I’ve recently finished another god sculpture and this one is a break from the recent Norse pieces. It’s the pagan god known as the Horned God.
As well as a connection with nature, the wilderness and the life cycle, this god is connected with sexuality so part of the brief I had included the phallus which caused a few raised eyebrows at home while I was working on it but the brief was set out by Sacred Earth in great detail and I had to be very precise with it.
I’m not going to go over the sculpting process too much in this post as it’s the same old stuff as every time. Wire armature, milliput over the top to build the form and then a mix of super sculpey and sculpey firm. Instead I’m going to point out a few things of interest.
Firstly the rock he is sitting on is from the top of Cadair Idris in Wales. We walked up it back in August and somewhere near the top of the mountain I happened to look down and saw this rock sitting there surrounded by… well nothing. It was in the middle of a small patch of grass near the summit. I picked it up, stuffed it in my bag and took it home. Bizarrely it was exactly the correct size I needed. As it is a soft sandstone I was able to carefully drilled a hole into the top, to fit the wire for the armature and sand the bottom a bit so it didn’t wobble. Using a real stone means the texture of the base is actually a piece of Welsh mountain side, can’t get more authentic than that.
Thirdly, I’ve started using silicone tools for smoothing. Soooo much better than metal. The metal tools are good for different shapes and forming, but for smoothing off you can’t beat silicone clay shapers as nothing sticks to them. Used in conjunction with surgical spirits I’ve started using, which is less aggressive than sansodor, you can get a really nice finish quite quickly.
And fourthly, the mould. I was terrified making the mould for this chap as I was aiming to do a split mould as the horns (well he is the Horned God) meant it had to be a split as there was no other way to mould him. All my other moulds such as Cthulhu, Odin, Freyja and Thor, are all done with single piece moulds so this would be a bit of a challenge.
Once the piece was approved, baked, tidied up and undercoated, I built a plasticard box then embedded his back half in unbaked supersculpey. His top half was then coated in Oomoo by Smooth On that I’d got from Bentley here in the UK, and left to set. Once set (and I plucked up the courage to get him out) I dug him out and rebuilt the box, then used another batch of Oomoo to mould the other side. It goes without saying that silicone rubber will stick to itself so a good coating of release agent was sprayed over him before the second layer of Oomoo was poured on.
You’ll notice the bottom of the piece has a plastic piece connecting the bottom to the wall. This is for the pouring point when the mould is finished.
Both sides of the mould peeled away easily and the original popped out without so much of a complaint. I’ll just say at this point that Oomoo is loverly stuff. Its tough and my usually mix of Easyflow with bronze powder doesn’t stick to it at all. I imagine I’ll be sticking with using Oomoo again at some point.
The first one came out with a bit too much flashing but fortunately it was easy enough to clean up. The second was a disaster as I over tightened the mould with too many elastic bands and he came out all warped but I’ve got the hang of it now as you get to learn your moulds as you use them more and this was no exception.
I’ve moulded six perfect pieces so far and I imagine I’ll have a few more to make in the new year when I list it on Etsy.