Friday, September 20, 2013

Mystery Sculpt continued - blocking in the clothing

The mystery person is taking shape. I began to rough in the clothing. The head was quite heave so I cut off the top and did some early hollowing. I will need to hollow much more next week when it firms up. It's tempting to finish more, but I know that the process of cutting the sculpt open, hollowing out and reassembling will invariably lead to some damage, so I'll resist finishing it much more until the piece is leather hard and ready for that phase.
Since I was using us some Slab and Sculpture clay, I didn't have any more of that particular clay to finish the clothing. I was able to get something quite similar called Tile and Sculpture from The Stone Leaf Pottery in Arvada, CO - a bit over an hour drive from my studio. The folks there were very helpful and I was able to get this clay (cone 10) and several other bags to try out on my next sculptures. While the heavy, sandy, groggy texture of this clay is nearly identical, the color is a bit darker red. That won't matter when I do the patina, however so isn't a concern.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Continuing the portrait

 Today was one of those days - modem was coughing and sputtering and finally gave up the ghost - second time in 8 months - I spent several hours trying to get a different brand but alas, this one is the only one in town for dsl.

So even though I've gone through two of these already - I had to exchange it for the same model....and know that it will probably go the same way as the first. Will be giving some serious thoughts to new ISP if this keeps up.

Anyone out there know of a truly reliable DSL that will play nice with my Airport?

I did some refining of forms, but my time was broken and that makes it less productive. Tomorrow I should get some real time into the piece and perhaps get a chance to start blocking in the clothing too.

Any guesses as to who the person his?

Monday, September 16, 2013

New portrait sculpture bust started - guess the person

I started a new sculpture portrait bust two days ago. My camera wasn't charged, so the beginning photos weren't taken, but I followed the same working method that I used for "Harriet Tubman - Fierce", and "Old Soul".

First I created an armature and then padded the head area using balled up newspaper covered in tape, then I covered the newspaper with clay about 1/2" thick. Then I wadded up more newspaper to form the shape of the shoulders and upper chest and covered that in clay. Next I began blocking in the forms.

The clay that I am using is a water-based clay with a very high grog and sand content called "Slab and Sculpture" that I purchased from Mile High Ceramics (now closed) in Denver. This bag of clay had been stored for quiet some time and had gotten very hard. I poured a cup or two of water into the bag, sealed it inside another bag and rotated the bag every day for two weeks. This allowed the water to soak through the clay evenly and become usable again. I may not have quite enough to finish the entire bust, so if necessary, I'll use a similar clay for the clothing.

The clay is very strong and heavy with low shrinkage rate but the very rough nature of the clay takes a bit of getting used to. Don't think you can used water and make a slick and shiny surface, you really can't. You can burnish it, to make the surface smooth if that is what you desire, but a clay with this texture begs to have the texture used, not hidden.

This sculpture is life-sized and will be a bust with some shoulders showing. I'll continue to post the progress and in the mean time, feel free to leave comments guessing who the person is - people will be guessing on my Facebook Page also. I'll post the name at a later date....