This little squirrel is my first bona fide waterproof outdoor sculpture.
I made it using the same techniques that you’ll find in my book How to Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay, but the materials are different.
What did I do differently?
Instead of cardboard for the pattern, I used foam board. The roundness of the armature was filled out with aluminum foil held on with a hot glue gun. (I only burned myself five or six times. I ordered some protective finger thingies, and I’ll let you know if they helped.)
Once the armature was finished and the foil was squashed down really tight, I made the skin using an epoxy clay product, instead of paper mache clay. The product I used is called Free Form Sculpt, and it’s made by the Smooth-On company. Another product that’s a little easier to find (and almost exactly the same) is Apoxy Sculpt.
Note: After using both the Free Form Sculpt and Apoxy Sculpt for many more projects, I can say that I prefer Apoxy Sculpt. I find it much easier to work with. I used it on a small cat portrait, which you can see here. And I used Magic Sculpt, another epoxy clay product, on a really weird project, which you can see here.
I bought the “trial size” of Free Form Sculpt, and I used a little over half of it. If I didn’t get quite so carried away with the fur on the little guy’s tail, I might have been able to make two squirrels before running out. The material can be softened with a little bit of water, so it can be pressed very thin over the armature. It’s sticky, so it bonded to the aluminum foil. You can use water to keep it from sticking to your gloves, too.
Edit: I finished painting the squirrel, using waterproof flat house paint, tinted with some powdered pigments I had in the studio. Click Here to see how the squirrel looks, now that it’s finished.
If you think you might be interested in learning more about making outdoor sculptures with epoxy clay, let me know. I will be making one more video of this squirrel, so you can see how it looks after it’s painted.