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Hoppity Hop Pre-Op

05/04/2012

I was recently contacted by an old friend who had purchased a piece of art from me over 15 years ago. Sadly, the piece had met with an accident and was badly in need of repair. I agreed to perform surgery, a project I’ll be starting this weekend. But first, let’s take a look at the patient.

The piece is a soft sculpture called Luv Bunny, which was the first in a series of stuffed-animal art that I made between 1996-1998. Here’s an archived page of those critters and below, the little guy in his prime. I have a special fondness for this one.

Luv Bunny

When the box arrived with his parts inside, this is what I found:

Poor Bunny

My friend had collected every fragment of the bunny’s face, so I considered trying to glue it all back together. But even if that were possible, I had to remove the still-attached bits because the stitching was torn.

Face Flap

Without any face whatsoever, the poor thing looked pretty sad.

No Face

And a little creepy.

Faceless Bunny

I assembled all of the pieces into a 3D puzzle, balancing them together in an approximation of their original structure.

Puzzle Pieces

Face Puzzled

Unfortunately, the pieces were just too fragile to glue back together. Even if the glue held up, the integrity of the material had been compromised by the accident. Some of the pieces were just too crumbly.

I propped the pieces back on his face to make him look more chipper. It’s a far cry from recovery, but at least it’s a bit less disturbing.

Staged Bunny

So the next step is to make a new face, which I’ll begin this weekend. I ordered some Apoxie® Sculpt, which arrived in the mail today. The original snout was made of Super Sculpey®, but I’d rather use something stronger in case the bunny gets hit by a bus in the future. The one advantage of Sculpey is an unlimited working time. Compound epoxy products like Apoxie® Sculpt and Magic Sculp have only two or three hours of flexibility, and then they begin to harden. After drying, Apoxie® Sculpt can be carved, sanded, or tooled, but I hope to get most of the shaping done while it’s soft.

So that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend, trying to make a new bunny face. Then I have to figure out the best way to sew it on. That will probably involve opening his back along the seam. He’s going to need an epidural.

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From → Art, Crafty, Sewing

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