Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Clay, Cold & Snow

This week, I continued progress on the Terre Haute commission.

Clay sculpting is mainly an additive process. I'm adding clay to the woman's leg.

Here, I'm adding clay to her waist.

I use a heat gun to warm the clay up, so that it is easier to work.

After the clay is warmed, it is smoothed into place.

The woman figure is getting to a point where I'm happy with her, and I can come back, after I catch up some of the other portions of the sculpture group.

This is a wire tool.

I use it to make a clean cut for removing the head of the little girl.

I made the armature for the head where it could be taken off the body and then put back on, without damaging the clay work.

I made a separate armature to hold the head steady and level, which makes it easier to work on and see the form.

I've added clay to begin making eyes.

The eyes are roughed in....

...and then refined.

The little girl's head is starting to look like the live model. There is more refining that needs to be done, but I will come back to it after catching up the rest of the sculpture group.

We've had quite a bit of snow. Several times, I've had to make the 1/2 mile walk from the highway to the studio, and back out. On one of these walks I saw these tracks. What's making those?

This snow print spells it out - it's a mouse. In fact, you can see clearly how big it is, how long is it's tail...every detail, except the whiskers.

....a sailing ship?...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Adding clay to "Light of Hope and Healing"

As I approach the finished surface of the sculpture, I want to have a smooth surface. I use La Beau Touche High-Melt clay, which at room temperature is relatively stiff. By warming the clay, it moves smoothly over the surface and fills in rough places.

Another way to smooth clay is to use a flexible metal tool. Here, I am smoothing the clay from the muscular portion of the leg down into the crease.

I am adding clay to the little boy.

This is the current progress on the woman. I need to fill in more around her hips and chest wall.

This is the progress on the little girl. I have blocked in her body and I am happy with her legs, but I need to define her arms and work some more on her head.

This is the overall sculpture at the present stage. The woman's legs need some more bulk, and the man's legs need to be slimmer.

We had several inches of snow this last week. I stopped on the drive between the house and studio to take this picture.

As you can see, the snow clung to everything - and it made for a very pretty scene. This is one of the places where I feed birds, which is at the back of the studio property. There is a stone bench under the tree on which I put the seed.

These are the biggest birds to eat at the seed table (which is just outside the studio). The turkey on the left is much more cautious than the others, and seemed to be aware of me. He soon moved out of view.

Here is another visitor to the seed table - an Opossum. I scatter seeds under the table, as well, so that critters who would have trouble climbing can have something to eat, too.