Creating an Armature- Part 1

A maquette is compared
to the enlarged Newsboy sculpture
piece, point by point. This will
not be the process used to
create the armature of Evelyn.
Instead new digital process
will be used by the artist. 

Traditional sculpture has changed for some over the years.  When it comes to creating a sculpture for a client, many start with a small maquette, or small sculpture. This is usually done to try to obtain a pose and work out the movement of a piece.  An example of creating a maquette can be seen in my Newsboy blog, and is shown on this page.

In the case of the Evelyn sculpture we are not going to create a maquette. Instead, we are going right to a large sculpture. The reason for this is that we know the pose. It has been decided on, and there is little to figure out in this sculpture project.

The armature of the
life-size sculpture
of the newsboy. 

Going from a maquette to a large sculpture in the traditional process can be very, very time consuming, and up until adding digital technology to my process, it was one of my least favorite things to do.  There is some detail about this traditional process in my journal of creating the newsboy.  The process consists of measuring up the sculpture, point by point, creating an armature, made up of rebar, and or pipe, chicken wire, spray foam and then of course clay.  It is time consuming and not a very creative part of the process, but it is necessary.

New part of my creative process
Over the last few years I have been incorporating both traditional process of sculpting with digital technology. You will see this in the up and coming posts about the armature.   I call this tra-digi art.  I love it, it expedites my process, gives me more control over my tools, and when these tools are used to help to create a pose, as the example of Jenna in the video below, it helps my client to visualize the piece.

Here is a video that describes how I have used tra-digi art in the past.  Check back to see how we are using this with Evelyn.

The Documentation Of Creating a Life-Size Newsboy Sculpture

This part of Bridgette Mongeon’s blog documents the entire process of creating a life-size sculpture from start to finish. You are welcome to follow the links below, of course they will go backwards. But if you want to start from the front and go back, follow this chronological order.
Students and Teachers.
There are study materials, questions and educational material for much of the process. They are listed below.

Archives from sculptor Bridgette Mongeon and
The Texas Press Association Newsboy sculpture

To read previous journal entry click on the desired date

August 26, 2004
The News

I receive the information that I have been awarded the commission of the Newsboy for the Texas Press Association. In this journal entry I share some of passion for sculpting children and the photo of the Jesse Award created for the Houston Chronicle
Students learn about • Art and History
• Geography

August 27-30, 2004
Thoughts on The Project

• The beginning of the thought process concerning the sculpture
Students learn about • The difference between newsboy and news carrier
• The death of a newsboy • The history of newsboys in America and the Spanish American War

August 28
The Beginning

Students learn about • The first newsboy

August 31, 2004
How I Pick a Pose

• An artist’s reference, Picking a pose
Students learn about • The call of the newsboy events that happened in the last 125 years.

Sept 2, 2004
The Meeting
• Meeting with the Texas Press Association • Deciding on a pose
Students learn about • History of the lost wax method

September 5-7, 2004
Beginning the Small Sculpture

• Working with a model and roughing in the small newsboy sculpture
Students learn about • The history of knickers

September 8-10, 2004
The Sculpting of the Small Newsboy

• Roughing in the face of the small newsboy
Students learn about • Scaling a sculpture • 3D figures of sculptures

September 11-17, 2004
More Research on Clothes
and Sculpting of the Newsboy

• Researching newsboy outfit, zippers, and suspenders.
Students learn about • The newsboy strike of 1899 • the history of the zipper

September 18-26, 2004
A Sewing Pattern for Knickers
and Sculpting Continues

• Roughing in the small newsboy, finding a vintage 1929 newsboy clothing pattern
Students learn about• How artists use proportion and measurements.

September 27-October 3, 2004-
The Creative Process

• Article Printed in the tribune • International newspaper carrier day
• Creative thinking process
Students learn about • History of the sewing machine
• Sewing a 1929 pattern for the newsboy

October 4-11, 2004-
Sculpting Tricks and More Research

• Sculpting tricks
Students learn about • Motivation with their art

October 11-18, 2004-
Sewing a Vintage Outfit From An Old Pattern

• Sewing the outfit for the model • The final pose
Students learn about • Leisure time of a newsboy • Old toys

October 19-25, 2004-
The Finished Small Newsboy Sculpture

• Finishing the small sculpture • Receiving approval
Students learn about • The importance of folds and how to create them.

