Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sculpting Lights

No, I haven't branched out into the design of lamps--rather, these are the lights that I use when sculpting. They are a pair of "Espressivo" desk lights from IKEA (unfortunately they seem to be discontinued, though I'm sure they still have something similar). They are nice, bright, and hot little lights--halogen, I think--and that heat is a lot of their appeal for me!

I use my little lights to cure epoxy. Heat causes the epoxy to cure far faster--a matter of minutes for a full cure instead of 24 hours. That means less time waiting and more time sculpting! Usually I work on a few horses at once, and one or two will be under the lamp curing while I work on another one. In those cases I use the second light as a light rather than as a heat source!

In this case both the horses I am sculpting on today are under the lamps right now. The Arab on top has his leg wires jammed through a pair of holes in a lid (which doesn't actually quite fit that jar) so he can stand until I make him a base. Note that this lamp is missing the plastic rod that the other one has--that's actually nice, as it means I can position the lamp in more ways. The PRE sculpture below him is laid down so I don't knock him over again!

These lights can get quite hot so it's important not to get them too close to the sculpture. It's especially important when working on customs as the plastic will melt or deform at a much lower temperature than Apoxy Sculpt can stand. I will put my lights as close as 1/2" for small sculptures like these but no closer than about 1 1/2" for a custom. It is possible to burn epoxy too, so keep an eye on things! And remember, the pieces will be quite hot after being under that light, so be careful!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a cool technique! Thanks for sharing. It sure would be handy to be able to speed up curing sometimes! I am always accidentally ruining soft sculpted epoxy while trying to add more to the horse *facepalm*