Add, carve, repeat

I started putting the foam on the torso of Dick Hathaway. I had used this type of foam before, years ago and had forgotten what a mess it could be. Next time I will work on it I will put on long sleeves and pants. My neck seems to have a rash on it this morning. I’m not sure if it is the foam or not. I would assume it is from putting on and taking off my work apron.

I am so anxious to get to the bust of Dick. This is where we commune. This is where his essence first reveals itself. But I am forced to figure the details out on the torso first. Covering it with foam so that when Jennifer comes in on Friday she can coat the foam with wax and then begin to add the clay. It will expedite the sculpting process. But I have schoolwork to do and want to spend time alone with Dick’s portrait, and in doing so, I’ll also be spending time with my beloved Charlotte. Working on the bust will let me do that.


I look at these foam/wire/pipe armatures and wonder, “How can this ever turn into a nice sculpture?” But it does. Looking at the armature of a sculpture and the sculpture are two totally different things. Even as I begin to add the foam I can feel Dick emerging.

Messy, messy, messy. Hey, that is why I have interns.

Inevitably, in the weeks to come, I will be sculpting on the torso or even the bust and will find I need to change something about the armature or the foam beneath. I’ll dig it out and pull, push or even hammer the entire thing into creative submission. Often I’ll say to the apprentice, See this here, get all of this out of here,” And in the end, before the mold is made we will be digging out blemishes of foam or wire or whatever to make the surface as smooth as possible.

Leave a Comment