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Topic: Archaeopteryx Faux-ssil (Fossil)! (Image Heavy)  (Read 3521 times)
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ajmaley
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« on: November 29, 2011 07:14:24 PM »

Soooo . . . . what do you do when the perfect Christmas gift for someone is a one of a kind fossil discovered in Germany in the 1800s? Allow me to spell out the options: 1) Buy it -- not likely, it's not for sale and it would be a bit out of my price range; 2) Steal it -- difficult, museum's have nice security systems and the consequences of jail time might put a damper on the holiday cheer; 3) Buy a replica -- best idea so far, but even the replicas are over 100 dollars and I don't have that kind of cash; 4) Make a replica -- oooh, now there's an intriguing thought . . .

In any case, by virtue of this post being on craftster, you can guess that I decided to make my very own "faux-ssil" . . . and here's the result:


What would a museum artifact be without a certificate of authenticity:


And now various closeups:
The Head:

Angled view that shows the actual colors better:

Closeup of the body:

Closeup of the wings:

Closeup of a claw:


Basic details of how I made it:
I had my husband cut me a piece of wood to act as a foundation and I used original sculpey and rolled it out on top of the wood in a thin layer. Note: I wish I had "upgraded" to one of the higher end sculpey's . . . I had a lot of issues with this one cracking . . . oh well, live and learn. I found a photo of the fossil on wikipedia, had Staples print it off and blow it up close to actual size. Then I placed the photo on top of the wood and traced the major lines of the fossil so that it imprinted into the layer of sculpey below. Some smushing, some scraping, and voila, most of the fossil is done. I took some feathers from my chickens (not plucked, I just picked some up that they left behind in the chicken yard) and used them to make imprints in the wings and tail (just like in the "real" fossil). To simulate stone texture, I used sand paper to imprint a rough texture onto the stone portions of the clay, note: I didn't "sand" it, I just used the sand paper like a stamp -- you could easily use an actual stone to do this, but I had sand paper and suitable stones were hiding from me in the great outdoors somewhere.

My husband added some wall hanging hardware and I cured it in the oven following the sculpey manufacturer's directions, painted it with acrylic paints, and sealed it with multiple (4+) layers of Miniwax Polycrylic High Gloss . . . a satin finish would have looked more realistic (i.e. more like stone), but I already had the high gloss and well . . . you know how it goes . . .

Like I said, I had some issues with cracking (before the majority of the sealing), so I added cyanoacrylate based super glue to the cracks, painted over them, and sealed.

Anyways, let me know what you think (my second sculpey project, so I'm really REALLY interested in tips/criticism), I can't wait to give it away!
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xtal
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011 07:30:32 PM »

It looks so real - I have never seen anything like it.  Great job!
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Alexus1325
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011 08:14:55 PM »

Um, WOW? That is downright INCREDIBLE! You have massive talent!
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PerfectlyBohemian
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011 08:19:41 PM »

That is incredibly detailed and awesome. I don't think the high gloss looks bad, and can't think of a single thing to critique. You did some beautiful work there!
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bunny1kenobi
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011 09:01:04 PM »

THIS. IS. AWESOME!!!  If someone made this for me, I think I would pass out from sheer delight! "This Rocks!"
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maxxev
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011 10:01:11 PM »

 Grin

love it! tips...you may find should you do a series of these that applying a thicker layer to the wood may help reduce cracking and as you've mentioned a satin varnish would add to the realism. i cant give you any criticism though. this is a beautiful piece!
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Eapa
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011 07:39:50 AM »

This is fantastic!  You did a great job, and it's given me some ideas of things to play with once the current spate of Giftmas Knitting is over. Smiley  Thank you so much for sharing!  I heart dinosaurs and other ancient reptiles/birds.
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froggirl02
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011 01:00:20 PM »

This is absolutely incredible, AJMaley!!  Cheesy I am super impressed. Elves should give you a strategic supply of sculpey so you can craft more faux-ssils for the world to enjoy. Maybe you could even make a faux-ssil gallery.  Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011 03:15:13 PM »

That's amazing. You make it sound so easy but I know I couldn't make anything half so realistic lol. Props! (In the hip-hop sense, not the theatrical sense.)
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aethelberga
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011 05:54:02 PM »

This is fantastic. I love faux fossils & archaeological finds. You did a really beautiful job.
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littlewrenpottery
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2011 02:10:17 AM »

Wow awesome work, I love the detail in this! Well done : D
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eternallyeve
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2011 03:27:07 AM »

Totally rocks!
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bld
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011 10:39:55 AM »

This is amazing!  no criticisms, just awe
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sweets4ever
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012 11:58:07 AM »

Congrats!!

You're a Craftster Best of 2011 Winner!

Craftster Best of 2011 Winner

Feel free to use this badge as your avatar!
If you'd like to use it as a badge on your personal website or blog, you can grab the full code at the bottom of this page.
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froggirl02
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2012 06:16:12 PM »

That is awesome! Way to go, ajmaley! Smiley
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"I want to leave the world littered with beauty." ~Steve Martin, Picasso at the Lapin Agile

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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2012 10:28:16 AM »

That was absolutely awesome, I really like the certificate that you created too.  Congrats on the win.
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chastine
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2012 06:15:03 PM »

That's..... f-ing bananas. Im a polymer clay artist and I've been doing it for YEARS and I am rarely impressed anymore. Sure I like/love/respect other works but impressed? No way.  I have absolutely no idea how you made this and that's saying so much. Seriously... wow!
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Belladune
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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2012 08:39:13 AM »

Thanks for sharing you process!  I'm planning a Paleontology birthday party for my boy and thought we might be able to to dot his too, but sound like it's a bit more work then a bunch of 7 year olds could handle... BUT!  I could make one and hide it in the sand box for the "big dig"!  Thanks for sharing, it's awesome!
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012 07:13:49 PM »

My brother took one look at this and said "holy crap, is that for sale? I'd drop $80 on that, easy." He collects fossils/fossil replicas and is super picky about details, so that's pretty high praise Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2012 08:14:58 AM »

From your narrative, I can tell how much thought you put into this (chicken feather imprints, stamping with sand paper) - KUDOS on the great work - it is absolutely mind-boggling how authentic this looks!!
 And I think you should get a Wikipedia page of your own for coining/defining the term: faux-ssil.   Cheesy
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