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Secret Identities – AVES Studio

I ask fwooshmembers questions.

They answer them.

AVES Studio "I have loved art all my life."

Aves studio was founded in 1976 by David Brummel, he began his business based around a love for a hobby doing taxidermy out of his home. Years later he put up a shop so he could further pursue his taxidermy hobby and turn it into a larger business. With his background in Chemistry, he invented Critter Clay for his own taxidermy uses and then  later invented Apoxie Sculpt  (AS) and other 2-part products. Which is now what Aves Studio has become – a manufacturing facility for modeling clays and mache’s. As the company grew so did the Brummel family.

Apoxie Sculpt has many applications which include customizing actions figures here on the fwoosh.

Erin Brummel (daughter) answers the technical questions about the products, does all the advertising for the company and represents AVES STUDIO at various conventions.

Your father, David Brummel, started the company?
Yes, sure did.

Dave Brummel

What is David Brummel doing these days?

Working 7 days a week. making clay., running the factory, being a husband,a father, and a grandfather. Likes to fish and hunt when he gets a chance – that’s about all he has time for.

Who is in your family?

My parents have been married for 31 years. There are 4 girls in our family including myself. – (no boys)

Working at Aves is my mom, dad, myself, my husband and my older sister.

What about your grandfather, the cheese maker? Did you sell cheese at some point in time?

Sure did. my grandfather was a 10 time, "World Champion Cheese Maker" . We sold his cheese in our taxidermy studio for nearly 20 years. "Aves Taxidermy and Cheese", possibly saw that on America Funniest home videos, or in Jay Leno’s book of wierd signs, the Tonight show with Letterman, and Car & Driver Mag -Worst signs in America. ..etc..

There are some similarities in AS and some cheeses in texture?

I don’t think so. but you know, people do sculpt in butter, so I guess anything is possible.

Have you studied art formally?

I have loved art all my life. I went to college for multi-media design, marketing, business and advertising.

My parents both at one time or another went to taxidermy school, to study wildlife art. My mom used to paint fish (air brush). Dad does a lot of sculpting, and taxidermy which started as a hobby when he was about 9 years old. He went to college for quite some time for chemistry, which has always been his main interest (thus the clays). Taxidermy is still a hobby for him, he has become a well respected instructor in the taxidermt industry teaching proper taxidermy tequniques using the products he invented. He used to participate in many taxidermy competitions and did really very well. People would accuse him of a form of cheating because he had the advantage of using his clay products before they were put on the market. He is also a tree farmer; fruit trees, landscape trees, x-mas trees – he will tell you – you have to sculpt the trees to get them to grow well. LOL. The man loves nature and taking on as much as he can. All of my sisters are artsy in one way or another as a hobby/craft. We all enjoy and appreciate art in just about any form. I think we had a pretty good teacher for that.

Have you or your sisters ever taken liberties at work?

Not sure what you are asking? Do we have perks? – Well we are family, and next generation, but we work our asses off.

Yes, that is what I was asking. What was the original AVES studio like? Has it changed much since its inception?

We only have one Aves Studio. It is the original building we started in, and we are severely out growing it at a very very rapid pace. We added a production area about 15 years ago. But over all – it has not changed much.

You are building a new facility? You should make an entire room; four walls and furniture out of AVES products. Maybe that’s a bit too much…

I don’t think so….. it has been done before. Some guy redesigned his entire bathroom in this stuff – seriously, its on our website. Alan Rogerson in AZ, made a Myan ruin bathroom – its really cool. check it out.

The new building will have a gallery room with Apoxie creations that have been sent to us by our artists world wide. We have a really neat collection going at this point and always want to add to it.

Where is AVES Studio?

Aves is located in Hudson, WI – very nice location. We are on about 50 acres of scenic land, including a tree farm – which brings allot of nature our way.

The employees often see wild turkeys on the hillside, or drive way. Lots of deer, pheasants, fox, skunks! And, of course lots of birds and squirrels. My dad loves to feed the animals, and has a lot of respect for wildlife and preserving a good habitat for them.

What does AVES mean? Latin for "Bird" Which was my father’s taxidermy "house special", he is VERY good at mounting birds. This was before the Aves products were developed and it became a "house" name.

People use the word "Sculpt" but that means "to take away" What should we be calling it when using AS?

You sculpt with our Apoxie…so we call it Apoxie Sculpt.

What is the number of employees normally at AVES?

8 or more on any given day.

Taxidermist and artists are your biggest clients?

