Originally Posted by mantrid
is this the plaster cast or the clay original? do you have pics of your mould? i can see areas where there would be trapped air pockets. how did you overcome this?
That photo is a Densite plaster cast Mantrid.
Yeah I have some pics, and for sure, there's lots of places to trap air in this!
I use both a water reducer and I use the same technique I use with plaster- put on a rubber glove and dive into the face of the mold and work my fingertips into the details to dislodge the trapped air, it works perfectly with plasters, with concrete it's more difficult as the stuff is dense and settles in which makes it harder to even get your hand down in let alone move it around much.
The first picture is the unfired clay original, unfortunately I had cut the head off and hollowed it out in 2007 when I made it, and I didn't do a great job melding the head back onto the neck and at some point the head came off during handling it to my car to take it over to my gallery building a year ago, the head fell off and dinged the lower law against the car door frame and damaged it, so I had to fix that damage and the seam with some plasticene and spackle.
Pulling the rubber mold off the glued-on head predictably came off and the ears broke off, but the body and paws were not injured at all.
The original model I guess is pretty much "toast," I suppose I could re-attach the head and ears with that patch-attach stuff for greenware repairs, but the seam in the neck and the damaged lower jaw are pretty much unfixable to do it to fire the piece.
I do have the plaster cast however, the cast by the way wound up being 90# when dry, I had a fan on it up till now, so 10# of water evaporated out and it feels dry now, so now I know these will average about 90# for the plaster version.
I'm leaving one section of the mold shell out initially- the section to the right of that shim line in the last photo above, that will let me lift that "flap" open and access the head and face through the shim opening, and then once I've worked the air out of the face, ears and head and fill the head up, I can slip that shell section in and strap the mold tight and continue filling it.
The plaster cast is now stained.
The toes on the original number and odd three per paw as my model does too, why three toes? I have a theory that the original artist decided to accentuate the strength of the claws and toes to give it strength and power, that's supported in part too by the muscles in the forelegs, the massive power of the paws are the first thing that draws the eye on this, to fit four toes on each paw they would have had to have been modelled smaller, and closer together, the impact of that would have been significantly reduced.
I searched for what the design might be called in mythology, closest I could find to this is a winged dog in Armenian mythology called an Aralez. It's almost certain with the waves of immigrants from Europe, Ukraine, Armenia etc in the 19th century that they would have worked in a terracotta factory such as the one that made these and influenced the designs.
It's not a griffin or a winged lion, a winged lioness would be doubtfull.