October 25- November 1, 2004-
Preparing the small Sculpture for the Foundry

• Preparing the small newsboy sculpture for the foundry
• A visit to the capitol building
Students learn about • Elizabet Ney and the history of Texas art • The Texas State Capitol building.

November 2-8, 2004-
Reviewing the Process of Creating
an Original Work of Art

• A review of the previous three months of progress.
• Information about copyrights and limited edition bronzes
Students learn about • Copyrights

November 9-12, 2004-
The Beginning of the Sculpting
on the Life-size Newsboy

• Beginning of the life size newsboy sculpture • Creating the armature
Students learn about • The Penny Press • Yellow Journalism • Newspaper production at the time period of our newsboy

November 13-21, 2004
The Beginning of the Sculpting
on the Life-size Newsboy cont.

• Roughing in the large newsboy sculpture.
Students learn about • How to enlarge a sculpture

November 29- December 6, 2004 –
The Future Journey of our Newsboy

• The future journey of our newsboy
Students learn about
• The State Preservation Board
• The Texas Capitol building
• Texas Legislature • The Texas Senate

December 7 – December 13, 2004-
Frustration Of the Creative Process

• The future journey of our newsboy
Students learn about 
• Newsboy Strike • The zipper

December 14 – December 21, 2004-
The Morphing of a Sculpture

December 22 – December 27, 2004
-Working Through the Holidays

December 28- January 3, 2004-
Huge Strides In the life Size Sculpture

bronze newsboy statue

January 3-10, 2005-
Now WeAre Getting There

First small newsboy bronze • Head is added to the life size sculpture

January 11-17, 2005-
Details on Life-Size Sculpture Come Together

January 18-21, 2005-
Adding the Hand to the Life-size Sculpture and
Sculpting a Newspaper

January 22-29, 2005-
Sculpting is Complete on the Life-size Newsboy

January 31-February 7, 2005-
The Mold Making Process

February 8-14, 2005
Mold Making Rubber and Fiberglass

February 15-21, 2005-
Pouring the Wax

February 22-28, 2005-
Working the Wax

March 1-7, 2005-
The Dip
Learn about the next step in the bronze casting process – the dip.

March 8-15,2005-
The Metal Pour

Students learn about • 
The Bronze Casting Process

March 16-April 11, 2005-
Putting the Metal Together

April 12-May, 2005-
Correcting the Metal

May 2005-
Completion of the Newsboy Sculpture

The newsboy sculpture is complete.

May 8 2005
Newsboy Life Size Editions.

Learn about the editions of the newsboy number one and two.

November 29, 2006
The Newsboy Placed

Bridgette visits Austin Texas and sees her sculpture installed. It is her first time seeing it.

November 28, 2006
Another Life-Size Newsboy To Be Created

For $20,000 the artist sells reproductions of the newsboy. Another paper has purchased a newspaper. They are going to pay the extra $2,000 to have the newsboy headline changed to something of their liking.

December 7, 2006
Another Order For a Small Newsboy

For $1,350 plus shipping Bridgette sends the small newsboys to newspapers all over the country. It makes a great gift for a recognition of accomplishment.

January 12, 2007
A New Life Size Newsboy

See number two in the edition of the bronze newsboy at the foundry in bronze.

May 2005- Present-
The Life Size Limited Edition

The placement of the first in the edition of ten life-size bronze Newsboys and the remaining sculptures as purchased complete with their headlines changed to reflect times in history.

March 23, 2007
Artist Carves History In Bronze

A press release about how sculptor Bridgette Mongeon has a limited edition bronze sculpture in which she creates headlines in her bronze newspaper that match her clients inspiration.

