Setting eyes

Submitted by BigHorn Taxidermy on 7/21/00. ( )

Why does everybody use wet modeling clay when setting eyes. Its very dry in wyoming. Why not use plastilene clay.Has it ever been done?

Dean rogers 307-587-5311

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This response submitted by George Roof on 7/21/00. ( georoof )


In prehistoric times we did use plastilen clay (we called it oil based clay then). The forms were such state of the art (Paper) that we needed to be able to adjust the eye location after we had mounted the animal and it never dried to allow us to do that. What we didn't consider was that IT NEVER DRIED.

On many light/white haired animals, the oil seeped. When foam forms came about, the old paper form no longer soaked up this oil and many mounts were permanently soiled because of it.

I still see some folks who use it to "tack" eyes in properly and then use potters clay to form the eyes brows. At the NTA, several of the experts were using epoxy clay to form the eyebrows and earbutts.

I keep my clay in 2 plastic bags when not in use for the very same problem you describe. On real dry days, I open the bag and give it a few spritzes of water before closing it to keep it moist and soft. I've found that Critter Clay is especially susceptible to drying and many times I've shredded it and rehydrated it before using it.


This response submitted by Rick on 7/21/00. ( )

I've done a bit of experimenting lately and have had success with setting eyes in epoxy sculpt. Better get it right the first time though! You just have to adjust your pinning points a bit since pins don't penetrate the hardened epoxy!

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