Avocado – Taking Shape!

Finished shape resting upside down in my garage.


Wow! It took 5 days at around 8 hours a day to sculpt a believable avocado shape. I didn’t realize how slow the hot wire tool could go. You just can’t rush it I guess. Professional artists cut away the excess with a chain saw sometimes but I didn’t feel very comfortable with that technique. As I was standing there gliding the loop tool through the material I was thinking of all those Pinewood Derby cars my son and I worked on when my husband was away on business. Thank goodness for the Crocs knock-offs I bought at Walgreens for $8, it saved my feet from wearout – lot’s of standing and sculpting. At times the Polystyrene reminded me of those travel videos of Alaskan cruises because it looked like a bunch of ice and glaciers. Other times I felt like I was frosting a really big wedding cake.  

Still removing the negative space.


I was surprised at the texture. I guess I thought I’d be able to make the surface smooth but, I think that only happens when you use the hot knife, not the router. In my research I noticed artists use files and sand paper to make things smooth and then even coat with a thin layer of cement. Yikes! After spending all this time just to get the shape right I decided the irregularities of the texture equal beauty and – done!  

Starting to paint the avocado skin.


I put the first coat of black paint on the outside. The material tends to separate a bit to expose some white areas so I’ll try 2 or 3 coats. I’m using good, old-fashioned exterior house paint because it’s waterproof, heat-resistant, and water based. Anything oil based will melt the Polystyrene, as I found out when I did my color tests. Only 3 more days before my target date of July 1 so not sure if I’ll make it. Check back on Tuesday or Wednesday and hopefully you’ll see the piece painted and ready to go.


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