Arts n Crafts: What's with the Bear

I’ve been trying to finish up some of my projects that are not so house related.
I’ve been watching Rafael Robledo Jr and some others on YouTube modify collectible statues. It’s fun and inspiring to watch them cut and sculpt and paint these things up to make them fit their personal vision. I used to be artsy, back in the day… way back… all the way back to high school. Anyway, like I said, inspiring.
I have a story that I’ve never finished, one of the characters in that story is a big grey bear that hangs out with an old wizard. And I like to make extras for my stories, whether that be a computer wallpaper or a framed image. I found this bear statue at the resale shop and immediately knew I could do something with it.
bear statue
In order to fit my vision things need to change. For starters, that base is not working for me. And the fish needs to be a ground squirrel. But this post is really not about the finished project. This post is a warning.
I popped the fish out of the bears mouth with just a little pressure, it was just glued in place. I’ll sculpt something to replace it. Then I mounted the bear to a wooden scaffold to get a straight cut, put the whole thing on my saw, and cut off the base.
bear02 bear03
Here’s the warning. I don’t know what this bear is made out of, but it cut pretty easily. Made a god-awful amount of dust, but cut easily enough. However, that dust is a bitch. I didn’t wear a mask when cutting it. So I don’t know how much of that dust I inhaled. I ended up with a horrible sinus headache almost immediately afterward. It lasted for three hours. I don’t normally get headaches, so I know it was the bear.
I may have poised myself a little bit. So my warning to you is, don’t breathe in this stuff. Wear a filter mask when cutting any resin product. Trust me on this. I know I’m guilty of not using my PPE (personal protective equipment) often enough, but you don’t want to breathe this stuff. It’s nasty.
More on the bear as I do more. At this point I’ve just cut him off his base.