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Problem with the skin staying tight to the eyes while drying....

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Nick7, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    Hey guys,

    I’m having a problem with the skin staying tight to the back of the eyes / front corner of the eye staying in place when it dries. It doesn’t happen till like the 4th or 5th day.

    First off let me say that I had worked with a guy for a year that has been in the business for 30 years. I did all the prep work( skinning, fleshing , tanning, thinning, etc.) to the skins so they were ready to get mounted so I’m not completely new to this and no i don't have that know it all kind of attitude. I had been away from it for a year and am now starting doing this on my own at home. I figured I would do a couple practice ones to get back into the grove of things and then do something for this year’s show and have encountered it.

    After watching Ricks dvd many times and figured I would give it try and mount it the he did including the products he used and krowtann for the skin.
    I used a combination of either a skife knife, scalpel, dremel tool with a small sanding drum around the eyes, nose and a wire wheel to thin out areas around the rest of the face. Exactly the way things were done in the shop without having this problem.

    First deer. Krowtanned cape.I followed exactly the way Rick did it in the movie. Everything looked good, let it dry slowly, etc. But at day 5 or so I could see the gap starting to open and the skin around the corner of the eye was not staying put. Now it’s out so far and looks terrible almost two weeks later. Even the upper lid moved up a bit.

    Second deer. Wet tanned cape I got from the shop when we were cleaning out the freezer. So when I mounted this one I put a pin in the corner of the eye like we had done in the shop prior and it fixed that problem. But the skin has moved away from the back of the eye again. The skin was pushed right against the eye when it was mounted and kept checking it days again around day 4 or 5 starting to move away a little but not nearly as much as the first one.

    Third deer. Krowtanned cape. Put a pin in the corner of the eye and put some push pins about half inch from around the back corner of the eye to try to stop it and critter clay to hold hold the tear duck close but it started to push out again around day 5. Even the skin around the front corner of the eye is moving out a bit. You can even push on it and you can feel it move in a bit but comes right back. Below is a picture of the third one.

    I applied hide paste all over the form, around the eyes, tear duct and on the skin that gets tucked. I thinking of trying to put a push pins right before the tear duct. then just over it with apoxie once its try.

    The only differences from the from the way I learned to the movie.
    Rick used critter clay around the eye while he used apoxie sculpt
    Rick used krowtann while he used a different type of wet tan
    Rick used one type of hidepaste while he used roman 555
    I hung the cape to drip dry and used a towel while we used a tumbler with corn cob

    We mounted so many animals at the shop in a week and checked them a little, if any while they were drying and they came out just fine..

    What am I doing wrong?

    Attached Files:

  2. Taxituck9

    Taxituck9 New Member

    I'm no pro at this, but I'll try to help you where I can. First off, I don't believe it's the tan because I use Krowtann on all my deer. #1 I would use critter clay instead of the apoxie sculpt especially if i'm doing a comp piece. This gives me the ability to come in a few hours or a day later and tweak the eye while i'm in a fresh state of mind. It also gives you the ability to keep pushing the eye skin tight to the glass. Als o be sure to get your skin around the eye as thin as you can. I also get the face pretty thin and taxi skin toward the eye on all sides. If its tight on any side of the eye or tear duct it will pull out no matter what you do. Hope this helps you out.

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    You said this is happening the "4th or 5th day". What are you doing on day 2 and 3? What you're describing can and will happen to anyone who doesn't babysit their mounts. EVERY DAY until they're dry, you need to go back over your mount and look for issues like this. I use a sculpting tool and a dental pick to push my hide back into place until that clay and paste dry. Taxidermy isn't a "fix and forget" trade and my MUST taxi that skin early and often until it dries.
  4. duxdown

    duxdown New Member

  5. John L

    John L Active Member

    Are you removing the oil glands and getting down to the bottom of the eye lid?
  6. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    George i understand that its not a set and forget. Every day i look at them and go over it. Many times actually.. First couple days i leave a bag over it during the night. By day 4-5 the whole eye area is hard and can't move anything. That is when the gap starts. I have tried using my thumb to push as hard as i can but cant move it. You can feel it flex but it wont move in. Last week i pushed the sculpting tool as hard as i could just above the tear duct toward the front corner and i could see the skin started to tare because its not laying against the form anymore. The picture i posted i just took a few hours ago and the deer has been mounted since Feb 21. Every day it gets a little worse. Nothing moves till its dry and hard..
  7. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    Yes i am. I get down till i can see the roots of the eye lashes and then thin till you see that bluish area till right before you make holes.
  8. Steve Rotramel

    Steve Rotramel We got some radical rebels in this county!

