Sunday, January 29, 2012

Heron sculpture begins

I begin the heron sculpture by building an armature with plumbing pipe, attaching it to a board with a flange. I used pipe left over from other jobs and , by chance, had the right length to have the "T" in the chest of the bird. I used 3/4" pipe for the main brace then used a reducer and 1/2" pipe and 1/2" "T" for inside the bird.

I then cut a piece of pink building foam into the approximate shape of the body of the bird.

I use a photo blown up to scale(the model is 6", the final sculpture is 24") of the finished piece to determine the position of the foam. Also,I have cut out a section on the far side of the foam to accommodate the plumbers "T" fitting through which I have placed a copper tube for the neck.
I don't glue the foam to the pipe, I use meat skewers at different angles to form a mechanical lock.

I cut off the skewers and begin to apply clay. This is a new clay I am using, Castilene. The hard version is like wax, yet when warmed can be modeled like clay.
I cover the body with clay...
I begin to form the head. I have also printed off a photograph of a heron to scale.

The heron blocked in.

I use the heat gun to warm the areas of clay that I have just added....

...then, use a flexible metal scraper to smooth the surface.
I begin to form the heron's face.

Birds come to eat the seed that I put on the window ledge.

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