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Mini Tutorial #2 - Taxidermy Eye Blanks

Beetle Autumn
For making my taxidermy style eyes, I start with 1) an eye blank mold. These molds can be cast off almost anything the size/shape you want. 2) mold release 3) the 2 part casting resin. 3) something to measure with and 4) a container to mix the resin in.



I clean the mold and apply the mold release. Then I slowly mix up the resin and carefully pour it in the mold.



After letting it cure for a day or two, I demold it. And there I have my eye blanks.



Pretty simple, really.

Comments

( 44 comments )
mix_hyenataur
Oct. 18th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
hehe, 'homemade breast implant kit' was my first thought.

Anyways... *hides from feminists* ...it looks awsome.
beetlecat
Oct. 18th, 2006 08:40 pm (UTC)
Maybe if you're a feral with nipples all the way down the tummy... heh

Oh, and it looks like you may get that bear partial after all. So far the winner has not contacted me and the message I sent to them was bounced so *shrugs* I'll give them a little bit longer and then we'll see...
mix_hyenataur
Oct. 18th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
How awsome. I'll send ya payment, no problemo, just need shipping costs when you are ready, no rush.

I heard there was a claw missing on that one? Have an extra by chance?
beetlecat
Oct. 18th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
I can make a new claw if I do end up offering it to you.

First I'm going to try my best to contact the winning bidder. I don't want them showing up later and getting mad :P I'll give them a week or so, that seems more than reasonable.
mix_hyenataur
Oct. 19th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
I usually give 3-4 days on ebay when I sell things. mainly because of how you don't know the urgency of how soon the other bidders needed it.

A week is common though for me as well.

I once bought something, and even though 'ebay' said it was shipped, I was never contacted from the seller with tracking info, or at all for a month. When I left a neg... he spazzed out like a nut, leaving a retalitory neg in return.

Only very few sellers leave feedback after the buyer paid, they usually wait till after the buyer replied, then they do. It's dumb, i know because I work in retail, but hey, it's ebay.
mix_hyenataur
Oct. 19th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
I did hear from a coworker, that there is a way to NOT receive negative feedback, by blocking the person from leaving feedback. Dunno how it's done...
beetlecat
Oct. 19th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
A good reason to put a tracking number on everything..

I've heard of alot of troubles where no one knows where the package is (did the seller actually send it...? did the buyer keep it and say it never arrived...? is it lost in shipment...?)
fallimar
Oct. 18th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
damn, you make it seem so simple.

... yes, I know it is, but I'm scared of using anything that smells like it can kill me :P
beetlecat
Oct. 18th, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
The warning label says to wear goggles, gloves, and a mask :D But so does my oven cleaner...

Though I still suspect it's better for me than the wood preservative I use on the papier mache masks.. that stuff gives me a super headache if there's not enough ventilation.
fallimar
Oct. 18th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
the nastiest thing I'm game to use is the contact adhesive I glue all my stuff together with. amazing glue... yellow, goopy and smells like a bad trip, but I love it anyway :)

Just wondering what kind of places would carry clear casting resin. I can find two lots on ebay but only one that ships to australia, and they call it floral resin. Getting off the ebay track, know of any places that'd ship internationally, or if you buy from a local place... what kind of shop is it? o..0
beetlecat
Oct. 18th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
I get all that kinda stuff from a local plastic's store. They recently moved to the other side of the city *frown* but they have rubbers, latex, resins, clay, etc.

