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BASIC Primer for Whitetail Eyes Clay Work

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by George, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Nina Lukaszewicz

    Nina Lukaszewicz Outdoor Dreams Taxidermy

    Thanks George, this was very nice of you to post. I am not a beginner but it still helped me.
  2. mark1970

    mark1970 If it looks good and its got a big rack,mount it!

    Thanks George, I wish more people would share their methods with us. You mean you used to use the real skull? Man, youve been around a while. I thought from your avitar you were in youre early thirties.LOL

  3. oldterryr

    oldterryr Terry's in Heaven with no worries at all.

    early 30's - thats when george was born the early (19)30's LOL - us old guys gotta stick together
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Fat people just don't show our age well.
  5. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    George, that makes for a tough decision. Do I want to be fat or look old? hmmmm.....neither are very good choices. LOL
  6. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    Thank you george.
  7. jakemcmillin

    jakemcmillin New Member

    oldterry I like the web site THANKS ALOT
  8. BeckyBird

    BeckyBird My Baby Bluebirds

    Thanks George!
  9. Relabbe

    Relabbe New Member

    Thanksi Georges. This information is very usefull to me. Are you using the same clay to do the eyes and the ear base? If so can critter clay be use for both? What are you using for clay?

    Thanks, René
  10. Todd K

    Todd K New Member

    Very cool guys. But I'm just wandering, have you ever tried putting the clay or epoxy as your last step? What I mean is after you mount the deer and get it all sewed up. Then do your eye work by inserting clay or epoxy sculpt through the eye hole. Just wandering if I'm the only one who SOMETIMES uses this method.
  11. Heath Cline

    Heath Cline Well-Known Member

    I too do my eye work last after it is mounted. I am NOT saying my way is better, just the way I learned from my mentors.
  12. nokes

    nokes New Member

    George, Do you have any pics of a finished mount using this techique? I would like to see it from the front and side. I think the eyes look great.
  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I use Critter Clay for all my eye work but I use the wet potter's clay from McKenzie for the ear butts and skull work. I don't use epoxy putty for the eye work (I have, but it limits you to so much as the hide dries and any final adjusting you might decide on) as clay allows you almost 3 days for final adjusting. I wouldn't think of doing my eyework through the eye opening as it gives you no sense of eye/iris positioning or expression except after the skin is installed. I suppose you COULD deal with the "glob" method and push excess clay around under the skin but I choose not to.

    As for a picture of a finished piece, there's already one of my deer Willow on here. I guess there are some more but that's the closest one. http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,43961.0.html
  14. Kevin

    Kevin New Member

    George, do you mount right away or let it set up some? I have tried doing such detail before but when the hide is pulled over it distorts it to the glob method in a hurry. ALso I was curious I have seen several different methods on this site. I am completely self taught by looking, listening and reading and was wondering what order do you put together the mount. Do you sew the back then tuck and fix the eyes, then the nose and mouth or what order is best for you. Great post.
    Thanks, Kevin
  15. bassin

    bassin New Member

    Hey George thanks.I am glad you are feeling better and back in rare form thanks Ray
  16. Todd K

    Todd K New Member

    Same here Heath, We probably learned from the same mentors. I dont use that method all the time though, mostly if I'm using epoxie sculpt. If I try to do it the way George is showing, I end up smashing all my hard work. I have learned to sculpt my eyes after everything is tucked and positioned when using critter clay. Kind of like the 2nd pic George took, then I put on the skin, sew up, and the eyes are the last thing I do. I have thought about trying epoxie sculpt, putting in all the detail, letting the sculpt set up then mount but I then would not be able to use the eye tuck method which I prefer. To each his own I guess. It seems that George's way is more popular though. Nice work George!
  17. Jim B

    Jim B Active Member

    Nice George.These step by steps are extremely helpful to a lot of people.I hadn't seen the picture of the mount of Willow before.Nice also.A great choice of pose for that deer.
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Those pictures are deceiving as that's NOT the method I use in mounting. I took those pictures trying to explain to a guy how the clay work needs to look underneath.

    Since I use the short "Y", my tanned hide is final fleshed. I install the earliners with Epo-Grip Liquid Fast Set and I let them cure. I prep the form including cutting lip/lacrymal slots and interior septum work. I slip the tubed cape over the form. I leave the "Y" area open down over the eyes and the skullcap areas. I reinstall the antlers after having Bondoed them in earlier and then removing them. I then slide the neck forward giving me ample room around the eyes and I do ALL the claywork you see there MINUS THE EAR BUTTS. When done, I allow it to set and air dry for about 20 minutes. Critter Clay will "shell over" in that time. I then paint the forehead up to the antler burrs and around the eyes with hide paste. I gently lift the scalp piece and move the face skin back to the antler pedicel, taking care not to "scrape" all my clay work off. I arrange the antler burr and hide to the correct place and put a few drops of super glue on the apoxie dam I have around the pedicels. Then I tack the cape under the pedicel at that point.

    Now I sew the hide around the antler burrs. When complete, I just stop and insert a racquet ball sized piece of clay into the ear butt skin. I place a dollop of clay over the pre gouged out holes for ear canals. Once I get the clay up under the skin to the preinstalled earliners, I press that "ear butt" down on to the dollop over the ear canals on both ears. I finish sewing up my "Y". I then roll the form over (upside down) and roll the neck skin forward. I paint hide paste over the complete manikin neck and brisket area and then bring the hide back up over the paste taking care not to get hair in the paste. I use a spray bottle of water, and with my rubber gloves, I slick the wetted hair tight against the manikin. I insure that the brisket "markers" are set properly and get a feel of the entire fit. I press all the air towards the rear and then staple the hide to the backboard and cut it off.

    I then go back to the eyes and GENTLY arrange the cape over the clay work. Once I establish the front corner of the eye, the only pin I use is placed in that point and pushed down iside the front clay and form. I use a dental pick to work the rest of the eye area and taxiing the skin. Once I have it set properly, I usually take hat pins and just encircle the eye area to insure the hide isn't moved or pulled during the rest of the work.

    I go to the mouth and invert it back over the muzzle. With a paint brush, I push hide paste all the way back to the neck and up between the the eyes on the bridge of the nose. I paint the rest of the muzzle including the nostril interiors.

    I roll the hide back down and position the nose. I tuck the top front center lip. Then I move the bottom lip up and tuck it bottom dead center after putting a small sliver of clay inside the lip area. I move back to the back corners of the mouth and tuck both of them and finish by tucking the lip lines.

    That leaves me with the nostrils that I now tuck up into the form. I use hat pins and pin the edges inside the Dremeled out nostril area where they will stay for one day.

    When this is done, I mist the hair again with water and start moving bubbles of air. When I find one, I use the fine dental pick to poke a hole in the hide and I press the air out. This allows the hide paste to form a suction to the hide and eliminates drumming long term. Once all the bubbles are removed, I groom it with a baby's brush.

    After one day drying, I remove the hat pins from the eye and do any touchups through the skin that I feel is necessary. I also remove the pins from the nostrils and pack them with plastic freezer wrap that I leave in from 3 to 5 days before removing. At about 7-10 days, I do finish work.
  19. maximum

    maximum The one that got away! Made the other guy Famous!


    You are the man! This has answered a ton of questions that I have ran into while mounting the deer I have mounted. Like "how do I get the air out from between the hide and the form?"

    I really want to thank you for everything that you have done for me weather your realize it or not you have help me greatly.
  20. SWS

    SWS New Member

    Thanks for the info YOU DA MAN