I wanted my mermaid to be true to the original size which is about half a metre in length, I also had to consider mounting options at I did not have a display case or dome in stock.
The mermaid is built around an 18” medical skeleton model, a resin cast of a human infant skull and tail made from armature wire, tin foil and air dry clay.
In the past I have had to source real magpie or crow feet to obtain claws for fingers. Thankfully I can now just 3D print a bird’s foot, claws n’all without harming a single creature. I use the Up Plus 2 printer and using black ABS filament I printed 4 sets of Osprey feet. To get the shiny claw finish I brushed each foot with pure acetone. This also smooths out any imperfections and bumps let over from the printing process.
Mr. Baines deserves a great deal of credit for this project. Gaff making has traditionally been incredibly insular, with artists jealously guarding their techniques and materials. His willingness to share his knowledge is truly admirable.