The Making of Miro
Miro is an object grown from years of work on and off since early 2004. From initial character development and illustration project experiments the form of Miro has evlolved into a 3D entity. I toyed with the idea of a simple form that through minor changes could become a number of characters based around it’s core shape along with a number of other random variants. After some time working on the piece I ended up with the rabbit form that exists today.
What you see on this page are some process images to get to the final prototype which will have a mould made and a series of rotocast urethane copies produced. The original idea of character development has spilled over into a complete sculptural, production and branding project.
I’ve wanted to make a reproduction piece for some time now, something that is as much an art object crafted from an idea and an affordable and attractive form that people would find pleasing sat in the home or office.
Miro is a name used in Slavic and Finn communities meaning ‘Peace’ which is perfect for the character form that has grown over the years of development.
I am currently material testing to get to the stage where the first stages of production will begin on the reproductions. I will post more updates within the news feed of the site as the project evolves.
The initial shape forming using high density foam used to make surf boards.
Using a mix of chisels, sand paper and other shape forming tools the foam is lathed into shape.
The final shaped body with markings for the leg cuts.
The foam block was not large enough for the entire diameter of the body so two blocks had to be cut and glued before lathing.
Testing the arms, ears and legs, all of which were turned on the lathe and then hand shaped to get the desired form.
Both the arms and legs were set into the main body and then filler was applied to get a neat and clean finish.
The main body was finally sanded down to clean up the filler in the holes and cracks.
Repeated spray coats of filler primer and paint were then applied in layers with careful sanding to each.
Layering the paint meant any high and low spots on the piece would be re-filled or worked with sandpaper to get the right finish.
The images to the right show final prep stages of finishing before the piece is sprayed with the initial white coat.
The first few layers of white help to define any problem areas on the final form. Any defects missed in the sanding and filing process would show up on a cleaner coat that may not have been apparent by eye previously.
Early in prototyping stages I was contacted by Die Gestalten Verlag publishing about my character and sculptural work. They were putting together a book on 3D characters and the ‘Art Toy’ movement and asked if I would like to submit some images of my work in the book.
This led to some high gear action in the studio to finish the piece at a standard where it was suitable to shoot as a final finished object.
The initial design for Miro was to have featured applied to the form to give it character as shown in the following pictures.
Since picking the project back up in 2013 I have decided to leave these from the final piece as I feel it has character on it’s own without the application of any eyes or other elements.
Finishing off the prototype and gluing on the ears. Final coats of paint and sanding are required to get the right overall surface finish.
The piece as is stands to date (Oct 2013), the ears are fixed and sealed and the prototype is ready to have a silicone mould made of it. I am currently in material testing stages ready for production of the final pieces once the mould has been produced.
Two flocked pre-production test prototypes 2014.
It’s taken some time to get to this stage of testing but I’m really excited about the way the project is turning out. I shall be working towards a small run of pieces in 2015, I just need to work on the packaging to get that just right then the rotocasting machine will be cranked up again.