Thursday, 4 October 2012

Clay Modelling: Sculpting People from Life

Anyone remember that I started having a bash a clay modelling? Although I've not posted about it since that first sesson, I've been going every Thursday evening - it's great fun. John comes with me too. 

This was my first attempt: Gerald, just one session in:

We are supposed to have the same model and pose for 5 weeks in a row, so you get about 8 or 9 hours on each piece. Unfortunately, after that first session with Gerald, he had a stroke and went into hospital. Rather selfish of him, I thought (only joking).

Everyone tucked up their Gerald sculptures into bin-bags, to keep them moist, and began on something new with another model. This is the one John did next (looking very nymph-like in our garden):

We kept asking after Gerald, who fortunately was fine. Eventually, he was well enough to come back and we got to carry on.

I brought my Gerald home to hollow out (which makes him much lighter, plus potentially fireable), then let him out of his bin-bag prison to dry. You have to wrap any slender sections with cling-film, to stop them drying more quickly then the rest, otherwise you get cracks.

I wasn't really bothered about firing him in a kiln: it's the doing of it that's important to me. After so much effort though, I couldn't face just throwing him out, so I thought I would experiment with shoe-polishing him, to make him look a bit like darkened bronze, then just pop him on a shelf. 

But unfortunately, because unfired clay is so very brittle, while I was buffing him up with the shoe-brush, I managed to knock off his nose - oh no!!

I only touched him with the wood of the brush back, but that was enough. Ah well. The shoe polish wasn't the best idea anyway, as the dustier nooks and crannies in between fingers, toes and in his ears etc proved impossible to colour:

I'll try something else next time. 


Mary Walker Designs said...

When I saw the white on his nose I thought it was sun block and it gave me a giggle.

Susan said...

Its a great little piece, i would have fired it..then played with the surface decoration :)

Lynne the Pencil said...

It's a bit complicated getting it fired Susan, as I have to rent kiln space, so I am waiting until I get something I definitely want to keep.

Al, Melbourne said...

I love him! You've created a character (his or not only you and your classmates could say!) but he is somehow alive.