1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

BASIC Primer for Whitetail Eyes Clay Work

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

  1. after the shot

    after the shot N.E.A.T. Board Member

    great post George.
  2. BMan40

    BMan40 New Member

    I like a lot of others will be better because of this info.
    I really struggled with eye detail and how to get it this should get me on the right track.
    I have it bookmarked and will use it..........soon
    Thanks George

  3. mdupertuis

    mdupertuis Active Member

    George, thanks for the information. I have been following this post since it started. Lots of helpful information. I wish more people took the time to share that kind of stuff. I'd love to see one of the really good "cat guys" show pictures of the clay work and form preparation for bobcats.
  4. Tim

    Tim Olean,NY

    Another trick (i think John C),to get the air bubbles or drumming is to insert a syringe pull the top out and it sucks right down.
  5. Heath Cline

    Heath Cline Well-Known Member

    Hey Todd,
    Here a few pics using the " glob " method , applying the clay through the eyes. Please note these are not fresh mounts and I am sure you can see the dust on them . HAHAHA
  6. crankin

    crankin New Member

    nice looking eye Heath
  7. Todd K

    Todd K New Member

    Yep, thats it... the eye glob method! I like it. Great looking eye. Not for the beginner if using Apoxie Sculpt though. would be a good idea to do a few with Critter clay first.
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I guess I don't understand the big deal. If the glob method works for you, then go for it. As Heath's pictures show, however, it's difficult to "get it the same". I notice how the back of one eye is rounded while the other has a gentle slope and contour. PERSONALLY, the eyelashes are wrong and had the clay been sculpted prior, IN MY OPINION, they just seem to fall into the proper positioning of coming down over the eye. This wasn't intended to be a clash of methods, but to show a very simple clay set for an eye. IN MY OPINION, whether you set that eye outside the hide and taxi it over it, or shove the eye through the skin and build it up afterwards, the SHAPE of the eye should be similar to those pictures when you're looking for a "relaxed" eye set. As I stated, this is MY WAY. It just works better FOR ME. Everyone has to determine what works best for themselves.
  9. Heath Cline

    Heath Cline Well-Known Member

    George you made the statement " 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 just posted the pics to show that no matter which method you use , you can produce quality looking eyes.
    Oh, those pics are of TWO DIFFERENT mounts , that is why I didn't " get it the same ".
    Boy am I glad you didn't judge those two deer heads !!!
  10. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Now, George, you know everything has turn into the "dp vs. tan" type debate. It wouldn't be any fun otherwise. Everyone's methods is THE best...................for them ;)
    Now me, I attempt to get it my clay work close before I put the cape on. But most of the time I end up smushing it and it turns into a modified glob method, LOL.

    BTW, Heath, nice eye, I like the shape of the first one.
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I guess so Becky. No good deed goes unpunished. I would have figured if someone had a DIFFERENT way of doing things, they'd have started their own post like I did. LOL

    Heath, I didn' t mean to "judge" your work. My concern was that working "undercover" with the glob method leaves a beginner with no sense of structure. I can honestly say, you're the first person I 've seen in modern times using that method. I know it was used years ago, but I just haven't seen it in ages. Personally, I'm not good enough to use that method and I've fought my lack of talent in eye work for years before settling on this method. But it's just that...one method.
  12. shaneb

    shaneb New Member

    Good job George, I really like how you simplified the clay applications. I was always one of those people that sit there and add a little clay, do a little tooling, add some more clay, tool it again. I will definately give youre method a try.
  13. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    I do the same shaneb,

    Add a little to this side. No, thats too much. Put some more on this side. Ok, let me look. Nope better take a bit off of here LOL.
    Thanks for the tips George. Always appreciate anyones help.

  14. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    First off, very nice tutorial George. I enjoy seeing what different taxidermists do in order to reach the same result. Your eyes and mounts look very nice. Thank you for taking the time. Heath, I agree with Becky that the first eye has a very nice, relaxed shape similar to most of the eyes I do. However, the second one...well, I am impressed. I often see that shape when looking at reference, but I'm not sure I could pull it off. I'm always afraid mine would look bug-eyed but that looks very nice and natural, IMO.
  15. Heath Cline

    Heath Cline Well-Known Member

    George, as "old fashioned" as it might be, that is how we were taught at Buckeye from Cary,Brad & Bryan . HAHA Maybe that is the method they found worked best for them years ago. But, no offense, they are younger than you. ;D ;D
    But I will agree for a beginner or someone with little expirience doing your eye work before hand would be easier. Especially(sp) until you learn how to read reference and know where everything is supposed to be.
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Heath, lots of people are younger than me who are using methods that I stopped using in the 70's. Pickle tans come to mind right off. Many things in this industry are done with antiquated methods for no other reason than "we've always done it that way". If Carey and those guys worked under the really OLD guys, I'm sure those methods were simply passed down. Richard Christoforo told me today that when he started the "always did them that way".
  17. Thank you George. It definetely cleared up a major snag I had. Do you re-create the forward wrinkles on the cape itself, and if so, is there a rule of thumb?
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    The only "rule of thumb" I guess is that "there is no rule of thumb". Personally, I set three in there,more from a flat artists concept of "no even numbers" mostly I suppose. I use my lip tucking tool and cut them in after the clay work has begun to set.
  19. Heath Cline

    Heath Cline Well-Known Member

    George, in my opinion I don't think you can compare ones technique to a material(pickle tans). If someone was using a technique that the end result LOOKED like it was mounted in the 70's, then yes. But if someone can use the very technique that you quit using in the 70's and produce the highest quality that they did & can, how can you knock that ??Maybe it depends on whose hands the clay is in. I doubt they use that way because "we've always done it that way". They found what worked for them and ran with it from there. Anyone who knows them very well knows that they are always looking to improve the way they do things, whether its taxidermy, molding, casting or a better way to improve there euchre game !!! ;D ;D
    It all boils down to what works best for anybody. Is either way better than the other? NO. Can some people do one way better than the other ? YES. But that does not make one way better than the other.Thats all I have been trying to get across this entire post.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I wish I had your rosy attitude Heath, but I don't. I've been here long enough to KNOW how strong the resistance to change is, has been and always will be. All I have to do is look at this forum and it's everywhere (even in my shop). I try to think of myself as progressive, but there's a limit to even that in me. I try to learn from my mistakes, but this industry is rife with reinventing them. The pickle tan is one of the best. Hornaday did some absolutely spectacular work and he always ridiculed the regular tan. ALL of Hornaday's work is gone simply because it disintegrated over the years because of the acids chemical makeup. We should learn from history but we don't. Both of us know some prominent industry people who insist that the fish they mount in 10 minutes are as good as anyone's out there. They aren't. You know it, I know it, but it's still their ugly baby they'll never EVER admit to. The very last catalog that Jonas offered their line of paper forms in, there was a note that these forms allowed the "true artist much more flexibility in his creations than foam forms would". I know that there were some who really believed that statement and who bought the rest of those gawdawful messes to mount animals on. Many of those people DID mount animals on them better than some of us do on foam, but most didn't.

    And I'm not trying to make this personal. That eyeset and clay work aren't MINE, they belong to a bunch of people collectively who showed me a way of compensating and modifying what they did to come up with what I do. Clay in the hands of an artist make art, but in the hands of a novice make mud pies. Most of us aren't that gifted that we can't use any extra help we can find.