Tinfoil Art

Working with tinfoil is not easy and it’s a medium I don’t get to work with often. There are advantages to using tinfoil for sculpting however: First, the material is readily available and recyclable. Second tinfoil is easy to shape. Finally, the material produces very different figures than clay would and it is more uncommonly used.

I began my sculpting adventures with tinfoil back when the movie “Jurassic park” was first featured in theaters. Dinosaurs, were always a favorite subject of mine, so I made my first dinosaur skeleton out of tinfoil. The piece was sold, but due to time constraints at the time, I did not make any more skeleton figures. I re-visited the art recently with a larger sculpt that now sits in my studio.

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Years after the tinfoil skeleton I decided to sculpt with tinfoil again, this time using fantasy themes and creatures. The figures were nice but there was still something missing in my technique. Foil is too wrinkled, even when pressed and shaped. For reptilian figures this is ok, but I was not satisfied with the results.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I decided to use my dremel on a dinosaur sculpture I was making. I wet the tinfoil and polished the piece with the dremel, using carving bits to etch details. Despite working eight hours on the piece, the results were very satisfying.

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The wrinkles are still present but more subtle, and the foil could be carved and shaped with the dremel itself. This process wears down my sanding bits, I went through two of them, but these are easily replaced and i can finish smoothing by hand.

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I sculpted eyes and teeth with green stuff, but everything else remained tinfoil. The technique opens up a whole new medium for me to create, I plan more skeletons, dinosaurs, and even fantasy creatures. Tinfoil is a unique medium, as I get better with it, I am sure models will be created faster and more efficiently.

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I painted the sculpture with acrylic paint, but I must say I like the unpainted version too. I may leave some of my future sculpts unpainted, applying only the coat of varnish to strengthen the pieces. Allosaurus is now listed in my handmade art shop.

In conclusion, The Allosaur is a novelty when it comes to decorative pieces. The inspiration comes straight out of my inner child, and a continued fascination with natural history.

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