I started with my sitting where I took measurements and photographs. If I am working with children then I spend lots of time playing with them while we do this. It is also important that with children I am sure of their good time of the day. With this commission I don’t have those stipulations.
My apprentice helps me by putting clay on a wire armature. I am using a water base clay. I love the feel of this clay and it has so many advantages compared to the wax based clay, but, it will dry out if not kept wet. It can also sag. That is why I use the other types of clay on sculpture that will be around a while.
The measurements help me to get the size of the person. I have reduced my subject 90%. If a portrait bust is going in an average size room it is better to reduce it or it will look monstrously large. There will also be a bit more shrinkage as this is going to the foundry and that process also has a bit more shrinkage.
slowly you can see the sculpture begin to morph into a person. If I am not mistaken is also has some emotion. Relationships are all about intimacy and I think that with my research into creating posthumous portraits and with art and emotion I realize I become intimate with the piece. It is funny but looking at the pictures of us together you can “feel” that intimacy.
Still I search for my subject. Who are you? What part of you do your children want me to capture? There is a camaraderie between my clay, the muses and myself. A ritualistic dance to find the hidden soul.
There are two sizes of portrait busts just below the shoulders and more chest. More chest will cost more money in bronze. I can not seem to get away from it though. My subject reminds me a lot of the B. B. King sculpture and sitting. They both have wide shoulders. To cut my subject just below the shoulders seems to decrease who he is. Like B’ they both seem to have that emotional stature. I have decided to continue with a larger bronze and see what my client thinks. I can always show the client,” we can cut it here.” I’ll post more later.
I think I also love my clients handerchief coming out of the pocket. To get down that far is costly, but we will see.
I have had to stop until I get more clay. 50lbs later. Oh yes, with the wax based clay it is reusable, but the water base clay is not.