Perth’s  premier model making company CDM:Studio has recently used Jesmonite to cast large scale turtle playground Sculptures.

Jesmonite was chosen by studio director Daniel Browne after multiple meetings with Mark Stocks of HGN Design Jesmonite Australia.

Daniel explained

“The skills at CDM are all based on traditional techniques that stretch back hundreds of years but on a project of this scale we leaned heavily on a modern approach,

our sculpting was done digitally and we established  a workflow that sped things up, so we went from sculptral approval to cutting the large forms on 5 axis CNC machines. in the same day.

turtle made from jesmoniteCDM pushed to remove the fuzziness of procuring these kind of services, and this process meant the client Cockburn Council would get exactly what they approved”

Baby turtles and eggs were cut as polystyrene positives and CDM’s artists refined the sculpts with thin layer of oil based clay.

CDM speed its workflow up even more by doing a large scale 3D print approx 1200mm long. All these elements were then moulded in silicone with a fibreglass jacket.

They then attacked the next problem. A 3000mm long juvenile turtle.

“We took the brave decision to cut the entire highly detailed mould in negative,  not completely knowing how we were going to fill it, or the baby moulds.

Funnily  enough I had spoken to Mark at HNG Designs on and off for about 6 months so the material was always in the back of my mind.

I remember waking up about 3 in the morning in a cold sweat worrying about casting the massive mould, i made a cup of coffee and wrote a note to myself – Visit Jesmonite.

painting the jesmonite sculpture

The following day I walked into HNG Designs, I knew i had found my solution, Mark and his staff were master plaster casters from the UK,  they were filling large complex moulds  for external application being shipped all over Australia.

Prior to the meeting I had read every every specification sheet but in the end all I really needed was  a hammer, I couldn’t believe how strong it was, how much detail gets picked up and how fast and easy it was to use.

The cherry on the cake for us was being allowed to bring our large moulds to Marks workshop in and cast them in house.

Using AC730 we moulded all our elements far faster then expected.

 Stronger and lighter then concrete, and being  orderless it was a  blessing for a modelmaker more used to fibreglass.”

As a final product CDM juvenile  turtle weighed 1.3 tons, in traditional concrete the weigth would of been closer to 3.5tons , Concrete would have been impractical.

” I could not conceive of  spraying shotcrete into a polystyrene mould, Jesmonite allowed us to brush into our mould and back it up with weave, four hours later we were ready to go ” 

Behind the first layers of weave  CDM added a 50mm mesh system with a mix of jesmonite and fibre rovings, 12mm steel reinforcement bar was bent into place and wadded in with a heavy mix.

After remoulding CDM utilised HNG’s in house sandblaster to reveal the highly detailed surface.

The final piece assemble at the front of the shop and was exactly what the council had approved as a digital design.

24hrs  after we had sandblasted the juvenile turtle was craned on to the site, bolted down and painted.

“The sand blasted surface took colour beautiful and now having used AC730 on such a large piece public it is a material that we will keep using for future projects.”

Strong, light, fast, externally rated, odourless, Awesome.

CDM is due to deliver its final element of this project in early 2017, a massive 11m long and 2m high female turtle, Cast in Jesmonite.