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From skeleton to clay - a young coyote

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by Amy, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Kevin Halle

    Kevin Halle Well-Known Member

    Very impressive Amy.
  2. MidwestTaxidermist

    MidwestTaxidermist New Member

    That is so cool, never seen anything done like that! Must have definitely been a really cool seminar you attended!

  3. Kate Lacour

    Kate Lacour Member

    Wow, Amy! Just saw this old post. Never heard of this technique or dreamed it would work out.

    Question- so, it’s OK to leave some pickled and dried tissue on the carcass under the foam like that, long term? Not a major pest/decay hazard? I’m thinking that’s a safe way to go for an art piece or as the positive for making a fiberglass mold for manikins... but that you couldn’t get away w mounting a cape over it? I’m so intrigued. Would also love to know how she held up in the 6 years since this was posted.
  4. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    Beautiful sculpt, Amy! Well done!!
  5. Bradley Smith

    Bradley Smith Member

    That's pretty darn slick.
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Amy hasn't been logged in since June but I would be curious as well how this has lasted with out without insect intrusion. In the good old days, tissue like this was treated with arsenic. Problem solved. Now, not so much. Was this to be a permanent installment, or just a temp test piece?
    Kate Lacour likes this.
  7. vic h

    vic h Active Member

    Since Amy mentioned me in this post about learning this in one of my seminars I will give you an answer to this. First off I'm not the sculptor who came up with is tecnique. It's been used as a way to build am armature for sculpting models for taxidermy way before I was born. I picked it up from talking to people like Joe Kish Gary Zehner Brian Epply and dozens of others including Henery Whitchers. I also attended

    seminars at taxidermy shows since I attended the first NTA show at age 18.
    What Amy was showing was the use of a skeleton as an armature to apply the foam and clay to sculpt the animal. After the sculpture is complete a mold made from the piece is used to pour a foam form to reproduce the piece. Many copies from modern molds
    can be made from these molds. Probably the birth of the taxidermy supply industry!
    A few things I would add to Amys post.... After the animal is skinned the fox was was measured completly. On most of my sculptures over 50 measurements are taken from the carcass. The animals flesh is then removed from the skeleton while leaving all the bones attached together. When finished you should have 4 leg sets,all bones attached by ligiments, the entire backbone and ribs in one piece and a fleshed skull.
    Then just like a skin being pickled it should be salted overnight and put in a strong pickle of alum and salt until the flesh has turned to a plesant grey color. Afterwards the skeleton can be washed and the remaining flesh Should Be Cleaned ! even more using a set up like a wire bird used in bird mounting.
    I don't recommend using the finished clay model as a form to complete a finished taxidermy piece. It's been sculpted just to make a mold to produce copies of the
    I would suggest going to the next WTC in May 2022 and watching the ongoing sculpture competiton to see the whole prodedure from start to finish. I'll see you there.

    Vic Heincker
    PS Most of the time when a mold is made from the sculpture that clay sculpture is destroyed in the process.....some times on some large time consuming pieces like lifesize large mammals it hurts to see a pile of bones.foam and clay headed to the dumpster after it is no longer needed.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
    Kate Lacour and Keith like this.
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    OK. I am familiar with that process. The sculpt is then, at some point, discarded. I asked because it seemed like this was meant to be a more permanent installation and I wondered as to the amount of flesh left on it. Assume then, that the next step with this piece would have been to cast it and make a mold. :)
    Kate Lacour likes this.