Tag Archives: sculpture

I always forget how fast plaster sets

Just to make sure the mold doesn’t have any trouble spots, Christine and I did a test cast of Gordon.

After coating the rubber mold with Vaseline, Christine wrapped and clamped the mold together.

While I mixed a rather large batch of plaster. 

Christine finished setting him up.

I stalled too long on the plaster and it began to set so Christine and I rushed to put in as much as we could. As we poured, plaster leaked from cracks in the bottom. So for future reference, more clamping is needed. I hope it turns out ok, but I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t. It’s only a test after all. :-)

Thanks to Christine for taking pictures and letting me steal them off her blog.


You can say April Fools now

For a few minutes I hoped that my teacher played an elaborate and evil April Fools joke on me. But it wasn’t a trick. Gordon was severely cracked because I didn’t cover him after shellac-ing him. My teacher came in later and showed me how to mix dry powdered clay with Elmers glue so I could glue him back together. This method was successful on the hairline cracks, but also problematic for the big cracks in the legs. We eventually used an epoxy type material and I cannot for the life of me remember the name.

Enjoy the process of making a rubber mold and shell below in this slideshow. :-)

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Next stop, casting.

Casting process: Shellac him

Yesterday, Christine and I called what we charmingly refer to as the Polytek materials hotline. We were trying to discern how to use the materials and how to apply them on my sculpture…and then discuss the issues with the armature.

The pipe is coming out….eventually. I need to play the mold on one side to stabilize the sculpture and then take out the pipe.

Here are the casting materials:

  • Poly 1511,1512, & 1512x Liquid Plastic parts A& B
  • Poly 74 RTV series Liquid Rubber
  • Polyfiber II
  • Pol-Ease 2300 Release Agent

Rubber molds want to stick to clay, so it’s imperative to seal the sculpture with something such as shellac.

I sprayed quite liberally until his body glistened. 

Clay Gordon, complete!

Spring finally decided to make an appearance, and everyone in Georgia is ecstatic. Today was especially gorgeous.

I promised said I would not touch anything on my sculpture, but I checked to see if he was drying properly and the clay was at a perfect stage to make a few MINOR tweaks. But he is now done. Finished.

Obviously one of the obstacles when casting my sculpture will be the pipe. Traditionally, the pipe of the armature resides in the small of the back. When I sculpted the body, it just ended up like this:

I’m wondering if we’ll try to get the pipe out or saw it off or….I don’t know. If I was making a plaster mold and casting it in plaster, it would be easy to fix this, but we are using something different. Lots of think about.

Now I am controlling how fast he dries to a leather hard state. During the process, his left leg cracked twice along the knee cap. I have lightly sprayed towels over the sculpture (which will also add interesting surface texture as it dries) and added some plastic on top. I’m checking on it every day. So far, I have not seen any signs of the clay cracking again. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Ongoing projects and a possible early case of Senioritis

Posting has been a bit irregular, I know. The pictures I take for this blog are from my iPhone, which I now use for studio music (my old iPod is dead), so I keep forgetting to take pictures of art processes. But here, at best are some updates:

+Gordon (the sculpture) is done.

He looks good. I want to fix the surface texture a little, and if I’m seriously meticulous-and in this case it may be so- I might fix little details that only I seem to notice.

Why can’t you see him? Whoops. I forgot to take pictures. Well, all except a week-old picture of the fingernails I decided to add.

+Etching is all fun until you smell too many chemicals.

After doing multi-coloring printing, everything else seems easy. Etching involves waiting. We spend most of our time counting seconds for an aqua tint, or staring aimlessly at the wall while waiting for your plate to etch in a pool of acid for 35+ minutes. And the smell. UGH! The combination of smells from the hard ground, mineral spirits, ink, and acid gave me instant headaches.

We had two etching to complete. Our first is a self-portrait. The second is whatever subject we want, just make sure it’s good.

I feel I may have rushed the etching process, and  did not particularly like the final pieces.

think the self-portrait was ultimately successful, but there’s a distracting dark line under the chin that I need to burnish out or extend around the chin.

I began and completed the etching of a poppy the day before it was due (senioritis, anyone?). I only did a small line etch and the rest was aqua tint. I’m having a problem with some areas being too much of the same grayscale. I’m going to go back on my zinc plate and use a dry-point tool to scratch in lines to make areas darker on my plate.

I will fix these problems, reprint, and then post the full etching process I’ve meant to post for a week now.

+Finally a post from Drawing 2?

Drawing 2 is spent doodling, sketching, and conversing about next year’s Senior exhibition. So we solve problems and work through our anxiety and stress by drawing. I’ve sketched fairly abstract and non-objective forms.

I’m not sure where this is going, but I’m excited to see whatever it is emerge and take form.

Spring Break

Brenau’s spring break is incredibly early. The last week before my break included the start of a new Printmaking project, two midterm exams- which included my first Aesthetics and Criticism test- and the never-ending sculpture.

Printmaking’s etching project is…another self-portrait. I should have found another interesting idea instead of just my face, but I forgot over the weekend and just quickly found a picture already in my possession. I wrote down in my notes that I was supposed to draw my image on a zinc plate. But I was wrong, of course. We transfer the image from a line drawing on a paper to the zinc. Whoops. So my teacher gave me tracing paper to trace my drawing on the zinc. I erased and washed my zinc and transferred the image. Afterwards we etched in our drawing into the zinc and set the plate in acid. Thirty- five minutes later, the image was etched. I proceeded to then to ink the plate, wipe off the surface and print on some leftover crappy paper. This was the result.

I’m still not sure how everything will work out, but I’m not going to worry about it this week.

The never-ending sculpture is still not finished. Every time I think I’m nearing the end, I find something wrong. This week I got slightly angry about the arm and hand draped over the head. After a some consideration I took a tool and cut off his hand and reworked the arm.

I managed to fix the arm and begin to model the hand.

I’m not going to see my sculpture for a whole week so in preparation I sprayed the equivalent of a bucket of water on my sculpture and wrapped it until it couldn’t breathe. I think it will be safe by the time I return. Just in case, fingers crossed!

Taking shape

I woke up half asleep Tuesday morning (in 22 degree weather, I might add) to drag myself to the sculpture class. Or rather, just to the lab. I’m all by myself since our class changed venues due to some sort of art workshop that’s being held in the sculpture lab. I carried my sculpture across a hall to the ceramics room where it is enjoying its new home next to a bunch of pottery wheels. I was surprised to discover that my sculpture is not as heavy as I thought it would be.

When I unwrapped the figure I was in a sour mood and looked at the eyes I stuck on last week, and decided that I didn’t like those eyes, gouged out eye sockets and began anew (for the fifth time). I took my time using a very small paint brush dipped in slip (clay+water=slip) to make the eyes. I built the eyes, fixed one of the ears, and noted changes I needed to make later, and left as soon as class ended to finish a bibliography for Aesthetics & Criticism, which I forgot about until someone reminded me on Monday.

I went back after Aesthetics & Criticism to work on it for a few hours. I think the form is finally taking its true shape and it looks like I have maybe one more session with it until it’s done. I still need to work on that left arm/hand. I want to finish it by Thursday. Keeping those fingers crossed.