Saturday, May 26, 2012

Celebration Continued!

      Celebration, a commission of a couple soon to enjoy their 50th wedding anniversary, is out of the studio and off to the mold maker.  For over six weeks, their clay presence has filled the room, dominated my thoughts and activities, and created an ongoing dialogue within and with them, asking for their feedback, and the additional information needed to create a satisfactory portrait.
Detail of heads
"Celebration" - finished clay.
     The choice of pose was a good one from the beginning, solving their extreme height difference, and expressing their pleasure in each others presence with a sensual subtle grace - one of those "couldn't be any other way" poses - it was pretty much the first one they took, thus the most "natural" one. My measurements and photo references got me 2/3s of the way through the  work, with her likeness coming easily. His, though, was more difficult, as the right side of his face was hidden from view. The  requested "head shots" he sent separately helped me "see" the problem, and I totally reshaped his head!  A good lesson was learned for future commissions - take not just the measurements, the full and close photos of the pose, but separate shots of the heads especially, like mug shots. With that information, a good representation can be formed.
Wrapped for transport
        For transport to the mold maker, the clays would remain on the plinth, with arms separated, wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and cushioned in a large box for their trip up into Sangres to his studio. The rubber print coat (the very first coat) records every finger print, finger nail gouge, little piece of clay in the wrong place, things to deal with at the wax stage. .  In this case, the torsos will be molded together, arms separately, and probably all four legs cut off and molded separately, with her thigh left resting on his perhaps. Her head will also be separated to give access to both faces, and of course the bench is another mold, in all 5-6 separate molds. Brian is an exceptional mold maker among other things, enabling me to sculpt with little regard to what problems I may be creating for his process.
In about a month, the molds will be ready, and the wax work begins - and that's another post!

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