Solve For Why

This is currently my largest piece and will be proudly serving as the flagship of my creative efforts over the past three years. Over 1,300 hours of experimenting, researching, bending, grinding, sculpting, painting, soldering, testing, sorting scrap, dabbling in taxidermy, and injuring myself. Over the course of this project, I made my Data Retriever 2666 sculpture merely as a test for the various things I wanted to accomplish with this one. This as well, has been an immense learning opportunity.

In order to embed LEDs under the skin, I needed a sculpting compound that didn’t require high temperatures for curing. I would soon discover a marvelous substance called ApoxieSculpt, made by a small company called Aves Studios. It’s a simple two part mixture that gives you a three hour working time and cures incredibly strong. The eggs are made of tiny pucks of sculpting compound with about 60 coats of clear acrylic gel surrounding them. I used individual strands of rolling tobacco for the little veins seen in about 90 of the 136 eggs. The skin of the lower creature is made of naturally shed snake skin, stretched and coated on each side with acrylic gel to make each section workable. I used some teeth from a deer’s skull for the small horns on the crest. The base is covered with actual dirt, rocks, dried moss, leaves, and my own wisdom teeth (all sealed in acrylic).

I also spent about 8 months brushing up on electronics to figure out how to make the lights behave the way I wanted using analog circuitry. Thanks to some tutoring from a good friend and some simulation software, I was able to make a complete virtual mock-up of the wiring schematic. It took about two weeks to assemble the basic circuit board from scratch and another month to tweak it to what I wanted. The board can still be seen blinking away under the base plate.

Here is a demo video of the lighting animation.

I am currently assembling a zoological “field report” detailing the biology of these two creatures. Coming soon…

Approximate dimensions: 15 X 19 X 25 in. (38.1 X 48.26 X 63.5 cm)

Weight: 65 lbs. (29 kg)

Complete Materials List:

  • Aves Studios ApoxieSculpt
  • Acrylic gels and paints
  • Clear epoxy
  • Aluminum foil
  • Real snake shed skin
  • Deer teeth
  • Human teeth
  • Dirt
  • Rocks
  • Tobacco
  • Windshield wipers
  • Wire coat hangers
  • Paperclips
  • Approx. 200 feet of wire harvested from electronic devices
  • 68 LEDs
  • 37 capacitors taken from an Xbox360
  • other assorted electrical components
  • Guitar/bass strings and eyelets
  • Headlight lenses
  • Camera lenses
  • Cassette deck parts
  • VCR parts
  • Antique projector parts
  • Printer parts
  • Car engine parts
  • Bicycle parts
  • CD drive parts
  • Hard drive parts
  • Lighter parts
  • Watch parts
  • Drill parts
  • Ratchet straps
  • Used CO2 tanks
  • Springs
  • Bearings
  • Various hand cut plates
  • Monitor hinges
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • An umbrella
  • Schrader valves
  • Fiber optic connectors




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