Friday, January 18, 2013

Beginning a new figure sculpture - "Loss"

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.


  1. You should check out the amazing figure sculpting reference models at

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