May 21, 2007
An Update on Number Two in the Edition of The Life Size Newsboy Bronze

The artist is honored that the headline for number two in the edition for this paper winning the Pulitzer for their fight against the KKK.

November 27, 2007
Newsboy Goes to Canada

Often people will purchase the small newsboy figurine for awards. Learn about the story of the O’Brien family and their contribution to the industry in this post.

May 19, 2009
It Is Getting Moldy Around Here- LOL

Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon searches for all of the molds of the newsboy to send to the foundry.

May 22, 2009
Body Parts About The Studio

June 12, 2009
Wax Newspapers

Bridgette changes the paper that the newsboy holds to reflect a paper in the history of each collector.

July 10, 2009
Newsboy Commemorates Journalism … Again!

Number three in the edition is sold. This time the newsboy will sell his papers in the North West.

July 21, 2009
The Newsboy Will Ship in The Morning!

The sculpture for the Tri-City Herald ships to Kennewick, Washington. Of course the artist changed the paper.

July 17, 2009
What is a Metal Check?

Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon travels to the foundry. She repeats what she has done so many times before.

Sept 5, 2009
Recent Media on The Newsboy Sculpture

A Third Newsboy is Placed in Kennewick WA

September 5, 2009
Television Coverage of the Unveiling of the Newsboy Sculpture

Unfortunately the link was removed as of May 2020.

Recent Media on The Newsboy Sculpture

‘Newsboy’ sculpture unveiled

By Dori O’Neal, Herald staff writer -September 4, 2009

When it comes to hawking newspapers, the first thing most people think of is the paperboy from yesteryear.

You know the one. He sported a Gatsby hat and wool knickers and stood on street corners waving the latest edition while hollering, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

The Downtown Kennewick Merchants Association thought the same thing and paid homage to that historic newsboy by adding its latest public sculpture — aptly titled Newsboy — to the corner of Dayton Street and Kennewick Avenue.

The unveiling was Thursday and kicked off Kennewick’s monthly art walk festivities.

The 4-foot-tall bronze was created by artist Bridgette Mongeon of Texas. She has two other similar newsboy sculptures on display in Austin, Texas, and in North Carolina, said Tim Dalton, executive director of the merchants association.

“We wanted to add a piece of public art like this to our collection because of the historic aspect the newspaper has played here for many, many years,” Dalton said.

The statue is a block south of the Tri-City Herald which has been in downtown Kennewick since 1948, when it moved into a former cannery.

The sculpture depicts a young man holding a newspaper high over his head. The newspaper’s flag reads “Tri-City Herald” above the top story about a Grapefest celebration.

“Grapefest started in 1910,” Dalton said. “It’s not the most continuous festival in the Tri-Cities but it is the oldest so it seemed appropriate to have it be the lead story on the newspaper.”

Several dozen people gathered Thursday for the unveiling as Mark Blotz, president of the downtown association, touted the volunteerism that went into the planning of the project.

Nicole Stewart, 33, lives across the street from the sculpture’s new home and likes the idea of having a piece of art to look at from her kitchen window each day.

“It’s truly awesome,” she said. “Not many places offer this kind of outdoor art.”

Brothers Daxton, 6, and Clayton Doty, 11, thought the sculpture was cool, but didn’t find it inspiring enough to sign up for a paper route, they said.

The sculpture cost $22,000. About $10,000 was raised by the merchant association through fundraisers. The Herald donated $3,500 with several businesses and private citizens donating the rest, Dalton said.

Blotz hopes to see every corner in downtown Kennewick with a piece of public art one day. The downtown area now has eight pieces.

“To have one on every corner would be wonderful,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

The Newsboy Will Ship in The Morning!

Today was the day that we put color on the life-size newsboy sculpture that is headed to Kennewick, Washington. As I mentioned, the shipping company is picking it up in the morning.

The color on a bronze is referred to as the Patina. This sculpture has a traditional patina.

The client asked to see all of the papers that we created representing the Tri City Herald. There are some under the newsboys arm, one in his right hand and a stack at his feet. All have the headline and masthead of the client’s newspaper.

