Sunday, January 17, 2010

Taxidermy: In preparation for the application of skin

This entry will be short. It is simply an update before I start the good ol' "corpsing" process, during which flesh and skin will be applied to the top part of the mermaid.

First of all, once the fish was completely dry, I applied a couple of thin layers of latex to the tail and fins, so that if chipping occurs, the chipped piece won't fall off the fin. After this, many layers of spray varnish or fixative (I used Tresemmé extra strong hairspray) are applied to the whole fish to protect it, since it is quite brittle, prevent the scales from falling, and seal it from humidity.

More after the jump!

After this, I started sculpting the skull with Crayola's Air-Dry Clay, a soft, easy to work with white clay, which air-dries to a hard, strong mass, with minimal shrinking and cracking.

Keep in mind that the skull will be completely covered, and is only serving as a base on which we will create the facial features. Thus, as with the skeleton, details aren't important, although you should be very carefull with the proportions of the head. It doesn't need to be 100% human like (I made the calvarium proportionally small, so it looks a bit more "fishy").
The head is then placed on the body by piercing it with the spine wire, and left to dry overnight.

See you in a day or two for the next part!

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