The Jormungandr

BACKGROUND AND INSPIRATION

For my Final Major Project at university I decided to make a bust of the Jormungandr from Norse mythology.

My version was heavily inspired by the Midgard Serpent in the game 'God of War', although I did not take the "beard" parts as I knew this would cause a lot of grief during the moulding and casting process. 

The Jormungandr is one of Loki and Angrboda's three sons: Hel (Human), Fenrir (Wolf) and Jormungandr (Sea Serpent). Odin threw the serpent to Midgard (Earth) where he grew so big that his tail is now in his mouth. It is said that when the tail is released, Ragnarok* will begin.  [1,2]

*Ragnarok is a series of events leading to the end of the world as we know it. This includes battles, natural disasters, deaths and the world being flooded. [3]

Due to the Covid-19 situation, I had to adapt in order to deliver something by the deadline and I can honestly say; I surprised myself every day of this project.

Click on an image above

PROCESS AND MATERIALS

So I started by making the core of the sculpt with some scrunched up paper and chicken wire to keep the shape strong and then start adding the chavant! I decided to use chavant as I find I am able to add more detail without it just looking 'messy'. It also meant that I did not have to cover my sculpt or wet it over night, I could just come and go as I pleased, without worrying about it drying out.

Once I had finished with the sculpt I began to do the detail layer of the silicone mould, later adding thixotropic to the silicone in order to create a thicker and stronger coat of silicone so the mould didn't tear. Then, of course, I added the keys to locate the pieces of the mould into the correct part of the fibreglass jacket.

I chose to do a fibreglass jacket to ensure that the silicone mould was solid enough to keep its shape once I started to do the castings.

I made my casts out of a resin skin (with a layer of fibreglass) and hard expanding foam. I decided to fill with hard expanding foam so that the final product was lightweight and easy to carry around.

During the casting process, I added pigment to the resin to give The Serpent a base colour I could later build on.

Now for the finishing.

Unfortunately I couldn't save the teeth or the mould, in fact I had to completely destroy it in order to get the silicone out of the mouth at all. I used Miliput to cover the seams and make the teeth so now it doesn't look like anything went wrong at all!

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Obviously, every project has it's issues. Here were mine.

The first cast I took had SO many parts missing, as you can see in the images. As I was already quite close to the deadline, I began to panic about my options. Either I started again and attempted taking another cast that night with the chance that it was going to be as bad as the first cast, or, I spent all my time and effort in trying to fix what I had.

I went for the first option.

What I had realised was that I had put too much pigment in the resin so therefore the catalyst did not harden all of the resin. The second time round I added 2.5% catalyst for both layers of resin. (In the first cast I had only done one layer) I then also did the layer of fibreglass. 

It was so worth starting again as I had all the detail and it was a solid cast which resulted in spending half the time doing the finishing (miliput and painting).