That's what I get for trying.

So...yeah. I'm trying to sculpt. In the first time in, well ever actually. As with most of my endeavors, this will likely go down as a mistake. And, as most mistakes need scapegoats, I think I'm going to blame this one on Bryan.

You see, Bryan has been an avid collector/enthusiast of vinyl toys for as long as I've known him. Of course, being my friend and all, he introduced me to vinyl toys and I fell in love. I'm not nearly as involved or educated as Bry is, but I find the art form amazing none the less. My love/problem stems from the fact that I can't walk into Rotofugi (our local retailer of all things vinyl in toy form) and not be inspired. And considering the fact I don't actually consider myself an "artist" and therefor don't like to normally use phrases like "inspired", this speaks volumes.

So, being inspired by this unique art form in ways I've never experienced before, I decided I wanted to design and make my own vinyl toys. Despite my complete and total lack of knowledge of how to do so.

This will not end well.

This is actually what started this whole Grim Awesome idea. When brainstorming what toy I wanted to design, I began toying with the idea of a skeleton clown, what this says about me - I'm not sure. (Actually now that I think of it, every time I've taken a venture into a new visual medium, my first image is always a bastardized clown. My first painting: grey clown. My first photomanipulation: Robert Gray from Stephen King's IT. My first sculpture: clown. Oddly enough, this wasn't a conscious trend. But anyway...)  The skeleton clown thing eventually morphed into a grim reaper clown - basically a grim reaper with a big red squeaky nose, giant clown shoes, and colorful poofball buttons. This idea eventually led to a couple other ways I wanted to bastardize the classic reaper in different mediums that will be revealed later.

And with that, a whole new series/experiment was created. I just had to figure out how to do it.

When I decided to make this reaper clown toy, I knew I wanted to make it easily duplicatable. So, again with my complete lack of knowledge on how to do this, I figured I'd make the initial sculpture out of clay, then use that clay to make a mold/cast/whatever it's called, which I'd use for reproduction.

After some googling and some recommendation from Bry, I decided to use Super Sculpey; a molding clay/putty that can be cooked in a standard household oven. So I get the Sculpey and get to sculpting. It was about as difficult as I imagined it would be, but my first attempt did turn out better than I thought it would. Not passable, mind you, but not complete shit either.

After the sculpting was finished, I threw it in the oven to harden. When it was finished, I pulled it out only to find it was cracked in a few places. Some more googling revealed that the cracks could be patched up with plumber's epoxy. So I picked some up and started patching. My plan was to patch it up, sand it down and then start making a mold. But now that I'm looking at it, I'm starting to think that there's no way a mold can be made of it the way it's currently laid out, which means that - aside from some lessons learned - this attempt has been for naught.

This all means - in terms of design and duplication - I'm back to slamming my head against the drawing board. I have some ideas, it's now just a matter of sitting down and executing them.

Oh well. Lessons learned and all that. Here's some pics.