This was my first attempt at bronze casting. For this project I decided to take an AMP energy drink can and fuse it to a plush toy from a cereal box, this toy was advertising the release of the "Cat in the Hat" movie. The result was the caffeine monster.
Most of the creative design of this work came from transforming two neutral objects into a dynamic menacing sculpture. I attached the plush toy, "Thing", to the amp can and began to add the details with hot wax. I used a brush to make his soft fluffy hair into a Dragon Ball spiked hair style.
Next I painted connecting ridges from the can to the plush toy's body. These ridges were built up to the point where they merged the toy's body into the can and the division point between the two became more obscure. The result was a plush toy that looked like it was pulling itself free from the can.
Now I wanted to make the sculpture more menacing so I painted some rupturing points where the creature has torn some of the bindings freeing an arm. I also molded the smiling face into a raging beast with fangs protruding from the upper and lower lips.
After the design phase we had to cast the wax figure in a rubber mold and reinforce that within a plaster shell. The final form was created when the molten bronze was poured into the cast during the investment phase, where the metal replaces the wax.
Once the bronze was removed from the plaster cast and the sprues were removed, I began to selectively polish certain portions of the form. I allowed the difference in tone between polished and unpolished create a sense of depth on various parts of the figure. For example the eyes were not polished and seemed to set deeper than the polished regions surrounding them because of the contrast.
2004 – Bronze Cast with selective Polishing - From the frontal view of the sculpture you can see how the unpolished portions of the face recede to create a deeper sense of depth in the eye and mouth regions.
2004 – Bronze Cast with selective Polishing - Here is a picture from the left side of the sculpture. You can see how the feet look like they are stretching the metal of the can. It's hard to believe that the plush toy was cute before this began.
2004 – Bronze Cast with selective Polishing - I tilted the sculpture slightly so you can see the areas I established between the creature and the can. In this region they seem to flow into one form.
2004 – Bronze Cast with selective Polishing - On the right side of the form you can see the creature's arm is trying to rip itself loose from the can.
2004 – Bronze Cast with selective Polishing - Another frontal shot showing a better view of the left arm freed from the can. You can see the torn metal fragments breaking away from the arm and can.
2004 – Bronze Cast with selective Polishing - Here is an image of the rear side of the sculpture. You can see the polished surface of the energy drink can along with some extra details that were added to the final form.