How Do We Start?

The crockpots that heat up my clay and double boiler holding the wax are both turned on. First time for the new year.

For those of you interested in the process of sculpting here is how we are beginning on this new sculpture commission.

First I searched around for an inexpensive cowboy hat to use with the new commission. It will be covered with wax and clay to thicken it up enough to cast in bronze. I didn’t want to buy a good new expensive one. I Found this hat at Fiesta grocery store.

Portrait busts by Bridgette Mongeon

The armature that I use for this project is purchased from the ceramic store in Houston Texas

I covered the armature with a plastic bag and then sprayed some spray foam into the bag. This is the kind that is used for insulation purposes and you can get at Lowes or Home Depot. It is messy to work with and the bag holds it somewhat in place. The next day I have to cut away some of the plastic bag so that the foam can cure. This foam gives me a lightweight structure for the clay. Once the foam is cured I can shape the head, as you see it now. Before I will put clay on this I will coat the entire thing with wax. This is done to keep all of grit from the foam out of my clay. I am a nut about that. I hate gritty clay! Florencia, my apprentice has helped me a great deal with all of this. She has put the put the wax on and the clay.

Now we begin our dance of me coming in the evening and making a mess while I sculpt and she coming in and smoothing out areas of the sculpture and cleaning up after me. Today she asked me, “just what do you do in here at night.” As she was picking up my mess. I guess I am focused and don’t really notice until either I am done for the evening or my tools become buried in scraps of clay.

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