Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Student Dee's first day, sculpting a clay head.

Hello everyone

I will now show you a photo montage of  my Student's first day sculpting "Jade's head" in clay. As I previously said, this student, we will call her Dee, had some experience of wood carving. These are two entirely opposing skills. With wood carving you remove the excess wood, with clay sculpture it is all about adding on the clay and modeling  your sculpture.

First we assembled the essential items needed to get started.

(1 ) A Modeling Stand so Dee could  work at eye level while sculpting her head of Jade.

(2) The Original JADE on a similar revolving stand. We used a plinth with a "lazy betty' on top. 
(3) A 25 kilo bag of clay although we only used about half of it.

(4) A Set of Calipers to measure with and a cloth dressmakers measuring tape.

(5) A few Wooden Tools

(6) A Bust Peg Armature  for our clay head.

You will see all of the above Items in the photographs. In the UK sculpture tools can be obtained from Tiranti's.

First photograph is of the Bust Peg Armature. I made this from 
(a) 12' x 12' block of wood (any wood will do) 
(b) 2' x 2' x 18'H  post screwed to the base with 4 small L plates. 
(c) 3 ft or 1 meter length of square aluminium armature wire twisted as shown and fastened to the bust peg with wire staples.
(d) In the cavity for the head is suspended a "Butterfly" 2 small  pieces of wood tied with wire.
This holds the weight of the clay.

                                              THE CLAY MODELING PROCESS

Student Dee and photos taken after her First Session.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sculpting a head in clay

My name is Mary Quinn and I specialize in sculpting Portrait Busts in Clay. I am currently teaching a student who has never sculpted in clay before, she has however had some experience in wood carving.
 Through a series of photographs and explanations, I will take you through her journey from the "Empty Armature" to the "Finished Head" in clay.

Then I will show you how we made a 2 piece plaster mould and finally how to cast this head in resin bronze and patinate it (give it a finished colour) and mount it on a plinth.

As in the manner of the old Masters who gave their students a Roman head to copy I gave my student a sculpture of mine to work from, (see above) called Jade. We will follow Jade's progress from the clay to the bronze. As this is a teaching Blog for all you struggling and aspiring sculptors out there, I will take you slowly through the processes. Feel free to copy and take notes. I am very happy to answer any questions. I have been sculpting for 25 years and know how daunting it is to get started. I hope this will give you the confidence to get stuck in and give it a go.

This is just an introduction and I will start tomorrow with an empty Armature and explain how you can make one yourself with photos of all the materials.

Until tomorrow