Taking a break from the ecorche piece and trying something a bit different. I am sculpting from a tiny, quick maquette that I made a couple of months ago depicting the emotion of "loss". The was before the indescribable day of Sandy Hook....but since then this sculpt has prayed on my mind. So I decided to table my work for the moment to give some attention to this.
Usually I work in either water based clay for firing or oil-based clay for mold-making and then bronze. But for this piece, I'm working with a metal armature like I would with oil-based clay, but I'm sculpting with water-based clay instead. I just really love the feel of waterbased clay and wanted to give this a go.
The tiny sketch is a oil-based clay and the enlargement that I started is a metal armature with water-based clay on it. It can't be fired -as you can't dry and fire waterbased clay with a metal armature in it. In fact, I really can't let it dry out at all, because the clay with shrink and crack and become terribly brittle. What I plan to do is have the mold-maker take a mold directly from the leather-hard clay before it dries. Then cast in bronze.
I've not done this before - my bust of Harriet Tubman was a fired clay piece, so not fragile when making the mold. But it's good to experiment.
"Loss" as I'm doing her now stands about 15" tall and has a long shadow being cast before her - symbolic of the darkness that she's feeling. I've blocked in some of the basic forms and shapes of the anatomy and look forward to beginning the refining stage next.