Carving a dragon #2: building the matrix

Carving in quarter-inch scale proved to be impossible–at least for my skill level and the difficulty of this project.

Unwilling to give up, I decided to try to make a quarter scale chest out of a combination of cutting, casting, carving, and painting.  None of which I know much about.  After a few false starts, here’s how it went:

1. The basic shape was cut out of smooth Bristol paper (4 ply)–and glued to a base of the same material.

2.  Features were added to the basic shape–fins, wings, tail, tongue–using thinner Bristol paper (3 ply).

3.  A piece of art board keeps the whole thing flat, and a larger piece of heavy paper provides a base for building the box to hold the mold making materials.

It took a couple of tries to get all the shapes right–but the advantage of casting is that the hardest parts are not being carved–the basic shape, and the tiny openings.

1.  Cutting out the basic shape from Bristol Board (4 ply)

Cutting out the basic shape from Bristol Board (4 ply)

Adding a frame around the basic shapes

Adding a frame around the basic shapes

Adding the details to the mold

Adding the details to the matrix

4.  The matrix was molded in silicone rubber and then cast in resin.   If you want a great class in matrix building and mold making, Judy Andraka of Acorns by Oak offers some great classes–I learned the techniques I used from her.

Making a silicone mold and casting the "faux carved" piece in resin

Making a silicone mold and casting the “faux carved” piece in resin

The cast piece--very thin!

The cast piece–very thin!  You can see the light shining through!

More “faux” to come!

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