Creating Troll Magnets – part 2

A bit of a delay getting part 2 up.  I’ve been finishing up three more troll sculptures for the Pekin Days Art Show (which these magnets will also be a part of).  My next posts will be of these next sculpts which I’ve named – “Moe,” “Larry,” and “Curly.”

Okay, on to the next part of creating Troll Magnets!

At the end of the last post, these little guys were getting close to being done.  I had some cleaning up and some detailing to do, but the characters were all there and most of the decisions on their looks were complete.  Here you can see that they’re cleaned up and smoothed.  Also the ears are complete and there’s some warts thrown in on a few of them:

joshhagen_trollmagnets_done1

If you’ve worked with super sculpey you might have your own technique when it comes to baking your pieces.  But here’s a few from me…

– First off, I usually try to sculpt on top of my baking tray or at least on top of some aluminum foil.  That way when I go to put it in the oven, I don’t have to touch the finished sculpture and possibly leave a fingerprint or otherwise mar some fine detail.

– When it comes to actually baking the piece (or pieces), I put them in a cold oven.  Only after I’ve put them in do I turn it on.  I find that this helps to gradually heat the entire sculpt up evenly and helps to prevent thicker areas from cracking.

– Both regular super sculpy and super sculpy firm say to bake at 275 F.  It also says to bake for 15 minutes for every 1/4 of thickness.  I usually bake it at 220 F and I leave mine in for hours.  Why?  Just experience.  I first started using this material in college and went along with what the boxes said.  I also would pre-heat the oven.  My sculptures would end up cracked and burned at the thinner areas.  I found that gradually heating the sculptures to a lower temperature took care of possible cracks (most of the time).  It also allowed me to to bake it longer to ensure it’s nice and solid without burning them.

Here they are all baked.

joshhagen_trollmagnets_done2

No cracks on this set.  I let them finish cooling and then I start to add the magnets.  They can be tricky to behave since I have them all so close together, but taking the time beforehand to leave the magnet indentations really helps.  I do one magnet at a time per sculpt to allow them to dry before I place the next.  It all goes smoothly:
joshhagen_trollmagnets_done3

After all the glue is dry, I use my fingernail to try and pry them up.  None of them move so it’s on to the stress test.  I place them all on the side of one of my filing cabinets and slide them around, pull them off and stick them back on to see if the magnets are nice and strong.  Lastly I bang on the filing cabinet around them (while gritting my teeth).  After wiping my brow I am confident that they all are ready to paint:joshhagen_trollmagnets_done4

In the next post I will show my process that I’ve been refining for painting these little guys.

More to come.  Stay tuned!

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