Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting Jmac clay ready for next sculpt

Time to prepare for my next sculpt. This one will be done in similar style and fashion as "Ascension", however I'm trying out a new armature, which I'll be showing later.

I spent a week purging my studio of past projects and art supplies that I'm no longer using. The local people on Craigslist are very pleased about that ;-) Still needing to improving my lighting for sculpting, as it's imperative to have good, strong directional lighting to cast shadows on the sculpt to reveal the forms. As I do most of my sculpting standing - or even standing on a stool for added height, I need a light that I can move around as needed - plus my ceiling is rather low (basement studio) so I don't have a lot of hanging options. I'm thinking of getting a boom for photo lighting and clipping a light onto that. It would be useful for lighting and photographing the sculptures later too.

Time to get my materials ready to work. Every artist has their own methods of working. David Lemon (check out this guy's blog - it's delightful to watch him work and his sculpts are crazy good) likes to chunk his clay into pieces using a knife. I suspect he's bigger and stronger than I am, plus my Jmac clay is extra firm. I think it's left over from when I was living in Florida and needed something that would say firm even in high heat.  I can't possible cut through it. This may be way firmer than I will like working in for a figure, but want to try and use it up before purchasing another block in a less firm formula. So instead of trying to cut pieces off the block, I place a lamp on it to warm and then shave pieces off and collect them into a foil lined box. This box has a lid (great for keeping out dust and hair) and the foil helps hold and reflect the heat from the lamp to warm the clay. The small strips warm up very quickly compared to larger sections. I can then easily mush the strips together into manageable lumps for easy grabbing later as I'm sculpting.

Time consuming and a bit hard on the hand, but will make the actual sculpting process much smoother so worth the time and effort now.


  1. Thank you for mentioning me in your entry.. I'm just an old softy.. haha
    I've never used the firm. So this will be interesting to watch. You do know your an amazing sculptress...?

  2. Just saw your very kind comment, thanks David! Let me know if you're ever driving down I-25 through Fort Collins or even Laramie/Cheyenne and I'll buy you a cup of coffee and chat!