I simply called all my local art stores and told them what I wanted. They all directed me to the plastics place.
fallimar
Oct. 18th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
*facepalms*

can't believe I didn't think of that. Thanks a bunch :)
aase93
Oct. 24th, 2010 11:35 am (UTC)
Supplies
If your a fellow Aussie a really great place is "Adelaide moulding and casting." If your an Adelaidian then you can go to the shop on Marion Road or you can get it shipped (its actually cheaper to buy online :3) They have a really good liquid gloss epoxy which I use for my eye blanks. There is also smooth on but im not sure they ship, good luck!
catdyke
Oct. 19th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC)
i have way too much to say about this...
hmmmm... i've been learning resin and rubber casting techniques in my metal casting classes, and we have to put our filled molds into a pressure chamber while they cure to pull all the air out. it doesn't look like you're having any trouble with air bubbles, though... maybe that's just for making super strong, dense, jewlery-quality plastic pieces. so you wouldn't need that kind of density in something like this... that simplifies how i was thinking of going about this like ten-fold.

that looks like a rubber mold? plaster is a no-go for plastic casting right? i always want to cheat cause i have tons of free plaster on hand as a ceramics student... how do you avoid the air bubbles so well? just careful mixing and pouring?
beetlecat
Oct. 19th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
Re: i have way too much to say about this...
*nods* I would use a vaccuum table if I had one, but this is a resin that is intended to be clear even without one. I do get bubbles in it, there is no way around that, but they are too small to really affect the look of the eyes.

The rule of thumb for molding is to use a hard mold for a soft product and vise versa. I have no idea how a plaster mold would perform.
catdyke
Oct. 19th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
Re: i have way too much to say about this...
cool! i don't have to wait untill i can buy an air compressor after all. i just found an old steel pressure cooker i hope to make into a vaccuum chamber with my professors help, i'm keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't explode on me.

anyways, i'm just rambling now 'cause i love shop talk... thanks for the tutorial :3
beetlecat
Oct. 19th, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)
Re: i have way too much to say about this...
I once made a vaccuum chamber with a vacuumm and an ice cream pail *cough* ... your pressure cooker sounds like a much better idea ... I'm hoping to come across something useful eventually.
silverlinz
Nov. 3rd, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
Whoa did i read that you were from Edmonton? Im from Calgary! ( or was for 24 years until liek amonth ago). You absolutely rule and youre work is rocking the community. Where did you find youre talents? Oh i wish we could have met while i was still in 'berta. I cant get back home until april ( greencard stuff). Anyways, im silverlinzfox on AIM i think we may have many people in common ^^. Take care talk to ya later.
beetlecat
Nov. 3rd, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
I have been artistic all my life. Since I love it, I did it alot and get better at it. And sculpture/mixed media is my absolute favorite breed of art.

I'm a natural homebody so I probably don't know as many people as you might think, but I'll see about adding you to AIM :)
senaru
Aug. 29th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
after you make the blanks, do you use any kind of special paints or sommat to color the rest? I've been curious about these sorts of eyes for a long time, for my sculptures mostly.
-Sen
beetlecat
Aug. 29th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
Just regular acrylics. You need to paint the pupil and let it dry for a few days to set, before painting the rest of the eye, or it may peel off and/or warp. The plus side is that mistakes can be rubbed off with a finger.
senaru
Aug. 29th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'll keep that in mind! Thanks for the info ^^;
oh, one other thing, where might one find this universal mold stuff? I've never seen it in any craft stores before.
beetlecat
Aug. 30th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
Universal Mold Release is a Smooth-On product. You can buy it online or you can find a Smooth-On distributer near you.
soaringaltitude
Feb. 15th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Mold?
Where did you get the mold? Would you be willing to sell eye blanks?
(Anonymous)
Jun. 22nd, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
Those look pretty big. Do you wind up with optical distortion? Polycarbonate plastic would make a good substitute if you could heat the resin at about 500 degrees. we use it to make the lenses on headlamps, then we put a protective UV / scratch resistant coating over them. Polycarbonate is pretty tough anyway the coating's main function is to protect the plastic from UV light, which over long exposure will cause it to go yellow and cloudy. Will that happen to the resin you use?

Best Wishes,
Miri Tekker
theassassinnox
Jul. 8th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
It must be much drier at your house. My clear resin always ends up with bubbles in it due to the moisture in the air. I may have to make a small vacuum chamber for my molds to cure bubble free.

