'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 16) by Shane Wilson

The sprues have been cut off with a torch and/or hacksaw. Any cracks or holes have been filled with a welder using bronze rods. The irregularities have been 'chased' or ground smooth, using burrs and air tools. Then the whole bronze has been sandblasted to create an even surface prior to carving.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 16 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 15) by Shane Wilson

The freed bronze, with sprues still attached.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 15 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 14) by Shane Wilson

The remainder of the shell is removed using and air point chisel, and hand chisels.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 14 (carved bronze skulls)

The inner surfaces are particularly challenging to free of shell.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 14 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 13) by Shane Wilson

I am using a sledge hammer to loosen the shell from the bronze.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 13 (carved bronze skulls)

The bronze appears!

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 13 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 12) by Shane Wilson

Once the metal has cooled sufficiently, it is removed to another work area, preferably outside!

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 11) by Shane Wilson

Once the bronze is brought up to the right temperature, the crucible, containing the molten bronze, is removed with a large pair of tongs, operated by two people.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 11 (carved bronze skulls)

The crucible is placed in the carrying device ...

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 11 (carved bronze skulls)

... which allows the handlers to pour the bronze.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 11 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 10) by Shane Wilson

The HOT shells are secured by chains in the sandpit. Note the protective clothing and gear.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 10 (carved bronze skulls)

A close up of the secured, hot, ceramic shells.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 10 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 9) by Shane Wilson

The bronze furnace is heated. Note the piece of bronze on the lid, which is 'drying' prior to insertion in the crucible.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 9 (carved bronze skulls)

As the bronze is heating, the ceramic shells are replaced in the kiln and heated/dried prior to the pour. This is necessary to avoid cracking or an explosion, due to the shock of hot bronze contacting a cold shell and or moisture.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 9 (carved bronze skulls)

The final piece of bronze is melted.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 9 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 8) by Shane Wilson

The cured shell is allowed to cool, then inspected for cracks. The drill hole is patched and the cracks are repaired with a special cement.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 8 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 7) by Shane Wilson

Once dry, the shell is drilled from the end opposite the end that will receive the bronze. It is then turned upsidedown in a kiln and the wax is melted out of the shell, as the shell is cured.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 7 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 6) by Shane Wilson

The sculpture is dipped thirteen times and covered in courser grades of sand. This pic shows the wolverine/seal assembly in an early stage of dipping, and the grizzly skull after its final dip.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 6 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 5) by Shane Wilson

After spruing, the entire assembly is dipped in a cement-like slurry, then covered in fine silica sand.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 5 (carved bronze skulls)

It is then placed on a wire shelf and allowed to dry throuroughly (2 hours). Air tubes are inserted to allow inner surfaces an equal chance to dry.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 5 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 4) by Shane Wilson

This is a pic of the wolverine and seal skulls as they are being sprued up with wax rods. The intention is to create a path for the bronze to enter the sculptures and to allow air and bronze to escape, filling the sculpture completely with bronze.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 4 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 3) by Shane Wilson

The molds have been tested, then sealed up and filled with hot wax. The wax is allowed to cool for a few minutes, forming a shell against the mold. When the shell is about 1/4" thick the remaining liquid wax is poured back into the melting pot. We used a large crock pot to melt the wax and keep it at a suitable temperature over an extended period.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 3 (carved bronze skulls)

Not all attempts as pulling a suitable wax from the mold are successful. The beauty of wax is that it can be remelted and used again. Note some of the successful waxes visible along the back of the bench.
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 2) by Shane Wilson

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 2 (carved bronze skulls)

The two halves have been trimmed and assembled. Though the cast version will use a single wax taken from the attached mold, this give some impression of the wax prior to casting.

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 2 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Wax to Bronze - Phase 1) by Shane Wilson

Wax has been poured into the two halves of the mold to test the quality of the mold.

Skullptures by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 1 (carved bronze skulls)

The first wax impression from this mold!

