das boot

Day 18

Monday Monday Monday. The big news it that Peter’s back. Juno is doing great – apparently she’s less wrinkled and orange. Always a good sign for an infant. But first…

Sunday deserves a little side note here because I went to Telus Spark (the new Calgary science centre) with my friend Alex. Al and I used to work together (lets be honest, there was some mischief made too) at the Ontario Science Centre. He made the excellent decision a few years ago to come out to Cow Town and have a career at Spark and seems to be tearing it up. I got the backstage tour – always a treat since I’d be asking those questions anyway – and really enjoyed the place. It’s an nontraditional approach in that Spark’s exhibitory is based in experiential learning and exploration, not so much on facts and figures. Overall I thought it was a well-set up place with some exhibits being more successful than others.

They also have a Making Monsters special exhibition on right now – an Australian special effects expert, John Cox, brought a bunch of his models, puppets and animatronics on tour as a museum exhibition which is wonderfully coincidental for me as I’m doing that right now! It definitely focused on the wow factor and didn’t go deep into the subject, but I suppose I can hardly expect mr, Cox to give up his secrets. I will give him this – the film that accompanies the wolfman definitely captures the tedium of mold-making.

Which, of course, brings me back to Monday.

In I bounce, refreshed and rejuvenated. Feeling inspired by Sunday’s glimpse into monster making. Ready to tackle that pair of boots.

So I spent the first hour fixing the right boot so that it actually looks like something. But they’re too small. When Peter compares them to the elf body, they’re tiny. Ooops. Start again.

Next I build a double-sized boot, using up all the plasticine. It’s beautiful. Or should I say, boot-iful (sorry. I will try to contain myself.) So I go digging for more plasticine when Shawna asks what it will be cast in. I have no idea, so we go talk to Judd who suggests Flexible Slip. Great, says Shawna. That’s a perfect casting medium. Except that you can’t use plasticine – the chemicals will react badly and the mold won’t set.


So I pull out the clay and start sculpting.

Actually, first there’s a sculpting tutorial with Shawna. Start with small pieces and build up your shape gradually. Try to achieve the general shape and incorporate as many planes and angles as you can. Then you can start using the sculpting tools to fine-tune it. NEVER SMOOTH. Not only is it a waste of time, but it prevents you from seeing the shapes as clearly. Maybe at the end. Also, Calgary is so dry the clay hardens very fast. So I have to keep adding water and it takes me a while to get the ratio just right.

All in all, I spend the entire day on this, so by the end of Monday this is the sum total of my output:

2013-05-06 17.18.04

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