Friday, July 29, 2011

European Vacation

I've been out od town we are one a long-awaited trip to Switzerland and will return just before the Loveland Sculpture Invitational show. The sculptures are all getting the bases made and will be ready when I return. I will be posting photos as soon as I get back...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Off to Switzerland!

My husband, daughter and I are enjoying a re ip to Switzerland & Italy for the next two weeks to celebrate our 50th birthdays, our daughter's 16th birthday & our 20th anniversary all in one year! Currently sitting I Frankfurt airport waiting for plane to Zurich...then off to interlaken tomorrow!

I did pull some verrrryy late nights getting the last two sculpts fired and all the Latinas done so that I could get them in for mounting the bases while I'm gone. Good thing, too, since I will be setting up at the Loveland Sculpture Invitational show only two a days after returning!

Wish I could have poste the new photos before we left, but
Completely out of time...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Small scale full figure gymanst in water based ceramic clay

 In order to help the clay firm up and dry out a bit - plus to make it easier for the sculpt to hold its own weight, I cut her up to hollow out more. Although I did use a small bit of newspaper to bulk out her core, I find that in sculpting and moving the position around, there areas can build up thick in some areas. Surprisingly, this one was pretty symmetrical.

I removed some more of the clay from the core and the pelvis region. Once the clay firmed up
more, I was able to reattach her and continue sculpting.

Today she was strong enough to remove from the prongs that had been supporting the weight and stand on her own. I am working on finalizing her now.

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.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Figure Sculpting Demo - young dancer in ceramic clay #8

After letting the sculpt sit overnight I came back to it with fresh eyes. Something had been bothering me and I finally came to the conclusion that the dress wasn't quite right. So I spent some time adding clay and changing the way that the fabric moved. That seemed to make a pleasing difference:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Figure Sculpting Demo - young dancer in ceramic clay #7

 Making progress on the sculpt and generally pleased with her. There are some areas that need a bit more refining. The lighting is rather harsh because I just grabbed some quick pix in the studio. .

When she's fully completed I will set up the photo lights and get better photos,

I really enjoyed sculpting her and have titled this piece:

"Her  first dress rehearsal"

This was my first sculpture of a child and I have to agree with other people - kids are challenging. I did not work from a model which can add to the challenge of a piece as I try to imagine limbs in the round. The thing with children is their softness. It makes it hard to find the forms sometimes.

 This was so enjoyable that I'm certain that I'll be doing more dancers and hopefully gymnasts too.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

 I have hollowed out the second arm and attached it back onto her body. Then I fleshed her out a bit more and started to define her ears.

She needs to rest a bit and firm up more. Next I'll block in the hair mass and dress before heading back to start any refining.

It was quite fun to chop off her arms and move them around. I probably took them off and on about 5 times until I had both working in the direction that I was looking for. Really looking forward to the rest.

One thing I will say about paper clay is that it re-wets readily - sometimes a bit too easily and can become water-logged...but with a little time and the proper amount of circulation, you can get the firmness of the clay back to a workable consistency.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Arm placement and hand position make a difference

 I've re-attached one of the hollowed out arms. The hand is roughed into place. The new placement of the arm is more graceful and in tune with the attitude of the sculpt.

The whole body must be in agreement, or the figure will simply look wrong or awkward - so I often revise as I'm working and will change the placement of the body in order to better tell the story, emotion or intent.


Friday, July 1, 2011

What to do when you drop your head?

Start over, of course! Yep, after I reattached her head, I bumped the sculpture stand and tipped the figure precariously. Consequently her head dropped to the floor with a big plop! Naturally it did a real face-plant so there was no real salvaging her. Quite gruesome, actually ;-)

Oh well, I enjoyed sculpting her and felt she was a bit stilted in expression anyway.

So I sat down today and created a new head. I also worked on her arms by cutting them off and hollowing them out. Then I started to rough in her hands. I've decided to change the position of the arms a bit, making her a bit more expressive, too. Have I mentioned how much I love the second chances you get with clay?

Happily, the new head is in place, the body has firmed up better to support the weight and I have one arm and hand attached again. The battery on my camera needs charging so I don't have enough juice to get more photos in today....I'll photo and post the progress the mean time, I'm happy with the progress of the head and face and feel that the second sculpt is better than the first.

I'm planning on having this sculpt more 'painterly' in the finish so this will be a new challenge on to over-work the surface.

Stay tuned!