Skullpture by Shane Wilson, wax to bronze in progress, phase 1 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 12) by Shane Wilson

Repeat of step 11. Note that there were two high points on this side. Two holes were drilled. When the lower high point filled, it was covered with clay, to allow the rest of the mold to fill.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)

Gently pry the mold apart after allowing the silicone to set fully.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)

Separate the silicone from the original.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 12 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 11) by Shane Wilson

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 11 (carved bronze skulls)

Take the lower portion of the mold off, turn the sculpture, silicone and fibreglass over and repeat the previous steps to make the second half of the mold and shell.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 11 (carved bronze skulls)

Repeat of steps 4-10. Note that once the second fibreglass shell is complete, holes are drilled through both flanges and bolts with wing nuts are inserted. Use a grinder or sawsall to trim the rough fibreglass edge.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 11 (carved bronze skulls)

When trimming the molds with the sawsall and grinder, make sure that separation of the molds is achieved. Though the fibreglass will bind on the edges, it should not have bound on the surface treated with the grease.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 11 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 10) by Shane Wilson

Clean out the filler clay, repair the flange, spray the entire sculpture and fringe with release, then add a silicone bead around the inner portion of the flange ...

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 10 (carved bronze skulls)

... Drill a hole in the highest point of the fibreglass shell and reattach to the sculpture and flange, using reference points. Pour in silicone mold compound slowly, to allow air to escape.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 10 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 9) by Shane Wilson

When hardened and dry, remove the fibreglass from the sculpture, after drilling reference holes around the flange. Insert screws into the reference holes in the clay.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 9 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 8) by Shane Wilson

Add an extra layer of matt and resin around the flange for additional support.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 8 (carved bronze skulls)

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 8 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 7) by Shane Wilson

Layer resin and fibreglass. Tear the fibreglass matt and touch to the resin...

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 7 (carved bronze skulls)

... then tamp in with a brush and resin.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 7 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 6) by Shane Wilson

I am painting on a mizture of 4 parts Bondo (with 1" hardener) to one part resin (with one squeeze of hardener, mixed first).

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 6 (carved bronze skulls)

Be careful not to get this stuff on the styrofoam, as it dissolved readily!

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 6 (carved bronze skulls)

Complete and allowed to harden.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 6 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 5) by Shane Wilson

A release agent is painted on prior to adding the fibreglass. In this case it is axle grease cut with thinner!

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 5 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 4) by Shane Wilson

I have begun to add another 3/8" layer of clay over the skull to create a space for the latex, once the fibreglass shell is created.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 4 (carved bronze skulls)

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 4 (carved bronze skulls)

Note, this second layer of clay covers the skull only and does not extend onto the original 'flange' of clay.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 4 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 3) by Shane Wilson

Duct Tape or Saran Wrap is placed over the skull to protect it during the next phase.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 3 (carved bronze skulls)

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 3 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 2) by Shane Wilson

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 2 (carved bronze skulls)

The clay is built up to the half way point on the skull and smoothed out.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 2 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Large Mold - Phase 1) by Shane Wilson

I have determined a centre line for the two-piece mold and have begun to build up around the base, in order to create the mold for the top half.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 1 (carved bronze skulls)

Note the use of styrofoam and synthetic clay. If you look carefully, you can see the pencil mark used to determine the centre line.

Skullpture Series, Large Mold by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 1 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Small Mold - Phase 4) by Shane Wilson

This is a shot of several other of the small molds in various stages of creation. The second half of the small wolverine mold has been completed.

Skullpture Series, Small Wolverine by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 4 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Small Mold - Phase 3) by Shane Wilson

Once the silicone has set, remove the outer wall of the mold. Leaving the skull embedded in the silicone, remove the plastercine and free the skull from the plywood base. Flip it over and redo the wall, sealing all edges and gaps with plastercine. Spray the entire surface with a release agent and pour the lower portion of the mold.

Skullpture Series, Small Wolverine by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 3 (carved bronze skulls)

These pictures give you a sense of what the top half of the mold looks like. Note that the pencil indentations are now little knobs, which will mesh nicely with the poured lower half. Note also how much excess silicone is used in this process.

Skullpture Series, Small Wolverine by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 3 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Small Mold - Phase 2) by Shane Wilson

Skullpture Series, Small Wolverine by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 2 (carved bronze skulls)

The silicone has been poured. There are a variety of silicone products available, this is a Smooth On product. Follow directions carefully for the mixing of the silicone components; each product comes with its own specific directions.
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Skullpture Series' (Small Mold - Phase 1) by Shane Wilson

To create a silicone mold from a skull there are a few options, two of which I used in the creation of the molds for the Skullpture Series. For smaller items the molds created were of solid silicone. The larger grizzly skull mold was created inside a fibre glass shell, to reduce the amount of silicone used, saving both cost and weight.