Thanks for all of the cool tutorials!
beetlecat
Jul. 8th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I live in a pretty dry climate (I have a humidifier in my bedroom but laugh at the idea of anyone actually using a dehumidifier). Though I'm also very careful when I mix the resin to avoid introducing bubbles.

I tested out vacuuming them and vibrating them but it was a lot of hassle for little gain. I find that if I just let them sit they cure just fine on their own.
theassassinnox
Jul. 8th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
That's really cool.

My house is bad for casting. Silicon won't cure as it is too cold, and it is too damp to use resin without getting bubbles. *laughs* I use fiberglass, quick cast resin, latex, and ultracal 30 for everything.

~S
amoryllis
Sep. 5th, 2008 07:28 am (UTC)
I don't suppose you are able to sell the eye blanks? I haven't been having much luck with the resin eyes and I need a couple of blanks >.
beetlecat
Sep. 5th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC)
I do sell them now :)
amoryllis
Sep. 5th, 2008 07:33 am (UTC)
Re: I do sell them now :)
thanks :D
(Anonymous)
Oct. 5th, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)
Re: I do sell them now :)
any chance of you doing a tutorial on how to install said eyes? *looks at you hopefully*
jiro_miyamoto
Nov. 16th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tutorial! I'm a bit curious about the painting process as well. I looked through your gallery and see that most eyes have a shine or highlight on them. Did you paint on a white highlight or is that occurring naturally from a light source?
beetlecat
Nov. 16th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
It's natural. Taxidermy eyes do not need a painted eyeshine since they are shiny enough on their own to reflect the light.
awake_till_dawn
Apr. 9th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
I tried this, but mine are coming out really glossy.. with bubbles..
Could you please tell me what kind of resin you are using and who makes it? also where did you get your tray?

I have been using a egg carrier but its hard to get things out of.

also what size are your eyes (in inches) ?
(Anonymous)
May. 8th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
installation?
This is the exact tutorial I was looking for and its sooo very helpful... my only question is how exactly do you install them into a new suit if you are using the tear duct eyes? Do you put an additional backing on them and glue this to the base?
beetlecat
May. 8th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: installation?
Place them where you want them and build up foam around them.
(Anonymous)
May. 10th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
Re: installation?
o wow thats much easier than i thought... thanx for your time!
(Anonymous)
May. 10th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
Re: installation?
o also, i visited your page for purchasing items (specifically eye blanks) and there was a note that you are discontinuing them for some time until further notice...might you be thinking about making more? and if not, not a problem just curious i know youre busy, i completely understand. If this is the case do you know where I could find eye blanks? ive not been able to find any on taxidermy sites
beetlecat
May. 10th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
Re: installation?
Yeah unfortunately I will probably not be selling any more. I do not know offhand where you can go but I know several members of fursuit livejournal sell them. Perhaps ask there?
(Anonymous)
May. 10th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
Re: installation?
ok thank you very much...I really appreciate it =)
(Anonymous)
Jun. 12th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Where would you get a mold like that? I have one but it has a nasty molding seem in it
(Anonymous)
Jul. 7th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Usually you'll get a better answer from people who do fursuits as a hobby and not for profit only. Not dissing you though beetle, I understand you can't give out all your secrets! If you ask fursuit makers who make fursuits as a full time job, they most likely won't tell you enough info or resources so that you could start doing it yourself, after all if everyone could do it themselves then there would be no reason to commission people. Try Arito on fa, I think he does fursuits mostly as a hobby. Also Media on FA has good advice to offer, not sure if either of them do these types of eyes though.
I have a few ideas myself for molds like such, try seamless eggholders or circular measuring spoons, I've seen circular molds online for cake ornaments that are perfectly circular and seamless, you just have to be creative. Make sure your resin won't react with the materials of the molds though! Hope that helps a bit!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Looks like a chocolate or soap mold. I could be completely wrong though...
( 44 comments )