Started a New Head in Clay – Day 1

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Work in progress | One Comment

I have signed up for a course of 10 week workshops in clay modelling at The Phoenix Studio in Towersey.

Our first project is the head of Sonja.

I have chosen to use a smooth red earthenware clay which I like because I can get some nice detail in the work and and introduce some interesting textures whilst still keeping it loose.

I decided to try a new method, used by Stuart Williamson on his DVD tutorial ‘From the Inside Out’. It involves working from a fixed point at the base of the throat where you insert a cross-head screw (see fig 1 below) and make all your measurements from there.

I made a tentative start but am becoming more confident with the unfamiliar measuring process as time goes on.

See figs 1 & 2 below.  Here I have just got the paper armature covered in clay and have started to establish the shape of the scull, forehead and the jaw. I also indicated the centre line and some of the other important points of reference. The golf tees I used to keep track of the position of the ear holes can also be seen.

    
Fig 1                                                                                              Fig 2

At this stage the clay was really soft and I had some trouble with the head slipping downward on the stand.
I managed to stop the slide by wedging a wooden block under the back of the neck (see figs 3 & 4 bellow).

    
Fig 3                                                                                              Fig 4

I then managed to establish the position of the other features and filled in some clay to position the cheek bones nose and mouth as well as refining the eye sockets.
Next week the clay will have dried and will be much less likely to move, so I will be able to start refining the features even more.

I will up-date my day 2 progress next week.

Go to Day 2

1 Comment

  1. Peter Le Blanc Smith
    February 25, 2012

    Hi Alan,
    Startling first shapes and a very interesting insight how you tackled the problems of gravity and materials, let alone developing the art / sculpture. Great idea to have the golf tees!
    Is the Stuart Williamson method more amenable to your ‘feel’ for sculpture? Will you go to your natural chosen method…and how do they differ?

    Reply

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