Monday, 5 November 2012

Sculpting from Life: Clay Murder!

I am still going to clay life-modelling sessions most Thursday evenings at KIAC. I've created two full-figure sculptures now, both quite fiddly, so I fancied having a go at something a bit more chunky. 

For the last 4 sessions, I've been working on a bust instead. It was slightly complicated, because the pose had her chin resting on her hand, but it made it more interesting, both because I got to do a big hand as well as a head, but also because of the slight distortions to her face.

I'm also trying out a different kind of clay - it's red and very gritty, so you can achieve a quite different texture:

It took 2 whole bags of clay to create her, as she's life-size. It was liberating working larger - no more tiny tools to get into eyes and fingers: mostly I was just working with my fingers. I really like the fact that, at this scale, you can keep a lot of the finger-marks in there, in the same way that I like to keep bold mark-making in my drawing.

By the time I was done, she was so heavy I couldn't see any way to get her home, and so big, I wouldn't have known what to do with her, even if I managed it. For me, the fun is more in the activity itself than in keeping the things I create, especially while I'm still learning. So, last Thursday night, I smashed her up to reclaim the clay. It was actually good fun, tearing great handfuls out of her face - very 'zombie horror film'!

Before I did it I took photos from all angles, as a record: 

The space we work in at KIAC has changed a lot since I first started going life-drawing there last winter. The area we used then is now full of artists' studios. Both life-drawing and clay modelling happen in the new gallery space next door, which was derelict this time last year. Unfortunately, it's still like a fridge, as the only heating is from the 2 calor gas fires which keep the model from freezing. But plans are afoot to move to yet another room, where an electrician is beavering away to create heating as we speak...

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