In the begining, for the first 15 years – yes, but now our main customers area huge array of artists still including Taxidermists but also including sculptors, modellers, special fx artist, doll artist, wood carvers, theme parks, signage builders etc..

Is there a difference between taxidermists and artist? Do they consider themselves artist?

Yes, they certainly do consider themselves artist. It takes quite a bit of talent to sculpt the faces and make the animals "come to life" Taxidermy is a very old art form that has been around for centuries. Taxidermy is the art of mounting animals and capturing their beauty and preserving that.

Does AVES ever represent themselves at the taxidermy shows or the comic cons or the Modellers symposiums?

Yes, we sure do. We have been doing taxidermy shows for over 25 years, State, Nationals and World., in the past few years we have started attending the Wonderfest and some other small comic and special fx’s conventions. Doll and Gourd shows and miniature customizing/gaming shows.

Are the ingredients of AS top secret?


Does the Apoxie sculpt smell like Fritos? Is there a distinct odor surrounding the plant?

We have been told that…however we do not add any kind of smell to the product and the factory does not smell like fritos.

What is the biggest order for AS ever?

Several hundred pounds to one person for one project. But that is common.

Whats the biggest piece of Apoxie Sculpt so far? size and/or weight.

….like something made out of it? I have no idea – the city of St. Paul sculpted a gigantic building size Dog tag out of it for some humane society project . They make in-scale dinosaurs in Canada with this stuff and replica life size Elephants and Rhinos for taxidermy.

How available is AS? What is the distrubution like?

Apoxie Sculpt is avalible world wide through hundreds of various distributors/hobby shops/art studios/institutes/taxidermy studios and model shops. The distribution is world wide.

You can always contact us for a supplier near you or to place an order.

Can I use the one part critter clay the same way as two parts?

No you cannot. Critter Clay is a 1 part water clay that is a great product but cannot be put over plastic because it will not adhere to it properly and will shrink and crack. There is no give in plastic for this product to go over the top, which his why it would crack (it won’t normally do that)

Is there any way to get AS off your hands easy? without wearing gloves? Is it Toxic?

We ALWAYS recommend you follow our package directions – and read them all! The very first thing on our directions is the "wear gloves when mixing A+B" the reason is to keep the stickiness off your hands and it protects your skin. You will notice the directions don’t say that you have to keep your gloves on while sculpting.

Our products are safe, they contain no harmful ingredients and are easy to use.

Do you ever set AS next to a competitor and run a series of tests?

All the time.

How long does AS stay pliable in its jar?

The shelf life is 3 years. Additionally it is freeze thaw stable so you can store it in your refrigerator or freezer and it will last indefinitely.

Why does the non color(Part A) dry faster than the other one (Part B) (unmixed)?

That is most likely due to cross contamination by the consumer and will always occur when you use the same finger of tool to retrieve your part A and B….you have to use seperate tools for this.

Any tricks to AS the customers swear by?

Yes, following the package directions. It is quite helpful if you read both jars before working with the product. We put tons of information on our packaging for this exact purpose. Additionally we are often told by our customers – and agree that our Apoxie Safety Solvent is great for detail finishing. and cold water to dip your tools in as you work is also helpful. Allowing the product to rest for 20 minutes before you work with it – great tip and also if it is too sticky, rub a little olive oil on your finger tips and that will take care of the tackiness. Be sure to wash your piece after it cures to remove any oil residue.

Apoxie Sculpt is a type of epoxy adhesive. Our Laboratories test that part of the product as with strength, heat tolerance etc. anything technical they do because it has to be documented according to government regulations

Some of the novices are reluctant to start customizing. One fear is making something substandard as an artist. One of the benefits of Apoxie Sculpt is its curing time of 4 to 6 hours. Which gives people plenty of time to make mistakes.

Correction, Apoxie Sculpt has a 2-3 hour working time. But it can be added onto during any stage of set up. You can keep working throughout the entire day if you must, only working small areas at a time. We also have a new product called Fixit Sculpt that gives you a full 4 hour working time and is very clay like in feel.

That’s the introduction to AS, then it’s both easily sandable and takes paint; Both high points in customizing action figures.

That’s correct, but you can actually paint it wet or dry. If you don’t want to wait you don’t have to.

Have you ever looked at the Galleries at the fwoosh or read the tutorials on how to use Apoxie Sculpt ?

Yes, we have and we are continuously impressed with the skill levels this group has and what they are achieving with our products.

Are you a member of theFwoosh?

Yes….periodically we watch the forums

Do you offer any advice for people just starting out?

Yes, challenge yourself.

Thanks Erin!


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