Upon arriving the sculpture has been sand blasted. It looks less shiny than it did when we were here just last week. The sculpture, once sand blasted is ready to receive the patina.

To create the patina the foundry man first heats up the sculpture and then sprays and brushed on different chemicals. He will rub back areas that are supposed to be lighter. I like to alternate color, shoes dark, socks light, pants dark, shirt light etc. Though once placed outdoors the traditional patina will continue to darken. The foundry puts a protective coat of lacquer on the sculpture one the entire patina is complete.

I’m including some close ups of the detail in the shoe. Yes, it is a sculpted shoe. And my signature and copyright on the piece is in the inside of the newspaper that the young man is holding under his arm. Of course there are other things in the newspapers that carry a story, but that is for another post.

Tomorrow the sculpture is crated and shipped. I can’t wait to see the newsboy placed.

What is a Metal Check?

In the very last stage of the foundry process the foundry will call me in for a metal check. I go over the sculpture looking for any imperfections in the metal and marking them with a marker. Of course the Foundry does a wonderful job. Miguel is a great worker and I trust him with my work implicitly. But I still give a once over. The next step is to patina or color the metal. That is scheduled for Tuesday and then the sculpture is off to Kennewick Washington through my shipping company. In 6-8 working days it will be there. Here are some photographs from today’s visit. One of the best workers in the foundry industry Miguel and his boss and owner of Fine Arts Foundry of Texas, Scott Yoast.

Newsboy Commemorates Journalism…Again!

Another life-size newsboy bronze has been sold! You may remember it started with “Dusty” in Austin, Texas, and Then “Billy” in Tabor City, North Carolina. Now another young boy will be hawking papers in the North West. The third in the edition of 10 has been sold to the historical town of Kennewick, Washington Delivery of this third newsboy is expected in August. We have been working on him diligently and thought I would show the progress.

The Foundry is working diligently to get this young man together for shipping to Washington. Legs have been chased and put together, as well as upper torso. A few more pieces to weld together then it is off to Patina. Looks like we are inline with our delivery date. So exciting. I can’t wait to see him installed.

Wax Newspapers!

One of the things that needs to be prepared for the life size newsboy to go into bronze, is his newspapers. I offer, for an additional cost, a change of the masthead and above the fold headline. That means my client can recreate any headline in history. That is really cool when you think about it. What it entails for me is to carve all of these papers. Now,  I could carve one and make a mold, but frankly that is almost as much trouble as carving the entire paper. Here is how I changed the first newspaper for the second one in the edition that went to the Tabor City Tribune. The paper is covered in wax and then the new headline will be hand carved. Now all of this would be o.k. if it were just one paper. But the newsboy holds one in his right hand, a bunch were tucked under his left hand, and there are a pile by his feet. So basically I have to recreate at least three papers.

Of course the rest of the waxes also need to be cleaned. This is usually done by the foundry, but I like working my waxes and adding detail. The waxes are made from molds and where the molds come together there is often a seam of wax. Of course you also need to be sure that all of the pieces go together. It is much easier to put together waxes than it is metal.

ight: 240px;” src=”” alt=””>Information on purchasing
a Newsboy – Life-Size or Figurine

Body Parts About The Studio

Yes, it is once again time to have body parts about the studio. What you are looking at are the newsboy waxes. It is hard to believe that in just a few weeks these will be put together to look like the bronze below. The next newsboy sculpture in the edition number 3 is being purchased. More details on that later. meanwhile- pass the word more are available and we can personalize the newspaper to represent a newspaper in history. Maybe your newspaper? We did this for the Tabor City Tribune adding the interesting story behind the Ku Klux Klan.

It is Getting Moldy Around Here -LOL!

Molds, molds everywhere. Every time I create a sculpture, a mold is made for it to go to bronze. Usually I have the rights to pour more than one mold and so, I end up with many heavy cumbersome molds around the studio. Since we had the accident in the roof in the shed, these will sit right here. And we also need to build a loft to store these on. Oh my, not something else on my list of things to do.