When your desktop, coffee table or countertop is covered in nothing but papers and pizza stains, there are two things you need–A low-maintenance, oxygen-producing plant and a ceramic animal sculpt. It is then people will say things such as, “My what eclectic taste they have. I want to be their friend.” Plants are easy to come by and now, with Project Safari, you can have your perfectly symmetrical animal sculpt. It’s a new project from Brooklyn-based Bronsen and gang. We get the low down, how now from product designer Justin Johnsen, with detail shots on the process.
Ceramic Animal Sculpts by Bronsen
Project Safari was born out of a interest in sculpting, that turned into five sculpts–Hamilton (the hippo), Grayson (the gorilla), Gerard (the giraffe), Lewis (the lion), & Calvin (the crocodile)–all designed at Bronsen design firm in Brooklyn and manufactured at Mudshark Studios in Portland, OR. I had seen the project early on and was immediately attracted to the geometric design of the sculpts. Turns out, a mutual friend, Jeff Bare, made the introduction to Justin who filled us in…
The whole project actually started out a few years ago when I was taking a course in pewter casting. I was given a hunk of clay to sculpt something and I made a funny little form. Then I made a mold of it out of a special RTV silicone that can withstand the scorching temperatures of molten pewter. The result was neat little croc-like sculpture.
Project Safari evolved from there. I began to elaborate on that form in SolidWorks to give it a more refined look. Before I knew it, I was looking at the possibility of an entire animal kingdom. I chose the next animals that would work well as a set and developed Hamilton the Hippo, Grayson the Gorilla, Gerard the Giraffe, Lewis the Lion, and Calvin the Crocodile.
I started immersing myself in images of the animals. I collected every good view of animal heads that I could find and began sketching around loose stylized versions. I quickly jumped into illustrator to do orthographic line-work over the animal images. It was an in-depth iterative process to capture the essence of each animal and while creating a cohesive collection. Once I was in a good spot with the line-work, I transferred the ortho views into SolidWorks to create the 3D forms much like one would do to build out an automobile.
From there, I 3D printed a bunch of the forms in various sizes to find the right scale. And from there, it was a whole new world of sourcing ceramic manufacturers who were qualified to do production runs. We were fortunate enough to find a fantastic bunch of people at Mudshark Studios in Portland, OR. They have been super-helpful in explaining the entire process of slip-casting for production and fulfillment.