Thursday, October 20, 2016

You do not like them.
SO you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

"Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss

All finished and hot from the oven!

I used two drywall toggle bolts to secure the ham to the platter. The eggs and the fork are glued into place.

Not bad. I would eat them here or there, I would eat them anywhere!

Now to make a "Sam-I-am" costume and I'm all set for Halloween.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Recipe: Green Eggs and Ham

You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.
Dr. Seuss

I learned to read from Dr. Seuss books; the easy-to-read childrens' series by Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel, so they hold a special place in my heart. "Hop on Pop", "Go Dogs Go", "Bartholomew and the Ooblek" just to name a few. And of course, "Green Eggs and Ham", which taught me to try new things, situations and people.

I am Sam

Now, on to the recipe.

I started with the ham. I wanted a good-sized ham so I stuffed plastic bags with paper and wrapped them with masking tape to achieve the rough shape.

Once I had the shape I wanted, it was time for the paper mache. Using a simple flour-water paste I covered it in layers of newspaper, as usual.

Put it back in the oven, it's not done!
 Here it is with a seal coat of masonry paint. It won't need the weather sealing, but the color helps me to spot imperfections.

Would you, could you in a sewer?
Could you, would you on a skewer?
Don't forget the hambone! I cut the shape of the bone out of styrofoam and glued it on. Don't worry; this will all be covered with brushed-on plastic resin (Styrospray 1000) which will harden to a durable, smooth finish. (I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the process!) It's much like painting with a thick paint (while using a respirator). I used disposable brushes because it's very difficult to save the brushes after use.

Here's what the finished ham looks like. It's been coated with plastic, sanded, spray painted and sealed with polyurethane. That's a lot of work condensed into one sentence; again, sorry no pictures.

Mmmm ... you know what would go great with that?

"But what about the eggs?" you ask. "Strospray 1000" would serve for the whites, but I needed some yolks. I went back to my stryrofoam, carved out two egg yolks and smoothed them carefully with fine sandpaper.

The next step was easy: set the yolks on a sheet of plastic film and carefully pour a batch of plastic resin over them. After a little trimming the results are smooth, semi-flexible shapes resembling fried eggs. The yolks will be painted an appetizing green.

How do you like your eggs?
Now for a trip to the thrift store to find a platter and a fork to complete the setting. I found a circular platter that looked great once I spray painted over the design with a sunny yellow.

I couldn't find a suitable three-tined fork so I bought a grilling fork that should look just fine with a little work. I wanted the handle to resemble the illustration so I sawed off the handle and made my own. A length of dowel was drilled, carved and sanded into a peanut-like shape. Here it is after staining.

"You don't need a silver fork to eat good food."
Paul Prudhomme

Soon I'll put it all together, then dinner will be served.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Project Scrab, Part III

My experiment with EPS foam / plastic coated modelling is completed and I'm really happy with the way the Scrab turned out. The nice thing about the plastic coating that I bought (Styrospray 1000) is that it is supposed to work great with paper mache too!

Here he is with a basic paint job, before detailing with the airbrush.

"Husqvarna Orange": it's not just for tractors
 Spar varnish gave added shine and protection.

A peg was added to support the head's weight; wood screws did the rest.

The peg slots into the PVC support

I had a nice name plate made through ebay - quite cheaply.

Airbrushing was a new experience too. I think it really brings out the color of his eyes.

If you see this in the wild, you're dead!

A proud trophy

"Struth! This little beauty is a ripper."

A proud Scrab hunter*

*No scrabs were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Project Scrab, Part II

Now to put some teeth in this creature. Teeth were formed in the usual way from polymer clay and then oven baked.

Here you can see some of the teeth in place as well as the tongue. The tongue was carved separately then glued it into place.

(Scrab tongues are not just a pointy weapon, they are also a delicacy.)

Here's the head and upper jaw in almost-finished form. This is still raw EPS foam at this point and you can still discern the separate foam sheets. The ridges were formed from paper clay.

The two head parts.

After some detailing of the mouth interior, the head parts were re-joined.

What Odd has joined together let no man put asunder.

This is the real purpose of this whole project: to test the use of Styrospray 1000 on EPS foam. Styrospray is a two-part quick-setting plastic that cures in the presence of moisture. This stuff is pricey but very cool. I just had to try it. It sets, in 30 minutes, into a hard shell which can be sanded, drilled, cut and painted. Several coats have been applied by brush at this point.

(It would be interesting to actually spray this stuff instead of brushing it on - but that's a project for another day.)

The mouth and tongue were coated and allowed to set, then painted. After attaching the jaw (with Styrospray) the mouth was masked off.

A wall-mounted trophy needs a plaque. After designing and cutting out the shape, I gave it a nice stain and sealed it with polyurethane.

This project has been a ton of work, but I think the results will be worth it.

Next: Painting!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Project Scrab

Here's yet another Oddworld project: the Scrab!

The scrab is one of my favorites creatures from the video game franchise. They're tasty too - if they don't eat you first!

Although paper-clay is used in the detailing, this is not a true paper mache project. It is my first venture into creature sculpting with EPS foam, commonly known as styrofoam.

First step: the creature concept.
Because of the size of this guy I decided to limit it to a wall-mounted head.

The head shape I wanted was drawn on to a sheet of EPS foam. I stacked nine of them to give me the desired thickness.

I'll have the short-stack - with bacon
Because this is to be a wall-mount, a PVC support is made and hot-glued into place.

There's a little 'ell in all of us.

Doing a little on-line research, I found out about a product call Glidden Gripper primer, and used this to glue the sheets together. It's inexpensive and you just paint it on.

Here the head shape has been roughed out with my nifty hot-wire tool. I bought mine, but there are lots of do-it-yourself hot-wire tool plans on the internet.

Here he is roughed-out:

A bit of sanding with a coarse grade worked great at removing material - almost too well. The nice thing about the hot-wire is that it fuses the surface; sanding, of course, makes a mess.


Here the early stages of paper-clay detailing is shown. The jaw was temporarily removed to make it easier to work on the mouth insides.

Open wide!
 More scrabbiness to come!