the final resin cast I will use Epoxi Bicomponent to bond the ears to the head.
5.- Molding time
After around 150 hours of practice with my first model I’m almost ready for the molding process. Wish me luck, if I screw the model I must start all over again.
The cute cuckold fairy will explain you the whole thing.