"Fimo" is a trademarked brand name for this type of polymer or non-terrestrial clay. These clays are available in a variety of stock colors, but Jon's constantly blending and mixing them to create his own pallet. The clays evolve into the hues and fades that are the basis for the next step, the images themselves.
This process is the same for each unique design, and each animal is made up of multitudes of different images, amounting to hundreds of these tiles being hand applied to every sculpture.The images and patterns are all created by Jon's hand. He begins by laying canes or blocks of different colors of clay next to each other, starting from the center of the design and working outward, creating a number of visual borders around the original image. Each of these illustrations in clay is the size of a large loaf of bread when first constructed, and the load is then stretched to double its length and cut in half. This process is repeated over and over, each time reducing the actual size of the original image or illustration by half until the final cross section is the size of a small coin. The small canes are then thinly sliced into intricate tiles using a surgical scalpel.
The actual forms or "Armatures" are created from left over design canes, mixed and hand formed, or hand carved wood. Armatures start as a simple lump sculpted into the animal's shape, and the design tiles are carefully pressed into each piece, each design specific for the application.
The glass eyeballs are then introduced to the sculpture giving each animal it's own special personality. Then into the kiln for hours of careful heating and cooling. Time and temperature dependent on the specific animal. Finally the piece is gently sanded and polished by hand producing a beautiful satin-like finish.
Because each piece is completely handmade, no two are ever exactly alike and once the design titles are all used, that design is gone forever. This renders each piece unique and Collectible.