All molds begin by securing the skull to a plywood base. Then it is important to decide on a mid point on the skull, along which the mold will divide. There should be no serious overhangs or undercuts, which would hang up the mold and prevent it from being separated.


Skullpture Series, Small Wolverine by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 1 (carved bronze skulls)

In these images, the small wolverine skull has been attaced to the plywood base and a centre line has been drawn on the skull in pencil crayon.

I have fashioned a wall around the skull with a milk carton and filled the carton with plastercine, up to the predetermined midway point on the skull.

Using the other end of the pencil crayon, guide holes have been made in the plastercine. The entire surface has been sprayed with a release agent, prior to pouring in the silicone, which will create the top half of the mold.


Skullpture Series, Small Wolverine by Shane Wilson, in progress phase 1 (carved bronze skulls)
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

One further note: the mold is being fashioned from silicone, because it can be reused. If I were interested in creating a 'one off', other materials would have been cheaper and more suitable, like plaster. The process of creating the mold remains the same.

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'Skullpture Series' (Beginning) by Shane Wilson

Skullpture Series by Shane Wilson, in progress begin (carved bronze skulls)
skulls left to right: grizzly, black bear, wolf, fox, beaver, lynx, large wolverine, martin, seal, small wolverine, human

The Skullpture Series begins with real skulls. Each skull has been prepped for the mold making process. The natural holes have been filled with Chavant clay to prevent the intrusion of silicone into the skull.

It is necessary to create molds from each of the skulls in order to create wax duplicates, which will then be cast in bronze.

Skullpture Series, Small Wolverine by Shane Wilson, in progress begin (carved bronze skulls)
small wolverine skull

Since the technique used to prepare the molds differs depending on the size of the object to be cast, we will follow the mold making process for a small skull, small wolverine (above), and a large skull, grizzly (below).

Skullpture Series, Grizzly by Shane Wilson, in progress begin (carved bronze skulls)
grizzly skull
(bronze carving, carved bronze sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Finshed) by Shane Wilson (carved moose antler and skull)

Yukon Seasons, 2003 by Shane Wilson (carved moose antler and skull)

LINKS: Work in Progress Slide Shows: Centre, Left Antler, Right Antler
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Left Moose Antler - Phase 14) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, left phase 14 (carved moose antler and skull)

In this final phase, the ice fog has been cleaned up and the tips have been reduced to match the right side.

LINKS:
In Progress Slide Show - Left Antler
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Moose Skull - Phase 14) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 14 (carved moose antler and skull)

In this view, you can see the entire skull with the antler bases visible and cleaned up.

LINKS:
In Progress Slide Show - Skull
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Moose Skull - Phase 13) by Shane Wilson

The final two snowflakes are complete. The first one is a border with a hole penetrating the skull to allowing more light to pass through, lightening the overall appearance of the skulls solidity. The second snowflake contains the initials of the commissioner of this work - AB.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 13 (carved moose antler and skull)

Note what appears to be a crack in the outer tail feather of the raven. It is part of the natural fissuring of the skull.
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Moose Skull - Phase 12) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 12 (carved moose antler and skull)

The snowflake behind the raven on the right side has been completed with a snowflake pattern. It was quite difficult to manoeuver the carving tools to accomplish this portion of the carving, due to the close proximity of the right antler base.
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Moose Skull - Phase 11) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 11 (carved moose antler and skull)

In this phase the centre portion of the skull has been cleaned up and the pattern matched on both sides of the bridge of the nose.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 11 (carved moose antler and skull)
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Left Moose Antler - Phase 13) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, left phase 13 (carved moose antler and skull)

The crane is finished along with the water pattern, flowing beneath the ice. The ice has been cleaned up and finalized.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, left phase 13 (carved moose antler and skull)
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Moose Skull - Phase 10) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 10 (carved moose antler and skull)

Prior to finishing with a dark oak stain/varnish, the uprights were tailored to fit the carving and the whole was sanded. The stain was applied in three coats, with a light, steel wool sanding before the second and third coats.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 10 (carved moose antler and skull)
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Right Moose Antler - Phase 14) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 14 (carved moose antler and skull)

In this phase the bushes, rear of the lower bear, the salmon in its mouth and the water have all been cleaned up and finalized.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 14 (carved moose antler and skull)

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 14 (carved moose antler and skull)

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 14 (carved moose antler and skull)

LINKS: In Progress Slide Show - Right Antler
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Moose Skull - Phase 9) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 9 (carved moose antler and skull)

