As usual, I’ve been absent for a while. It’s been a very busy summer helping my daughters with various things and with work needing to get done around the house. Scraping and painting a deck is not nearly as much fun as making art, but it has to be done. I’ve decided to take a break from making dragon trophies. Having said that, I wanted to make just one more. And because I have a Facebook account that I never feed I figured I’d post some tutorials there. I know that some of you don’t do Facebook (good for you if you don’t! I really don’t like Facebook as a company, but it was a necessary evil for my art) so I’m going to basically repost here what I put on Facebook, with perhaps a bit more commentary. It will actually flow better in this blog because I can insert photos where they belong instead of as a group at the end of the post on FB. Thanks for stopping by.
As I said, I was intrigued by the idea of an “Ice dragon”. Actually, I’ve had a number of requests to make something along those lines. Of course Game of Thrones has a lot to do with this. But Viserion didn’t become what I consider to be an “ice dragon” just because he was now dead. His eyes turned blue and his coloring was more white. Everything else was the same.
This drawing by ILoresart,(Gijón, Spain) is more like a real ice dragon. I love the ice horns. In fact, whether or not I could make great looking ice horns became the lynch pin for making the project. I think I will use this photo as sort of a template for the project. Next post: Making some ice horns.
The success of any dragon project depends to a large degree on the horns. I have made dragon horns many different ways. I have made them out of solid polymer clay, or polymer clay stretched over a compressed aluminum foil armature. I have just twisted paper around pieces of wire clothes hanger and then wrapped with masking tape, then “cloth mache” (more about that in later posts). None of those methods would work for ice horns.
So I decided to experiment with clear casting resin, the same stuff I often use to coat the inside of the mouths of my dragons. It isn’t cheap or easy to use, but it’s the only thing I can think of that would be very hard and clear, like ice.
I’m going to describe what I did. I still don’t know how to post photos along with the description. So I will just list my steps and post an album of photos. Hopefully you can see which photos go with which step.
Here is what I did.
1) I made a pile of thick aluminum foil. I rolled pieces together and compressed them until I got a general shape that I liked. With some final squeezing and a layer of masking tape, I had the shape of the two main horns. I used those to make simple molds.
2) To make the molds I wrapped more foil around the horn shapes. I wrapped that again with masking tape, and then with bubble wrap and newspaper (only because it was handy).
3) I pulled out the horns leaving a rough mold of each horn.
4) I put those into a kitty litter container (I have lots of those around).
5) I mixed clear casting resin with the catalyst. I did this outside wearing gloves and eye protection. This stuff is really nasty. You don’t want to breathe the vapors or get any of it where it doesn’t belong. I have heard that if you get the catalyst in your eyes you will go blind even if you get to the emergency room! (That is probably not true, but it’s dramatic so I’ll stick with it.)
6) I poured the resin into the molds and let them sit overnight.
7) The next day I peeled off the various layers exposing the resin. I knew after seeing the first inch of the horn that it was going to be great.
Here is how they turned out. Perfect. Because these worked out so well, I decided to go ahead and make the dragon.
In fact, this worked out so well I decided to also make the teeth out of “ice” (casting resin). I will show you how I did some of those next post. Meanwhile, I am going to make a few more smaller horn to use for smaller molds. I want a pile of various sized horns. That will take a few days.