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ArtPrize: The Story of Rain, Chapter 6; Sanding Dust

Have you ever used a Dremel?  This is the coolest little rotary tool and it made the sanding workable. The entire sculpture from head to toe needed sanding and it was hard to work with all of the detail. Just think how intricate a fingernail is when manicuring. Standard sanding equipment just wouldn't work for this project.

Usually a soft and pliable media that can be subtracted or added to like modeling clay is used for a sculptures on this scale. The clay is used because it is fairly cheap and very workable. Once the original is finished it is sent off to the foundry where the bronze casting takes place. Because of ArtPrize I did not have that luxury. My sculpture would be outdoors on exhibit for 3 weeks in the unpredictable Michigan climate. That is why I chose to use the urethane plastic compound called Shell Shock.

Constrained in some ways but learning a lot as I went, the process was finally nearing the end. The urethane plastic was hard and impervious to the Michigan moisture and I knew this was the only way to go. The sanding commenced.

The Dremel tool made it easy to sand out the detail and even 'Rain's' teeth needed work. I felt like a dentist with his fine little drill buzzing away. The only painful thing for me was the headgear I needed to wear. The sanded plastic was fine and powdery and was dangerous to breath in. I had to use a painters spray painting mask complete with a double filtering system. It almost covered my entire head. I sanded for about a week and looked forward to the day when I could start painting the ugly gray shell. She would come alive with the reflective bronze coloring.

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