Jenna now has hair, her hands are attached I am moving toward those toes. Doing a bit of work on the tights, and about to do the last two things, attach her other wings, and finish the butterfly. Symbolic I suppose. I was not well last night and went to bed early. It put me back a bit, but I expect to have final photographs in a few hours. It would be lovely if I could have an approval from the parents this evening then, I could spend the evening preparing Jenna for the mold process. The rubber had been ordered and come in on Wednesday.

I’ll post photographs this evening.

Jenna’s hand is in the shape of the I Love You
Sign for sign language

Most of the time, while I am sculpting on Jenna she is on a large lazy Susan. Several times when I try to take pictures of her she just starts turning around. I think it is Jenna’s game that she is playing with me. Trying to take the butterfly for a ride.

I still am not securing the two hands, they are taken off a bunch of times each day, to get to the face or the dress. The photographs of Jenna against the wall were taken last night while Russo was here. ( thanks again Russo for all of your help, I have enjoyed having you as an apprentice) I put all of the pieces together so we both could shoot some pictures, some for Russo, and others for this blog.

My intern helps making Jenna perfect.

You may notice there are real ribbons and color full pins on Jeanna’s dress. The ribbons are just placement. As I said before they would never hold up through the mold process so after I receive an approval from her mom I’ll take them off, adding them at the wax stage. The pins are part of the lace design. OF course they look different colors in this clay, but when Jenna is turned into a bronze sculpture they will look like little beads, just like the ones on Jenna’s dress. WE cut out little leaf and flower patterns out of clay and once attached to the dress I put a texture in them.

The tights also have a pattern in them. I love this. This afternoon I went back to Jenna’s face and revised a few things. Jenna’s mom requested I send some pictures of her face looking right at her. To do this I had to remove the butterfly hand. But these are the newest pictures of Jenna’s face with some of my own revisions.

Sorry that the sculpture looks so shiny, it does make it difficult to shoot good pictures. The shininess is because I use hot Vaseline to smooth out the sculpture. I recently ran out of Vaseline and ran to the store to get some. The first time I used it I noticed it had a baby powder scent to it. One more thing to remind me of the specialness of this project. Russo and I agreed that it does smell wonderful.

Tonight I’ll go over everything one more time, add the rest of Jenna’s hair, smooth the dress out where it needs to be, fix the right arm, the only thing left to sculpt, attach the other wing, and sign the sculpture. Final pictures for approval will be sent to the family tomorrow.

That face.

Church and a celebration of my son’s 19th birthday was a priority. We took him out to lunch and to see Prince Caspian. Then it was back home to work on Jenna. Russo has not been in and did not get to see her until today. She was so surprised and I think I saw tears in her eyes when I showed her the videos, the dress, the toys. I wanted her to love her as much as I do before she began to work on her. Russo helped a great deal, smoothing things out and putting texture in, as well as helping me with the leaves and flowers of Jenna’s lace. I have held those tiny hands and tiny wings for two days now. They are done. Just one last look at the face to see if their are any revisions. All elements are ready to put together. Between this evening and to marrow I will have the time that I need to complete her.

I wish I would have brought the camera back up to the office to post the pictures that I took of Jenna, but I will try to post in the morning and then in the afternoon.

Goodbye to another apprentice

I have loved working with Russo and will miss her when she goes back to her country. Today was her last day in the studio, though I may try to pick her up next week to see how Dick is coming at the foundry.

What I thought I would work on, I have not. I have been jumping around on the sculpture so much it is hard to discuss what I have done, Pulled the left arm back further, worked on the skull, began to indicate hair, love that left ear, back to the hands, changed the back, more poof in sleeves, fixed trim on sleeve, changed trim around the neck, sculpted left arm with left hand attached, about to take left hand off to indicate those tiny little nails. Watched her birthday video over and over, fast forward through picnic, back again. Start video, pause.

All while watching Charlie and the chocolate factory with Jenna.

She is seated up right again, but I am sure she will want to go back and do splits in the air before the night is out.

