Here is my character, Arabus, in the process of reviving a Muertita.
I plucked this flower off a bush to be able to take it to a table and sketch it. It wilted so quickly, I felt bad. It had been so happy on the bush, being alive and all that, hoping for bees to come by and compliment it whilst digging around for pollen. I will start taking photos instead.
Daily Imagination of a Muertita crowned with clouds.
Daily Observation of an innocent passenger on the train, who thankfully didn’t notice me sketching him.
Daily Imagination of a Muertita
Daily observation of two hands holding
Another Pre-Muertita as I flesh out this world of mine with more sketches.
L.A. Art Show This Saturday
Assembly Line Collective’s 10 Year Anniversary Art Show at
Think Tank Gallery
939 Maple Ave. Suite 200
Los Angeles, California 90015
Saturday, March 8, 2014 • 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Pre-sale will open up at the Assembly Line Collective Shop sometime between Thursday night and Friday. You will be able to purchase Muertitas through that link when it’s live, or in person at the show.
This is an amazing opportunity for me. The other artists showing are well established in the L.A. art scene, and it is a thrill to be able to hang onto their coattails as well as meet them in person. Special thanks to Rens for including me and a few other newbies!
I have been working for a few months to make these Muertitas especially archival, less fragile, and with higher detail through resin casting.
My new process is posted here on my blog.
Hope to see you there!
My London Group Show Announcement will be coming in the next week or so 🙂
Muertita Process for Spring 2014
Concept: Spring from Death
This post is for two reasons:
1.) To share my process because I love to see others share theirs. Seeing process is what got me believing I could do this in the first place.
2.) To show that my casting does not mean “mass production”. Each piece is still unique, and unlike any other. Resin casting will make these pieces less fragile, more archival, capture higher detail, and allow me to use materials closer to my concepts of these characters. This is different from sculpting each one individually with clay, though that will still happen from time to time when the concept and materials call for it.
I don’t make a ton of these, and I don’t make the same one twice. If you want to know when new Muertitas are available for purchase, you can sign up for my mailing list here.
Now for the process!
To show you the start of Momma Muertita #2, you can see my hilarious foil, wire, and baked eyeballs as my base!
Super-sculpey warms to body temperature to become soft and workable. However, if you have cold hands like me, you are gonna have a hard time. My husband devised this excellent way of keeping my sculpey warm and ready for my chilly, industrious fingers.
Close-up of some of the detailing I am able to do now that I’m making Momma Muertita #2 out of Super-sculpey. My past ladies were individually crafted out of air-drying clay, which made them very fragile, and not take this kind of detail as well. True, it takes me much longer to make her look like this, but if I can get a good mold going, I might be able to get a few daughters looking mighty spiffy!
Making the antlers out of wire, foil, and Super-sculpey! My past attempts broke in their mold AND the antlers…a few times. Also, the molds were a huge failure as well. I hope this new mold holds steady this time with these new, bigger antlers…
SUCCESS! The mold works! The joy! I sat cradling this firstborn for a while before I continued my next steps. I have to treasure the wins. So many thanks to Brian Blair for showing me the molding ropes and saving me even more trial and error.
After a few tests, I got to my final goal for these ladies: custom color mixing the resin itself by adding dyes and mixes of iridescent powders. This creates a basecoat that will peek through my acrylic paints and add a dewey iridescence where the paint is thinned.
Time to dremel and smooth out edges and seams. No good lightning yet in the outdoor shed, but at least the pulverized resin only gets on me out there. Besides, headlamps are cool … ish … Well…PRACTICAL.
* * *
Special thanks goes to Matthew J. Levin (sculpy mastah) and Brian Blair (casting guru) for their patience and time while my noobness spilled out. Oh, and of course, thank you Internet for the vast knowledge shared upon your bandwidth. May your loa be strong.
Also, a big thanks to Miss Monster. She doesn’t know who I am, but her process posts made the craft of sculpting and mold making feel like an adventure I wanted to be on. Plus her creations are faaaaaaaantastic!
* * *