    What George said.

    PLUS using apoxie sculpt is risky business on eyes. If you were using critter clay you could push it right back up and it would stay instead of springing back.

    Looking at the problem from another angle, the gap that is there now is just about perfect for filling with apoxie sculpt in order to plump up, fill in, and cover shrinkage - something I do on every mount.

    Also, if you look at a lot of reference photos, a certain percentage of deer actually look like that. The bottom eyelid gaps away from the eye.

    But as George said you must adjust adjust adjust for several days. Critter clay lets you do that while apoxie sculpt sets hard as a stone by then.
  9. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    At home i only been using critter clay. Where i worked before he only used apoxie sculpt
  10. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    The only reason to bag the head is if you want to slow the drying process to continue to work on it at a later time, or the next day. Once you're finished with the detail work, leave the bag off and let the skin and clay dry, watching it carefully and keeping everything in place as George was saying.
  11. Do you put any glue on top of the clay?
    How tight is the skin when you tuck your eyes? Basically is there any slack that you have to taxi away or are you having to pull it to the eye to have enough to tuck and it is tight? Could possibly be your antlers are set too far back if that's the case. Also what kind of clay are you using and is the skin actually tucking between the glass and clay on that part of the eye?
  12. Use a small flat artist brush and lay some apoxie sculpt up in that and fix it when you do finish work. end of problem
  13. Try using Pro-1 hide paste around eyes - use small flat artist brush to apply paste over clay area around eyes before tucking. Then babysit for a few days with a dental pick like George said. That has been working well for me.
  14. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    Being that the clay was still kind of soft and didn’t want to put any marks on it so i ended up putting hide paste on my finger and put it around the eye skin then some on the skin that was going to be tucked. i used a brush and covered the rest of the face. The third skin was not tight at all. This skin was very easy to mount and i didn't have to fight it at all compared to the second one. As far as the antler set, the burr to the eye lid on the manikin is 1.5" and think I they look fine compared to the reference pictures. The clay i used was critter clay. I do believe it is because after i'm done sculpting the eye i use a brush to create a space between the eye and the clay for the skin then after tucking i push the skin against the glass.
  15. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    I know it can be fixed with apoxie but i shoudn't have to fill that much of a gap. I need to figure out why this is happening because it shouldn't be.
  16. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to post comments!!! Really appreciate it!!
  17. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Nick7, taxi that skin towards the eye in that area, give it some slack and babysit it, go back a few times a day and make sure it stays. Most say they don't hardly use any pins at all, that is fine, but I like insurance and will use a few in likely problem areas.
  18. Nick7

    Nick7 New Member

    Will do thanks
  19. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I would say that your not thinning your eyelid skin enough although you will always have a little shrinkage. Although I pin the upper front corner there really is no need to if you are thinning that skin properly; pinning is more of an assurrance issue than anything with me. Check your mount over at least twice a day while it is drying and adjust as necessary and you won't miss anything or have any surprises. When your mounting something and you get to the end alot of people get anxious to be done and forget a few things here and there; especially if you work a fulltime job and taxidermy is your second fulltime job. Bag it and walk away from it and get a new set of fresh eyes on it the next day and give it a good once over. I skife my face and don't have any issues. Be careful not to make any holes while skifing though.
  20. ryanolson72

    ryanolson72 Active Member

    my only thought that may help would be to pre sculpt your eye with critter clay, and get your clay 90% dry before yoou slip the skin on. after i sculpt my eyes, i put a hair dryer over my clay work until it has a hard shell that i cant stick my finger nail into. This may help your shape and your clay work will darn near be dry. Its worth a try.