Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More pictures to come

Very long hours on this project and late nights. I'll post more as soon as I can.

Where is the panther?

Many patches of rubber are mixed and applied to the pieces. Slowly we are widdling away at the sculpture. Body parts adorn the shop, while plaster molds bake in the sun and wait to be delivered to the foundry.

The first coats of rubber.

The pieces, once cut and cleaned are covered in rubber. A mother mold of plaster will be put over these clay pieces. It is called a mother mold because it holds the rubber in place.

going to pieces

As part of the mold making process each piece must be cut and created into a mold. Some will be done in plaster others will have rubber and plaster. Soon the panther is shedding body parts all over the studio. Days are long and hard starting at 6:30 and going until 10:00 each day with crews switching out when possible. Many foundries create molds, our foundry is requesting we provide them with the mold to expedite the process. We will be feeding them the molds and they will be creating the waxes. There is a crew working in our studio and another at the foundry on the entire process.

Foundry process begins- mold making- cutting up.

I lost a day of work waiting for the approval on Friday, and some of my crew can't work on weekends, but I get started anyway. The first part of the foundry process is making the molds. Believe it or not, the sculpture must be cut up into many, many pieces. Seems a shame, I know, but it is just part of the process. I'm dangerous with a reciprocating saw.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Final approval

We receive final approval from Prairie View today at 3:00. We have had a crew waiting all day to get going on the bronze process. There is no rushing these next steps. I'll record them here so everyone can watch what happens.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


There are several changes that are done to the panther. Taxidermist Paul Miller gives me a hand, so that we can meet our deadline. It is a late night, but he is a trooper hanging in there until 2:30 in the morning.

Everyone comes to check out the Panther.

A group of people from Prairie View have come to see the Panther and approve it. I'm sorry I did not write down everyone's name. If someone can assist me in this, I would greatly appreciate it.
In this picture, artist Bridgette Mongeon, _____, ___________, Don Williams, Professor Talley, and Paul Miller the taxidermist.

Then we fool around giving our greatest panther prowl.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh no!

My original deadline was the middle of november. There was a delay in approvals from the college and that put us behind almost 2 months. Then I hear today that the deadline has changed and is homecoming which is the 30th? Oh, my... I'm not sure this is humanly possible. We will do our best. We have finished all that we can and are waiting on the university for approvals. If they don't get it to us this weekend, I'm sorry, your panther will be missing in action during homecoming.

update- face off

Been working diligently on the face of the panther. Finished late last night. Here are the stages.

I absolutely love the profile.

Friday, September 9, 2011

This is a collaboration- what does the panther mean to you?

I'd love to receive some inspiration with the process. What does this panther represent to the students? What does it make them feel? Anyone out there reading this blog?

UPDATE- progress- what day is this?

It is a marathon to get this done and approved by the 16th of this month.

Where are those Prairie View Cheers?

I am setting up appointments for the approval of the sculpture for next week.

WHAT DAY IS IT? It is hard to say, my day starts at 6 a.m going into the studio and turning on the crock pots with clay. Then it is a marathon of sculpting until 11:30 at night. Often there is an intern at the studio who is helping me by smoothing things out or adding clay, keeping the crock pots stocked and cleaning up the mess.

The texture on the cat is taking forever, but I love that it gives the sculpture such movement, it will look great in bronze.

I so want to work on the paws and the head, but I am kind of saving them as a reward for the rest of the work. This weekend. Yes, this weekend, I will get to paws and head.

I'll post more, but back to getting clay under my fingernails. Check back over the weekend. Do I hear paws? do I hear face? For now it is back to fur and legs.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update- work in progress clay begins

We are documenting the work in progress of sculpting the Prairie View A & M Panther Sculpture. Now the fun begins. With the foam armature sealed with wax I can begin to cover the sculpture with clay and adding detail. I still will be carving into the foam, from time to time.

Adding clay takes hours and hours. The clay is heated in crock pots and applied hot. A texture of fur is given to the panther adding movement and action. It is beginning to take shape. More photographs to come.

UPDATE- Sculpting like a mad woman- day 4 and 5

WORK IN PROGRESS- 18 days to sculpt the panther day 4 and 5.
Now that the messy carving of the foam is done the sculpture is vacuumed and brought into the studio. I love this picture of him/her checking out the new digs before entering.

There are several people on our Panther Team, all of which I'll introduce in later posts. You have already met our big cat consultants from the Houston Zoo in another post. I have some pretty diligent helpers trying to assist me in making my deadline. Once the sculpture is in the studio we seal it with wax. This keeps the gritty foam from getting into the clay that will be applied to the sculpture.

UPDATE- the process of sculpting

creating a sculpture of a college mascot for Prairie View A & M
A bronze sculpture of the college mascot
Bridgette mongeon sculpts on the Prairie View Panther mascotThis is the work in progress for the Prairie View A & M Panther. To watch the process from the beginning please click to previous posts.

The sculpting of this project is a quick turn around. We need to finish the panther in 18 days. This is day 2,3 and 4 of the sculpting of the panther. The previous posts state that this is a foam armature that was milled and sent to us from Bridgette Mongeon Sculpture Design Studio's digital design.

A great deal of carving is done on this foam, indicating muscles and action before it is covered in clay. The process is messy and requires constant vacuuming and masks, but it is coming along.

I loved being able to attach the tail. You will see that the tail is much different from the original design.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Bridgette <span class=creating a bronze mascot for a university by Bridgette <span class=A LARGER THAN LIFE PANTHER IN 18DAYS?

DAY 18-16
*The digital file of the Prairie View Panther has been prepared and sent to my vendor.

*The vendor then sends me an enlarged version of the sculpture milled out in foam. I'll post some of their pictures of
their process when they arrive, but on to the studio process.
How to create a bronze mascot for a university by Bridgette <span class=
*The foam pieces arrive in a
box. Then we must put them all together and mount them on poles for stability. The poles are on a sculpture stand that we can roll into the studio.

The temperature is in the 100's here in Houston,
where my sculpting studio resides, but the foam is gritty and makes a mess, so we opt for working outside. I'll be sculpting into this foam to add detail and shape, before we cover it in wax.

* There are hundreds of reference photographs that we must keep from blowing around the yard.

We can hardly wait to get the panther together to see the size. The neck came in a later shipment adding to our anticipation.

* The Sculpting process begins. The foam is soft and allows me to carve into it before we add the clay. The foam piece becomes the armature that the clay will be added to. Muscles are sketched in and now I begin the process of roughing in the body. Friday 3 people are schedule to put the two layers on the foam. one is wax to seal the foam the other is clay. I hope I can be ready. These are long gritty days. I could use some Prairie View A & M cheers here. Just 16 days before I am hoping to get approval.

* That is a big cat! I removed his ears for the time being so that I won't accidentally knock them and break them.

I'm post more photographs as soon as I can, but now it is on to sculpting!

Bridgette <span class=

Bridgette <span class=