The squirrel clay model is nearly finished. Just a few touches and it will be ready for casting. This one will be cast in plaster and I will use the negative mold to form the mask out of paper and glue. If it turns out well, I may eventually try casting another squirrel mask in neoprene but for now I do not have enough liquid neoprene to fill the mold.
Again, why a squirrel? I have never given much attention to them in the past other than to watch them sneak food out of bird feeders and such. They do seem rather clever creatures. I have been watching them more now that my girlfriend and I have a a new dog in our family. Opal, the dog, is very fascinated by the countless squirrels in our neighborhood. She has brought it to my attention that the squirrel offers a bit of a link between the world that I currently inhabit and one I wish to surround myself with in the future. The squirrel as urban dweller, living amongst humans and traffic, has its counterpart; the rural or woodland squirrel.
This squirrel mask being the first in this series of forty-eight masks also demarcates a conscious move toward my goals. The dream in its current form is to one day, in the relatively near future, have a backyard that resembles the realm of the rural squirrel where I may construct my art studio and make so many more masks (that is a lot of “m”s).
Of course, I realize the challenges of urban life will only be replaced by those of the forest and so is the case for squirrels according to The Squirrel Place:
“Urban squirrels tend to have a smaller territory, they sometimes have to share resources to survive. They also have learned, to coexist with humans. While rural squirrels are more protective of their territory, and they have more natural predators to deal with.”
Sorry to the rural squirrels, for one day Opal may be one of those “natural” predators. Luckily she is a little too noisy and bounds to playfully toward the urban squirrels to cause more than a nuisance. Personally, in my anthropomorphic opinion, I think the squirrels have fun tormenting the dogs in this neighborhood anyway.
Returning to mask discussion, my plan is to begin with plaster tomorrow. More photos to follow soon!