One of my students has cracked the bicep of a dragon she's making in Super Sculpey. It's a clean break, cutting through the entire arm. While the armature maintains the overall integrity of the limb, the break is sure to worsen over time, right?
I've seen this kind of break many times before, and they're a pain to repair without first doing further damage to the sculpt.
I was thinking that if only I could inject some Super Glue or epoxy directly into the break with a fine syringe, that would make the repair pretty sweet.
I know diabetics use very fine syringes for their shots to the stomach area. Has anyone tried that? Can they move Super Glue or liquid epoxies well enough? Or would I need something heavier?
P.S. Show this WIP to the next clown who tells you public education doesn't work. The artist is eleven years old.
Thin superglue will definitely go through a needle. The lazy way to do it is tape a needle over the top of the bottle, just watch for drips.
You can also get pointy plastic nozzles which are pretty handy, and probably as good a needle for most things. Z-ends is the Zap brand name although there are also generic ones. Could you open the break a bit somewhere a bit hidden and let some thin superglue capillary in?
Last edited by MikeMakesMonkeys; June 17th, 2011 at 07:39 PM.
I don't want to enlarge the crack in order to get glue into it. I've seen similar breaks become permanently widened when trying to fit a glue nozzle inside them. The least evasive form of repair I can imagine is using a syringe to inject glue directly into the crack.
You can get boxes of 100 syringes cheap through Amazon.
I don't know how much .5 cc is, but it's certainly enough to repair small sculptures, don't you think?
I don't see any crack, if it's small and there is an armature underneath it I would just leave it alone. Nearly all of my pieces have cracks in them and most of them have been sitting on my desk for a year or two, the cracks won't change over time unless you knock into them. A good paint job can hide all cracks if done correctly. If it breaks off or the crack becomes huge, I'd deal with it then. Odds are if it falls off naturally or by some accident, you can glue it back on with crazy glue and it'll look good as new .
Hope this helps
Ahh...well, the crack is actually on the opposite arm. I didn't shoot it because I figured you guys would know exactly what I was talking about, anyway, having seen it yourselves a million times.
I don't think paint will hide it. While the sculpt may be fine as long as it sits on a shelf and no one ever touches it, I just can't abide the damage and have to see it repaired.
Because of the underlying armature, the arm can't fall off. But the crack can widen over time as the clay shifts over the wire whenever the thing is disturbed.
Guess I'll just order the syringes and let you know how it turns out.
By nozzle - the ones I'm using atm (generic ones) go down to a 1mm point. And thin superglue, if you're careful will capillary into the tiniest of cracks (two surfaces pushed together will magically suck glue between them) and you should be able to wipe off the excess pretty cleanly if you go in slow and clean. (steady hands, tiny amounts)
I'm not a fan of syringes because you tap the end a tiny bit and a load of glue spurts out everywhere - they are designed for measuring an amount, then just shooting it in. Using a glue bottle just allows you to nadger it in a little more carefully.
Congratulations with your students, they are coming along nicely.
Another method would be to wrap the break with some sculptable epoxy, and retexture it to blend with the original sculpt....if need be, you add some to both sides to balance the anatomy. Aves, makes a two part epoxy that is wonderful to sculpt with....it has about a 45 min. window of working time before it sets, and it is very strong......good luck.
Mah ' Crub