Monday, February 2, 2015

Bufflehead Duck study in Chavant Clay at Scottsdale Artist School

I was awarded a scholarship to attend the workshop of my choice at the Scottsdale Artists School located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

As my plan was to branch out into wildlife sculpture this year it was hard to choose between so many excellent instructors. Ultimately I settled on the Sandy Scott workshop because she was going to emphasize working with custom armature building, anatomy and artistic reasoning. All of these things, plus Sandy's disciplined approach to her work and life-long achievements were areas that I was keen to work on.

I wasn't disappointed. Sandy was well organized and her partner, Trish, was also there to help and give her input into mold-making and casting tips - so valuable when working on sculpture ideas to find the best and most viable ways of working to see it through from conception to completed foundry casting.

We spent a good deal of time learning bird anatomy, aerodynamics of flight, behaviors, researching and then armature building. What is especially nice is that everything I was learning relating to birds for this specific course will easily translate into mammals and humans when sculpting other subjects.

Sandy was generous in sharing tips on research, work methods and materials and sculpting tips. She was just as receptive to learning new tips from any students who had things to contribute as well and the whole class had a very nice rapport. We began by working on armature building and sculpting a study of a Bufflehead Duck. It was a great exercise and I enjoyed the process. Being a workshop, however, I was there to learn and not take home a prize - so at the end of class I cut apart and recycled this study. I'm looking forward to applying what I learned in new sculpture works very soon.

Armature was 1/2" plumbing pipe with t-bar, bailing wire and foil. The clay is Chavant Le Beaux Touche (regular not High Melt)

The workshop ran from Saturday through Wednesday from 9am to 4pm and the building, grounds and staff were wonderful. I will definitely be returning for additional workshops in the future and keeping Scottsdale in mind for teaching in my future, too.

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