Apprentice did not show up today, and Sunday we are going to celebrate my sons 19th birthday, so I know I will have to clean the clay out of my nails for part of the day. There is also church. I can only hope that Russo can come in late and help. I’ll post photographs later

Don’t you love these air splits! If you notice in the photograph, I brought the accounting lap top downstairs to watch the video. I turned it on, and paused it where I wanted it to be, and then would work on Jenna.

When sculpting, You have to work on areas that many people will never see. It is a good time to do this since her wings are almost ready to attach and after that, this pose would be impossible.

The delicate little hands have been cradled in my own large muscular sculpting hands for most of the day. It makes it much easier to work on them. The hands are roughed in and will be finished today, as the apprentice smooths other areas of her body, especially those legs. I’ll put a type of texture on those tights when she is finished. The two of us will also work on her lace on her bodice. Two people working on this may only take a couple of hours. Once I feel confident about her legs, and tights I will sit her upright and begin the final details, but before attaching wings and hands I want to take a good look at her face one more time. This time with the help of the videos. I can already see some things that I will change a bit, the indentation over both sides of her upper lip, when she holds such a big smile, the position of the teeth, and those special ears.

One would think that the left side of ones body is the same as the right. NOT SO! A sculptor must study both sides and in fact when reference information is not available for both sides of the body and an artist uses one side reference and flips the image to show the missing side the results are never a likeness. I remember one person I sculpted has a left side of her face was at least 1″ wider than the right. In her 70 years she had never really noticed it. I did!

Jenna’s left ear is very different than her right. I’ll be comparing a lot with the videos. We are well on our way to finishing. I know Monday is a holiday, I doubt I’ll be able to get my approval on Monday, so I’ll shoot for approval by Tuesday. Molds will be made on Tuesday evening, unless changes need to be made and I’ll push that to Wed and Thursday. Then Jenna will be off to the foundry for waxes!

The small dvd that Jenna’s mom sent won’t work in my laptop mac. I can see it on the mac in the office even on the accounting computer, but because my lap top mac kind of sucks in the dvd it won’t work. So I am up in the office trying to figure out how to copy it. I want to play it while I am working down in the studio. I keep clicking the DVD trying this and that and get caught up in the watching the DVD.

I have had this thought for a while. Listen to the gurgles and mumblings of babies I would like to think that it is a sort of angel talk. Something that we somehow lose as we grow up and learn real taking. I love listening to Jenna’s angel talk.

I keep stopping and observing, the roundness of her ears… Ah there is a perfect shot of her hand, I was working on her hand… look there is the smile. I have to copy this dvd. I love to watch her squeeze the air with her hands, something that she seems to do a lot. the tights are perfect. Now I know I will get the downstairs computer filled with clay while I pause, start and stop this dvd, but first a way to get it down there.

The details in the sculpture of Jenna are coming along. Jenna’s mom sent her birthday dress and I had quite a few pictures of her in this dress. I could not of course show the fine netting material that is over the satin part of the dress, instead I put a pattern in the dress. Showed the little satin material hem peeking out from underneath.I still have a long way to go, the lace in the bodice, and my apprentice will come in and smooth areas that I have sculpted. The bows shown on the dress will be added later in the wax, as they would never make it through the mold process, same with the little roses. I’m attaching the photographs, ( as I did this I accidentally pressed the start button to Jenna’s movies and can hear Jenna talking in the background serenading me).

The sculpted dress has been shortened a bit to accommodate the showing of those dancing legs and her tights. I have changed many things from the foam sculpture. The hand positions are still being worked on and for the most part are in the way when I sculpt so I will attach them permanently later. Jenna’s feet are so expressive and I found a way that she bends her toe backwards in excitement. It accentuates the rolls in her tights. I have worked a bit on this with her right foot and like it. But my attention is really on the dress for right now, then I will move to her legs and arms, and back to her face and head. I think she would really like to have her hair now and feel compelled to put it in. Today is Thursday, I feel I will be able to ask for approval by Monday of next week. If I keep going at the pace that I am.