Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm a finalist, a vet sculpture maquette finished, paper sculpture work

I just found out I am a finalist for a commission in Anchorage Alaska. It will be for the University of Alaska Anchorage Natural Science building.  I am excited about the opportunity to have work in Alaska, I've always wanted to go there.

I have finished the maquette of the vet with puppy and mother dog.  I plan to do a larger water clay version of this which I will then fire in my kiln.  I spent more time than usual on the maquette as I really like the feel of the piece and may cast it in bronze.
 A detail of the maquette.  It was tough getting the hands right around the puppies body.
 These are paper hairs I have made for one of my paper sculpture cats.  Recently I decided to spruce them up.  The black and white cat needed more sprucing, I removed some of the hairs and replaced them with new.  The larger hairs are for the body, the smaller are for around the face and toes of the cat.
 Attaching a hair with Elmer's glue. I have removed a lot of hairs around the back of his head and am filling back in with fresh.  The paper I am using is Canson Mi-tientes (an art paper that comes in a variety of colors).  I am replacing the hairs on this cat as the black paper used to be somewhat "soft" in comparison to the other colors and didn't want to hold a sharp edge (this sculpture was made over 20 years ago). I just didn't care for the way it looked and decided to remove the offending hairs. The black paper is greatly improved now and is much crisper - the new hairs look much better.
 I replaced some of the whiskers on the Grey Cat, again this is Canson Mi-tientes paper and Elmer's Glue.  Both these cats are over 20 years old and have held up quite well over the years.
 bubbles in a frozen birdbath...
My new holiday card.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reworking Don's Angel

 Don created an Angel sculpture and he just wasn't happy with it.  So he asked me to take it over and see what I could do.  This enters kind of a grey area, the piece will be a type of hybrid.  The basic design is Don's I am merely changing it as far as the detail. 

Don has asked that I do this in his absence, he just doesn't want to watch.
 I will work with no model or photographs, this will be direct carving - the most fun way to carve.  I begin with drawing on the piece with a china marker.  I note the areas that need work - the tip of the nose is too small.  In stone carving you can't do much about small - you can't add stone where it has been removed - so you have to approach it by proportion - everything must come down to the tip of the nose.  The areas that I will carve down are the bridge of the nose which is too wide, the cheekbones which are too prominent and the jawline which is too heavy.
 From this angle you can see how I will take back the nose, the lips,cheekbones and the corners of the mouth ( which are usually behind the nostril)as well as the neck and chin.
 I use an angle-grinder on the nose, cheeks and chin and a die-grinder for smaller areas around the mouth, nose and eyes.

I further refine the face and carve back the neck.
I mark the areas that need further refining.  The eyes are a little wide so I enlarge the eyes toward the bridge of the nose. I also narrow the nose at the corners of eyes.  I am very close to the sculpture and this photo has a lot of distortion, that's why the nose and chin appear to be so prominent.
I mark the new jawline with a china marker, the neck is wide as well. I will cut wide of my mark, I can always come back and cut again.
I further refine different areas of the face. 
I mark the areas that need refinement - eyes, nose and mouth.
The shoulders and collarbone are too prominent and these need to be moved back.

I decided to recarve the bodice starting with the placket, following the line of the collarbone. The placket ends up a bit lower than the cloth beneath it but I like the way that adds dimension, a bit of puffiness to the fabric.
I decided on short sleeve to show the arms.  The area behind the neck needs some deeper shadows, the chin is still a bit heavy.  All the areas I have taken down bit by bit, removing a little less than I think is needed.  This keeps me from taking off too much. 
A die grinder is slower and more easily controlled than an angle grinder and with it I remove more chin.  I have also marked where I will be defining the socket of the eye. I have just begun to create dark shadows beside the neck also with a die-grinder.
Hand sanding helps soften the features.  I use 80 grit paper
I need to do more work before she's finished but she's almost there.
Before.....  Don's forte is strong, sharp lines.  His original angel had real qualities but he just wasn't happy with the end result.