Step 3:  Covering blue foam original with clay and sculpting detail.

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An oil based clay is carefully melted in an old turkey cooker and then painted onto the foam.

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At this crucial stage, I have left my studio again to visit a wildlife park, Northwest Trek.   They have a beautiful and relatively accessible pair of snowy owls.   It was still necessary to view them through a pair of binoculars while I was sculpting on site.   Also, I had to wait patiently for useful poses.

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Another advantage to making the original out of clay covered foam is the ease in which the foam can be carved away (even after the clay has been applied).

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The owl's talons are made claw by claw.

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A sculptor using an oil based clay needs to be very aware of the effect of heat and sunlight on it.   Too much sun can melt a perfectly good clay sculpture!  On the other hand, heating a metal sculpting tool keeps the clay from sticking to it.

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