Sunday, August 18, 2013

Discovery becomes 2nd of 9 work on the left hand knee and refining the face

While this sculpture "Discovery" (destined for Orlando, Florida) was not at first intended to be a Muse (like the one at the Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg IL) I have had several enquiries about commissioning a similar piece.  According to Greek myth there were 9 muses - so this Muse will be the 2nd of (hopefully) 9 Muses.  The idea of the piece is to sit in her and hand and she will "discover" you, then help you discover wonderful things within you.

Using a black lumber crayon, I shade in the area under the thumb that needs to be removed. This lets me see how it would look if that area was cut away.  If it isn't right I can sand it away and start over.  This technique lets me "carve" visually.  There is no worse feeling than cutting a section of stone, step back and realize oh no, it's too much.  It's a lesson you learn early - and it stays with you.

Even when I am certain of making a cut I still cut wide of the mark and angle away from the form, I can always cut again.

I begin to establish the other side of the left hand, cutting into the wrist to define the heal of the hand and cutting under the fingers.  I am still high off the form (knuckles to knobby, fingers thick) I will define and refine the forms later.

I begin to put in details like finger nails, etc. but the fingers are very thick and stumpy.  There is still plenty of stone to push things around though.  I need to tuck the fingers under each other and taper them more.

A view from the end.  In the model the index finger is a little bit lower than the second finger, I have decided to raise the index finger, feel it will have a better feel....

I refine areas of the hand and fingers

I use the model to carve the left hand but I start looking at reference materials again.  Anatomy books are a great help as they help me to see where the bony structures are. 

Here I am correcting a mistake I made in the model of the left hand.  In the model the thumb was a couple of inches lower than the finger.  As the sculpture will be earthwork and sod a section of flat stone would be visible.  I have raised the thumb to close the gap.

The left hand from the end...

and from the side, still much more work to go.

I continue work on the knee.  I draw a line, below it is a section of stone that needs to be removed.  If you look in the background you can see Don working on his latest sculpture.

I have removed the stone with an angle grinder with a 10" diamond wheel.

I then use a 4-1/2" angle grinder to smooth the area I just cut.   I mark in crayon an area that needs to be carved down.

This is how I smooth out an area with an angle grinder, I shave the stone - to the left you can see the stone is somewhat smooth - to the top is stone that was roughly cut with the 10" angle grinder.  I normally wear gloves when I carve, I took them off to handle the camera.

I spent time refining the face - I measured carefully to the model and made the necessary changes. Her right eye was too wide and the right corner of her mouth was too low.  I made the corners of her mouth a bit too wide (you can always make a too wide mouth narrower, it's more difficult to make a too narrow mouth wide if you have established the corners very deep.  Stone carving is actually fairly forgiving.  If you have enough stone (work from the front to back and leave plenty in the back) you can always correct mistakes - just carve further back.  I like that her mouth is a little wide, it gives her a slight smile.

What is this strange scene?  Condensation has dripped from the roof onto Discovery's nose and caused these little balls of dust to form and roll down.

A sweet little fawn visits

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