This FAQ page is a new addition. Foot has realised that some additional information needs to be supplied as reference for those who have purchased the instructional videos. This page will be upgraded as more info becomes available.
EYE FALLEN OUT. This does happen sometimes, my apologies, but it is the one thing I can't really check when I check a piece that has been polished and finished by one of my apprentices. I just can't look behind that stone and see if there is enough glue there. So if your piece has lost an eye, contact us and we will send you another, no charge. If you have the stone (they are onyx cabochons), then you can easily put it back in with a bit of superglue, or araldite. The latter is safer to use because any excess that squeezes out can be wiped off with a cotton bud moistened with methylated spirit, or rubbing alcohol. Use only about the size of a match head of mixed araldite. You can use cello tape to hold the eye in place while it dries. Five minute araldite works fine for this, but the other is a stronger bond. It is a good idea to scratch lightly, the socket surface, and to wipe clean with spirit the back of the stone. Do not use acetone, or nail polish remover, this will attack the marble.
If you are using superglue, it takes a little more care. First prop up the piece so the eye socket is level. Scratch the socket slightly, and wipe clean the back of the stone. Put only a tiny amount of superglue in the socket, if you have a nice slick, flat surface in there (or rounded, if it is a ball eye), then only put an amount equal to 1/3 of a match head. Take care not to put to much, as when you push the eye stone home, it will squeeze out onto the surrounding surface, and you don't want that. You can not use the only solvent that works, acetone/nail polish same thing, to remove it, as it will wreck the polished areas. Do not use superglue if the back of the stone, and the front of the eye socket are not a good close fit, as superglue has no 'gap filling' properties. Use araldite, or epoxy glue instead.
BOG. I get a lot of questions about this as I refer to it in the modeling video. Bog is what the Aussies refer to that the panel beaters, or auto body repairmen, use to fill the dents and such in the auto. It is sometimes called Bondo, and is also used in fairing up boat hulls, etc. The commercial variety you can get at most hardware stores and all auto stores. It is usually white with a red or blue hardener which comes in a tube. When you mix a squirt of hardener with the base it turns pink or blue, and sets in 5 to 15 minutes, depending upon air temperature, and how much hardener you put in. It is a great material on its own to sculpt with as it takes good detail and can be carved with almost anything.
However, what I usually refer to as bog, is my own home made stuff. I make it from 1 part casting resin (polyester) ((don't use ordinary laminating resin)), 1 part marble dust, and 1 part cabosil (or aerocil, same thing). Be care full not to breathe in the latter. Also be careful with the hardener from the commercial bog, or the liquid hardener (MEKP) that you must use with the home made version. About 1% hardener to bog is OK, you can use down to .5% by volume. I add some black pigment to colour it, and you must use a 1\2" (12mm) drill and a strong mixer to mix it all as it gets very stiff. In fact, add more cabosil, or marble dust to it to get it to the point where it will stand up on itself or cling to the wall of the container at least 3\4" thick (20mm)
This bog is very strong, quite hard, and has a fair bit of tensile strength. I have made entire sculptures with it, or used it in conjunction with other things for support, fiberglass, metal, wood, even rocks. It is also perfect for filling cracks in natural marble, if coloured right. It will keep indefinitely if sealed well. The commercial variety (bondo) is made with talc powder instead of marble dust.
You can also make a very light weight bog by mixing Q cells or microballons (the latter is dearer) with casting resin, or with additional cabosil (1 to 1 to 1),or add just a bit of talc (20%). This is remarkably strong, but note that the Q cells seem to accelerate the mix, as it cures quickly, gets very hot, but does not seem to want to crack.
CLEAR COATING SCULPTURE TO PLACE OUTDOORS. Marble, whether it is natural or cast, will weather albeit slowly, as can be seen by looking at the Roman and Greek pieces left outside. Acid rain has accelerated this, although it is true that the cast marble exhibits more resistance to this due to the fact that the marble has been saturated with resin. Still, the main thing to be concerned about, unless you wish to extend your concern over thousands of years, is the polish; That very, very thin layer perhaps a hundredth of a millimeter deep, that is super slick and reflects the light, letting the colour of the stone come through. This will perish unless it is protected with regular coats of wax, or else a good coat of lacquer, preferably two pack.
Marble, being porous, does make for good adhesion, but remember the cast marble has already been saturated with two pack resin, so it needs a bit more attention. Firstly, remove all wax with a water based degreaser, then a strong hose down or gurney it. A second degrease is not a wasted effort. Then it should be sanded, the polished area only, with 600 grit wet and dry, and take care not to scratch the eye stones. In fact when the lacquer is applied, the eyes will look best if they are (very carefully) covered with plasticine and not lacquered at all. They are harder than granite and will not weather.
After sanding, just enough to break the polish, this is called 'keying' the surface, then the usual wipe down with Prepsol, or wax and grease remover (this one is not water based, you wipe it off with an absolutely clean and lint free cotton cloth, without letting it dry on the surface, the latter is critical or you are wasting your time). A light blow to remove any loose bits of fluff, with clean dry air; and you are ready to spray. Use a decent two part polyurethane automotive lacquer, and know how to apply it without runs, or else practice till you are adept at following a convoluted surface at a proper distance; or else get a pro to do it for you. Runs are not nice to look at, they can be doctored a bit, once dry, with wet and dry paper, and a light additional coat, but this doesn't always work. You need at least three coats and they must be even, and run free. Don't put too much on or the surface will start to look too much like it is covered in glad wrap. It will not look quite as sparkly as a plain polished surface, off the shelf; but after a year outside, if you don't do this, then the 'off the shelf' surface will look a whole lot worse. Actually, for some pieces, the weathered surface does look more natural, if you are into that. It weathers to a matt gray, which is nearly identical to the skin of a real sea lion or seal, and a lot of dolphins. Good luck?