Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Small scale full figure gymanst in water based clay

Time to start a new sculpt. This one will be a gymnast. It's currently measuring close to 9" tall is being sculpted using ceramic paperclay (CT3).

I started this same sculpt a couple of days ago using Chestnut - a highly grogged terracotta clay. The first attempt sagged so much that she kept having the weight press down on her legs and squash them. The clay is stiff and I had trouble getting it to twist when I wanted to move her pose a bit.

So after a day of modeling, carving, adding and fighting with it, I smashed it up and returned it to the bag for use in another project another day. Then I immediately started her all over again in the ceramic paperclay. This is much lighter and holds its shape on such a small scale, so I'm glad that I scrapped the first. I got twice as far in half the time on the second attempt.

The sculpt has an 'exterior armature', profiled in Bruno Lucchesi's books. The Chestnut clay was heavy and kept pulling out of the two prongs that are holding her weight. The papercaly is holding up better, but it may still need an internal rod added to her leg from under the base after firing to support the weight - time will tell. This sculpt has tiny fingers, so I'm hoping that it holds up well to sculpting and firing because in dance any gymnastics, the finger attitude means so much.
You can also see the hollowing that is going on. I rough in the shapes and then as the piece starts to dry and firm up, I can cut of the rough arms and head and hollow out and reattach. I've already hollowed her head and put it back on. The one arm is in place, the other is still off and drying a bit to be more firm.

The legs are still clunky because I really need to mass there to support in the early stages. Then I'll start to refine and take the forms down.


  1. hi, my name is andre and i love art very much.
    i just visit your blog and find out that your blog about sclupture is very nice.
    i think you are a talented artist..
    by the way, i do also have a blog.
    my blog is about crafts and handmade things that maybe you also like.
    please visit my blog and leave a comment.
    perhaphs we can exchange link if you don't mind?
    i guess it will be good..

  2. Your work is beautiful ♥ ♥! I like the character you'd think it really performs, already a small choreographed!
    And thank you for giving us these images, which allow us to understand the implementation from start to finish! I treasure your site Favoris.Je paperclay works also for a short time. If you feel like sharing I would be delighted ♥ I live in France precisely in Britain Have a nice day!

  3. I see that the geolocation erred Bretagen I live in, not in England! Kenavo!