Thursday, April 1, 2010

Puggy, er... Penny Savers

Now that production on the original Puggy bank (shown in middle) is closing this month, I can talk about my newest bank sculptures. The molds are working, the kiln is ticking, and the new banks are ready for homes.

Some customers have told me that they are using their Puggy banks to save up spare change for entries and spending money at the PDCA National Specialty. That Pug face is difficult to pass by without giving him a coin or two. It's a self-perpetuating saving habit. It's not a reach to understand how so many pet Pugs become obese.

Eggbert came from an egg. I wouldn't pull your leg, even on April Fool's Day. I had an old giant egg hobby mold, cast one, and used part of a pug of earthenware clay to sculpt his limbs and features. Here he is shown when he was new and wet:

There were some dodgy moments as he cracked badly in the bisque firing. I sealed the flaws with epoxy, and on went the plaster flood. It took weeks for his plaster mold to dry out enough for the first test casting. You can see how much he shrank in relation to Puggy by comparing to the glazed trio photo, at the beginning of this post.

The origin of the Puppy bank is more conventional and premeditated. The number one most-requested sequel, since the debut at last year's National Specialty, was "a puppy for the Puggy Bank".

This was probably the most silly fun I've had sculpting in a long time. I kept it true to Pug puppy traits, so the face wrinkles are not fully developed and it has a happy-tongue smile.

Decoration of the new designs pretty much follows the same formula as the first bank. There are only two differences. The shape of Eggbert means that I have to block black airbrush overspray from ruining his pale chest and legs. The puppy bank's tongue requires two extra steps: to pink the tongue and then mask it from black overspray, as well. Eggbert gets to showcase his trace (the stripe down the back, a breed trait) better than the other banks.

You haven't seen the end of the Puggy bank family. Well, the end of the line, I mean.