The file is off to my vendor in Oklahoma- introducing Synappsys Digital Services. They will take my digital file and enlarge it using foam and a milling machine. I wrote an article about this process in the Winter 2007 issue of Sculpture Review.Here is a pdf should you like to read the article and see the process.
The old way of creating an armature for a large sculpture was to weld an armature or create its skeleton using plumbing pipe and chicken wire. Clay is added. The artist uses the pointing up method of enlargement take measurements of a small maquette and then match them to a point on the large sculpture. This is a tedious process and can take months. Now, with Synappsys digital services, I send a digital model or a scan of a maquette and they mill it out of foam to the specific size.
Here is a video I created on the process of using digital presentations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6JemANEo4_g
If you fast forward to 2:07 you will see how we created the sculpture of Jenna using these digitally milled armatures.
The foam is just the base that the clay will sit on.
The same process will be done with the panther. When we are done I will be creating a video of the entire process. Synappsys is recording the process of our cat while he is out of my possession. I am told boxes of cat parts will arrive at the studio on Thursday or Friday. When they arrive we piece them all together and cover them with wax and then clay, or my intern will do this. Then I can focus on the real sculpting. Working in the computer is nice, but I connect with the clay when it is in my hands. I can’t wait to get my fingers dirty. We are ready.
This is from the Prairie View A&M Blog created for this project.