Hairy Pucoon and Shitake Mushrooms

Today I finished one of the molds for the hairy pucoon leaves.  I mix 5 minute epoxy with oil paint to get a translucent colored cast which seems to work quite well if you don’t have access to a vacuform machine, maybe better. I mix the epoxy and get it into the mold, add a layer of fine fiberglas, slap the vaseline covered cast into the mold and clamp it-all before 5 minutes is up.  I wait 30 minutes so the epoxy sets well and unclamp it.  The epoxy always sticks to the vaseline covered cast  and I have to pry it loose.  Today to unstick the epoxy  I used a tool with a sharp point to loosen the edge and as you might guess, I jabbed it deep into one of my fingers.  Without hesitation I yelled out the 4 letter version of shitake mushrooms and ran for the bathroom to wash it.  (My sincere apologies to anyone who might have been in the gallery.)  This is where the reality of working in front of the public gets a little raw.  I’m so used to working alone.  I sing, talk to myself and occasionally an expletive erupts without anyone there to take note (at least I think this is so!).

On a similar note, Ray deLucia told me a story about working with William R. Leigh, one of the highly talented diorama painters from the 1930’s at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  He told me this story:

“Leigh was very profane.  He was up painting on the 3rd floor corridor and he was talking with someone.  He was really mad-you could hear him saying g..damn this and f… this and that.  He had this stentorian voice and it traveled.  I was up on the 3rd floor and I looked up over the edge just to see if anyone was listening.  There was a crowd of people below looking up at me.  I could tell they thought I was the one cursing.  I quickly ducked back down and made my escape.”

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Explore posts in the same categories: Diorama History, Preparing the Foreground

2 Comments on “Hairy Pucoon and Shitake Mushrooms”

  1. Michael Harnett Says:

    I know what you mean when one is used to creating something mostly off by oneself, one tends to discuss the progress or lack thereof to oneself and of course one almost always bursts into song some where in the process and if you manage to stick yourself or hit a body part with a hammer or drop a heavy item on a foot the fur does fly at least vocally.


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