The Subject’s Clothes Make A Huge Difference
Last residency in April of 2006 I spent a great deal of time trying to find Dick. I met his step daughter Nancy and introduced myself. I asked her for photographs and tried to impress the importance of finding Dick’s clothes. Someone said I could find the most modest of clothes and that would work, but for me it would lack something, they would not be Dick’s. I think of each time I have received articles of clothing from the families that commission me. Examining the clothes has always been an important part of the commission process. The moments I spent with Patsy’s Dress and shoes, and Lucas’ shorts, shirt and sneakers, help me to“feel” something that somehow is translated into the clay.
The element of a person’s clothing also give me a concrete item to work from when I am trying to pull something from the abstract. I know how long a leg is by the length of the pants. With Patsy’s dress I was able to figure out measurements on her face and body from the space between the buttons on her dress.
I could compare this to photographs of her with the same dress and know her proportions. Ah, to have Dicks’ clothes and a photograph of him in those clothes; that would be the ultimate.
I have noticed that often the sculpture seems to grow from the feet upward. I can copy a shoe in clay exactly and then move on through the sculpture. Here is a picture is of the newsboy sculpture shoe, I added real brads to the clay and shoelaces.
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