Mark  Beal
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In 2002 I started Shadows of the West and began prototyping yard and garden decorations.  Over the next several months I set to work carving out a series of highly detailed LIFE size yard shadows from clay.  All of the molds, jigs and tooling necessary for production were then made in house.  I purchased a thermoforming machine and started churning out product.  It's a quite interesting process to see in action.  A thin sheet of plastic is heated up by a large bank of  ceramic heaters, then it is dropped down to the molds where a vacuum pulls the plastic down over the mold and a part is formed. The whole process takes about 2 minutes to make the part.  A 3 axis CNC cutting machine was then used for the final trimming.   
Click on any photo to see the detail of the different yard shadows.