Monday, June 25, 2012

Finishing "Waiting on the #9"

Sorry for the poor photos - I was rushed and simply threw a spotlight on this and grabbed some shots before the sculpt went out to the mold-maker this morning. I had a bad sculpting day earlier this week and over-worked the piece. It went from nice and fresh to stilted and posed. Part of if was the softness of the clay for such a small sculpt and part of it was me rushing because time was running out to get this into bronze in time for the show.

I also noticed that as I overworked, I ended up pressing on her neck a bit, causing it to shorten and thicken. So I cut off her head and neck and sculpted a new one. This time, I added flowing hair to add to the breeze that was ruffling her dress. You'll notice that her hand and purse are a different color. I used Jmac Classic clay for the purse, as it is a harder clay for the tiny detail. Then, since the fingers were too soft to hold their own form with the Chavant, I added 1/2 Classic to the Chavant and mixed together. I could have used straight Classic, but was concerned that the difference in clay would impact the surface of the clay and not hold the marks the same way - to be safe, the mixing of the two clays gave a better transition from the arm to the hand. There is armature wire (22 gage braided) that is poked through her index finger to give enough strength for holding the purse and also in the blowing sections of hair.

This sculpt was a big learning process and I struggled a lot with it - which is good - from adversity comes improvement. I learned that every clay has its own strengths and weaknesses and it's very important to choose the right clay for the scale and style of subject. As I stated before, on a larger scale piece I think I would enjoy the soft, buttery feel of the Chavant Le Beau Touche a great deal - it would be easy on the hands and effortless to apply - it just wasn't the right clay for a full sized sculpt with a 1.5" face ;-) I also learned that it would be a good idea to bolt the armature wire of the feet to the board to stop any lateral motion or shifting, which causes cracks in the ankles and also can lead to minute twisting that you don't notice till later.

I enjoyed this sculpt - even the several times that I had to rip off and re-do sections and I liked the attitude and pose. This is one that I may come back to and enlarge to a bigger scale for bronze at some point. For now - it is off to the mold-maker who will chop her up and make the mold and pour the wax - until then - time to clean the studio and get the next piece started...

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