Sunday, December 23, 2012

Process: Modeling the Doves

These photos document the work that continues on the large-scale sculpture the will be used to memorialize  ECU students that die as students. It is called Broken Circle of Doves (I think), by Trey Martin. I was hired to model the doves. 

My previous post shows the armature construction process. Next is to get clay on that armature and sculpt the details. If the armature is done incorrectly, and sometimes its hard to tell until you get that clay on it, then you'll have to cut or add to the armature. 

I'll just briefly take you through the basics of "fleshing out" the armature. 

Wrapping the birds in newspaper and plastic helps to beef it out and seal it.

Now you can see the bodies more clearly and begin adding clay to the surface.

The bottom bird now is covered in clay, but with no details.

Wire is added so that the clay will stick to the underside of the dove.

This is a tool I made so that can make a raked texture to the surface.

My buddy Matt Grady was able to help me out by adding clay while I was teaching at PittCC.

We used a commercial Plasticine. It is softened to a mud consistency when heated in a microwave.
Get that clay on there Grady!

After a couple of weeks I have modeled the feathers, the eyes, the beaks and have decided that this is the completed "model".

I think I'm sitting on the floor for this shot. Remember that this is going to be bronze and about 6 feet from the ground.

Random notes: Birds have been represented in art for thousands of years. There are many different ways to represent the feather pattern on the wings. I decided on a pretty basic design of major, secondary, and then into the textured body. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Process: Armature for Doves

Around late September I was approached by ECU sculpture undergraduate Trey Martin about working on his monument sculpture project. This was a commission through ECU for a sculpture student to propose a model, win the bid through a voting process, and build the monument in about a year. Trey's model won this competition and he has been working on it ever since.  I was brought in to enlarge "the doves" portion of the sculpture. Although I was already teaching a full load of classes at the local community college as well as getting a gallery/studio off the ground, taking this commission on would be an opportunity I couldn't refuse.

My Twitter and Instagram followers have been getting some process shots of this occasionally, but I figure I should post some to this blog, too. This post will feature photos of the armature.

Broken Circle with Doves by Trey Martin

Dove 1 begins

Dove 1

Dove 1 built up and attached to a stand.

Dove 1 looking good. My buddy Matt Amante using DirtyLam's special spray booth.

Dove 2 begins

Dove 1 outside while I weld Dove 2

Dove 2 welded onto Dove 1. Thanks Billingsley for the handmedown overalls.

Its a bit hard to photograph this, because it is see-through.

All three together.

Trey Martin comes by to give me the thumbs up.
Random notes:

- Its around this time that I got the Regional Artist Project Grant through Pitt County Arts Council to help purchase a welder. So I was riding high on that humble achievement.

- At this point in the process, I really enjoyed making a sculpture using 1/2" round bar. Just as an armature, this makes a pretty strong sculpture. Might have to more like it.

 -  This was welded in between teaching Art History Survey I and II. It is very satisfying teaching art and doing art. 

- oh yeah, I forgot that I know how to do this more than teaching.