In this phase, I have designed and refined the stand for the carving. It has been created in such a way as to minimize its presence, obscuring the sculpture as little as possible. The stand is made from a large oak plank: cut, planed and routered. The uprights are drilled from below, then secured by lag bolts and glue.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 9 (carved moose antler and skull)
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Right Moose Antler - Phase 13) by Shane Wilson

The micro-motor carving tool is still not back, but I thought I'd share the work done with the Foredom. It is a larger instrument with a flexible shaft that can be a little awkward for working the finer details, but things went pretty well. The Foredom has come in very handy a number of times for bulk removal with larger 1/4" burrs. This is the first time I have used it for fine work, using 1/8" and 3/32" burrs. I'll clean up the lines one more time when the Elector returns.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 13 (carved moose antler and skull)

I changed the flow of the waterfall and decided to eliminate the raised border around the rear of the bear. My initial thought for this side was to create a border with continuous design elements from the carving within. I eliminated this from the upper half of the design, and it just didn't make sense on the lower half, with the exception of the water below. My problem with carrying the composition into the border was that it flattened out the design and in some places created visual confusion. Thus, the water on the left flows from the border; the buck brush on the right border has been preserved and the tip on the left has been removed, to create the illusion of the land moving into the distance; the bear's rear goes out of the antler (my hope is that the eye will fill in the gaps) and the water flows around the back feet and down into the pool below.
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Left Moose Antler - Phase 12) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, left phase 12 (carved moose antler and skull)

The effect that I was attempting to create with the crane and the ice was one of melding them into one. They are inseparable in nature, the cranes migrate north when the ice goes out and south when the ice returns.

Originally, the crane was to be represented abstractly in the shapes of the ice. No one 'got it', so I added a bit of definition to the crane ice blocks. Still no one really seemed to 'see' the crane. In the previous phase, I defined the crane and kept it merged with the ice. But the more I considered this section over the past year, the more it looked to me like the crane was trapped in or crushed by the ice. So I removed the ice blocks from over the crane, created a back, defined the rear wing vanishing over the edge of the sculpture, and tied all the body parts together, since they were on different planes of the carving.

I am pleased with the effect, as it gives the appearance now of the crane flying over the ice.
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Right Moose Antler - Phase 12) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 12 (carved moose antler and skull)

I have included two 'in progress' images with this update.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 12 (carved moose antler and skull)

The first picture shows the head and neck completed, the front leg in a nearly finished stage, the shoulders, back and chest in the first stages of carving and the rear leg as it is originally sketched out. The second picture shows the carving with the bear finished up to the rear leg. If you scan back and forth between the images, you can spot the differences and refinements, especially along the front leg. The third pic shows the bear in the context of the other figures on the antler.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 12 (carved moose antler and skull)

I think my Elector GX micromotor carving tool has finally given up - so it will need to be sent off for repairs. My guess is that the bearings are shot and need replacing. The handpiece was heating up prior to it ceasing function. This will slow things down for a while, but I'll see what headway can be made with the flexible shaft Foredom in the interim.
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Right Moose Antler - Phase 11) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 11 (carved moose antler and skull)

It feels so good to be working on this bear. The lines and curves melt underneath my blades in sumptuous abandon, revealing what, I hope, looks like a wet bear with fish. Pure joy.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 11 (carved moose antler and skull)

I have purchased an "Ott Light" to aid me in my endeavors, and the difference is truly remarkable. The full spectrum, florescent floor lamp, was developed for Disney to provide natural-artificial light for a flower photoshoot. I don't know how I have managed all these years without it! It is so easy on the eyes, reducing strain and illuminating hard to see areas that I may not have treated adequately in the past.
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Moose Skull - Phase 8) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 8 (carved moose antler and skull)

I have decided to break up the lower part of the nose design and introduce an element of space that should add visual interest. I am not sure what the final form of this design will be, so I'll live with the current modifications for a while and see what comes to me.

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, centre phase 8 (carved moose antler and skull)
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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'Yukon Seasons' (Right Moose Antler - Phase 10) by Shane Wilson

Yukon Seasons by Shane Wilson, in progress, right phase 10 (carved moose antler and skull)

In this phase, I have designed the cut patterns for the hair. I am attempting to create a design that will be pleasing to the eye (since it represents a large portion of the sculpture) yet still conveys the impression of a wet bear.
(moose antler skull carving, moose antler skull sculpture)

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