The epoxy clay squirrel sculpture is now finished. You saw me make him in the last video, using an epoxy clay called Free Form Sculpt, made by the Smooth-On company. The grey clay doesn’t look bad all by itself, but Billy Dillard, a fellow YouTuber, reminded me that the UV rays from the sun can damage epoxy.
To protect the epoxy and to make him look a little more like a squirrel, I used an exterior house paint over a sprayed primer that is also made for exterior use.
In the video you’ll see me mixing powdered pigments into my white latex paint. I happened to have some in the studio – I bought them about five years ago (I can’t remember why) and I remembered them during a conversation with our friend Jim Kransberger. He was talking about using powdered pigments in glazes for clay (he moved on from paper mache a long time ago) but I decided to give them a try in the latex paint. It worked, but I’m glad I didn’t need any really dark colors. Of course, you can get tons of colors of latex paint at discount prices at your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
I used a can of paint that I had on hand, a flat exterior white latex, and the matte finish is really nice. I can see why Dan Reeder uses it for his dragons and monsters. I thought he was just trying to save money, but if you like a matte finish, the latex is really nice. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a supplier of universal tints, the kind the DIY stores use in their mixing machines. Without them, you just have to grab some cans of paint and start throwing them together until you get a color you like.
Unless, of course, you just happen to have some powdered pigments sitting around in your studio, collecting dust.
Update: the squirrel has been outside for four months in Minnesota weather. As I write it’s -3 F. The squirrel has been sitting on the bench my dad made through rain, sleet and snow, and is undamaged. I know I’ll be making a lot of sculptures with epoxy clay in the future.