more hat issues

i’m working on the home depot dolphin now.  i went to my local store yesterday and had another daunting look around.  i’m thinking of putting one of those safety belts on this dolphin, and i’m maybe thinking about putting in a tool pouch, either on him, or at his feet.  i took careful note of my home depot associates, also, what they had on their aprons, what they had stuffed in their pocketses.  come to think of it, why do i bother saying he all the time, because most of the home depot associates i talked to about their aprons were women, one of them very pregnant (management:  you have to let them have stools at their checkouts, or at least gel floor mats, okay?  take it from me, pregnant is hard on the feet, and your pregnant associates are real troupers, but wouldn’t complain if you gave it to them.).

their walkie talkies, which are 2.05 x 1.13 x 4.07 inches, and which i may have to cast by hand (not by using a real one as model but sculpting it myself in clay).  but that’s a little further down the line.  and maybe there’s a stash of old ones they haven’t thrown away yet.  i’ll check.

the home depot hat.  team depot.

they gave it to me to use as a prop.  aren’t i lucky?  here i’ve used the fabric stiffener you see on the left, on the outside of the hat, to seal it and stiffen it.  it goes on like elmer’s glue, but smells chemically.  it’s probably an acrylic, but dried matte.  it doesn’t make it very stiff, but it makes it some stiff, so it’ll already be shaped the way i need it when i add the liquid brains.  otherwise i need a form.  in this case, the form is a bunch of soft cloth stuffed into a plastic bag and put into the hat, which rests on top of a jar of gel medium to put some pressure on it.

i used up the rest of my can of spray foam insulation.  i used more than half with the hardhat, and it ran out of air and limped along early on.  nevertheless, the brainlike stuff accumulated in the hat all the way up to the top, more or less even with the brim.

after hardening, the next morning

it was a gloppy mess when i first sprayed it all in, and sloshed slowly around in the hat, sort of deflating and flowing, just a little.  but the next morning, it was full and bubbled up way above the brim, rounded and stiff.  like a fully risen loaf of bread just before putting it in the oven.  but i could hear hissing inside of it.

2-minute old slash in lower right, new slash in middle

i had lined the strap opening at the back of the hat with plastic grocery bag, and the foam beneath this was still soft.  i made the mistake of putting the first slash right near the lower right part of the circle, and you can see how, only minutes afterwards, it’s starting to flow out of the opening in the plastic.

i made a vertical opening in the middle of the plastic, and (after taking the above picture) peeled some of the plastic away from the slashes, but kept it intact near the edges so it wouldn’t do exactly what the first cut was doing oh well.  and then i put bunches of blue tape down to catch the bubble-up.  because i knew it was going to bubble up, like it did last time, because the stuff hadn’t cured at all beneath the plastic, hadn’t hardened even after a day.

now, they do mention this in the instructions.  they say it needs room to expand, and won’t expand properly if it’s confined.  or something.  anyway, this is just because i’m fucking with the way you’re supposed to use it.  fine product, really.  cleans up with acetone when wet.

this is how it looks only a couple of hours later.  the rightmost bump is the wet one at the moment, tho the one to its left is pretty soft.  what it’s doing inside is making a tunnel, like a lava tunnel, where the uncured stuff can continue to flow and expand until it hits the air and then hardens.  and i have to let it.  already it’s run over the taped area, and now i’m just trying to contain it a little with the paper towel.  btw it’s on its bill end, standing with its butt in the air.  i want it to grow upwards because it seems to want to go that way.

as for the apron, i’ve cut out the center panel, and glued the inside of the pouch down, along with the sides of the apron, and ten the strings.  i haven’t yet ‘tied’ the apron in the back, because i’m just now putting the belt loops on and will be gluing the ties over the loops, i’m pretty sure.  i still have to put the back pockets on, but i need to wait till i figure out what’s going in the back pockets, and whether i have to sculpt space for them.

it’s such a start and stop process, this multiple stage treasure hunt in the bloody dark.

and the reason it’s been a couple of days since i posted last is because it’s been a busy couple of days with not much work in the studio.  xmas things, you know.  most of my browsers set to amazon and forums and comparison sites.  so many presents to make and buy, and i’m only buying this year at all because i’ve got several commissions going and actually have two nickels to rub together, for once.


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