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Head of Sonja in Clay – Day 3/4

Head of Sonja in Clay – Day 3/4

Taking a fresh look at the head since last week I thought there were some small faults which I could remedy and so I spent the morning developing the features a bit more.


Fig 1&2

By the afternoon I decided the time was right to cut off the back of the head and remove the paper from inside the piece. Also I planned to take it off the peg and support it on a smaller one. Having done this I made the decision to use the large ‘afro’ wig style Sonja had on the first day! So rather than replacing the back of the head I started to add coils of clay to develop the hair into a large heart shape (Fig 3-5).


Figs 3, 4 & 5

I had to prop the chin and back up to wile it dried a little more. As this was the last week for the model I decided to take the head home and finish it off using photos of the model. The head survived the trip home in the car and I carefully unwrapped it and wetted it down to keep it from drying out.


The following morning when I unwrapped the head I was dismayed to find that it had somehow shifted overnight and sagged causing large cracks in various places and it became apparent that I needed to take some drastic action if the piece was to survive!!!  Also the neck seems to be too short, too thick and at the wrong angle – “so off with her head”, said the Queen of Hearts!


I removed the hair then cut through the neck to remove the face, leaving the shoulders as a third piece. I constructed a stand for the shoulders using the original post (see Fig 6) which now forms a solid base which will not move.

Then I hollowed out the clay behind the face to reduce the weight and after lengthening the neck, which had compressed I re-fastened the head, securing it across the forehead to the post, with tape (look like she has been in the wars but much more elegant). I will leave this for a few days to harden and then complete the hair as a separate unit before joining it back onto the head. (see below)

There will be quite a bit of re-modelling to get it to a finished state as all the handling has flattened the finer details. I will probably prick through everywhere as well, before I complete the final modelling.

Watch this space for the next instalment!

Go to Day 5