model making

The following are some model making that I’ve done for commercial jobs-museums, aquaria, trade show houses, etc. One of the interesting aspects of being a freelance designer is that I am often challenged to take on projects that I’ve had no direct experience in and, therefore, need to learn on the fly. One of the projects that I took on for a long time client required that I make translucent Lifesavers candies. I concluded that I needed to  vacuum form them out of a clear material as the base, which I had not done before. However, a quick trip to the web yielded plans by a wacky amateur engineer type in Michigan for building vacuum formers. I ordered the plans, made a quick trip to Graingers for materials and, a week or so later, I was vac forming candies in my basement. The continuous learning is one of my favorite aspects of my vocation.



A wolf marionette that I designed and built for the “Puppets” area of the project “Artastic!”, a $250K permanent exhibition that I designed for the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee, WI. In addition to doing the design work, I was commissioned to build several puppets, and a Plexiglas enclosed puppet stage for the kids. I designed this puppet, specifically with exposed jointery and mechanistics so that the children could see how it worked. Obviously, as little kids were to be the users, it had to be robust.



A “BC” model for a trade show booth. The company has leased the rights to the charictor to use as a “mascot” for their product and the finished model rode on a conveyor, round and round, over the header. You can see the pink insulating foam that was the base-same as you have in your house. The finished sculpture was painted with acrylic paint




If you think this is big, you should see the glass of milk. A vacuum formed Oreo in styrene sheet, then painted.




12″ high carved styrofoam gummies. Carved, sanded, hard-coated, and then air brush painted with acrylic paints.




Gummy stegosaurus




This was an interesting project. A trade show company was doing their own self promotional booth, and had adopted marshmallow “peeps” as a repeating symbol in their marketing approach. They commissioned me to produce 50 giant molded peeps to display throughout the booth. Here is my clay model with a real peep for scale. When the model was approved, I produced a silicone mold and then cast the peeps in an expandable soft foam, which was painted in acrylic and dusted with plastic “sugar” for the coating. The finals not only looked, but felt like, real peeps.




50 marshmallow peeps




a close up


One Response to model making

  1. judi says:

    Peeps! I love the Peeps!

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