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Restocking and gypsum

We are just now starting to work on production painting again!
Restocking our depleted piles of inventory is a milestone in our settling-in process. The problem is … I don’t know how to do the production painting very well, so teaching someone else is an issue! It has been about twenty years since I have done serious production work myself, and that was old green and brown dragons! Yikes. So we are feeling our way around, starting with painting the little hatching dragons, and antiquing stone finish things.
The stone finish is surprisingly difficult to antique if you don’t know how! The rough surface is very touchy about how much of each layer of paint gets put on, and at what stage of dryness the antique gets wiped off, so timing is critical.This can be a frustrating and time consuming process at first.Too much antique may wipe off, leaving the piece too light; it then will need to be antiqued again, doubling the time that goes into the finishing process. If the piece drys too long the antique is difficult to get off, and leaves dark areas that need extra scrubbing, again doubling the time of the finishing process… you get the drift.
I am trying to remember how things were done in the old days, and at the same time, work out how best to deal with the slightly different behavior of the new gypsum we are using.The custom mixed gypsum we used in California has been reformulated. It seems to take paint differently, but I really like the nice creamy, velvety feel it has when the castings are sanded and touched up after casting.
I am eager to begin doing sculpture using this new gypsum. I think it will work very well for carving the original sculpture.The old formula of gypsum was good for carving some things, but was very “chippy” and had to be carved carefully, or the details would be damaged. To me, good gypsum is like Carrera marble, and creating new sculpture out of it here is the next huge milestone!

One Response to Restocking and gypsum

  1. ghostndragon March 24, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    It’s gotta be a relief that things are moving fairly forward. I can’t wait to see what you guys start bringing out.

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