Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A rabbit suit for Mr Messerschmidt

While the moulds for the frog prince doll are drying out I have been working on a plaster sculpture of a rabbit man. One day I'd like to make a whole man but for now I'll have to settle for a bust.

 I started by constructing an armature from polystyrene, wire and foam.


I had previously cast a face in plaster using a latex mould and embedded chicken wire in the back. I attached this to the armature then built up the plaster rabbit suit slowly.

I finished him off with a surform and then gave him a stippled finish.
For the last few days he has been keeping my mother company whilst dry out on her Aga.

The latex face mould was taken from a wall plaque which is a copy of one of the 'character heads' by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736 - 1783). He was a German sculptor who suffered dreadfully with mental health problems. His head sculptures (some of which are self-portraits) are amazingly modern looking. There are 64 of them. Some are comical but some are so raw and exposed and very powerful.

 I thought the poor man needed a rabbit suit to protect him. So I made him one..

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Big Frog Prince

Among the sculptures I photographed last week was the Frog doll who despite being covered in kisses had still not turned into a Prince.

Well, I have decided to try and make a life size porcelain Frog Prince doll. It's a bit rash as there's only 4 weeks till the assessment and I've never cast anything even half this size. But I've been thinking about it for a while now and I think I have to just get it out of my system.

I started a few of days ago by modelling a huge head in clay on the kitchen table.


 Then I moved outside and, over the next couple of days, I made a two part plaster mould of it.

I inserted pieces of plastic into the clay at the place where I wanted the mould to open.

Then I gradually built up the layers of plaster to make a 'splash mould'.

Finally I prised open the two pieces, removed the clay and left it in the sun to dry out.

It's very heavy and will take quite a while to dry out even in the sunshine. I will certainly need help when it comes to casting with the porcelain slip. I just hope it doesn't collapse in the kiln! I'm going to do the legs next. And don't all the daffodils look pretty outside the studio  (can't say the same for the inside).

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Car Booty

This morning I went to my first car boot sale of the year. The weather was glorious and it was lovely just mooching around for an hour or so. Besides some lovely tulips and some pots of blackberry and apple jam, I bought this charmingly odd little watercolour painting for £2.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Man trapped by small lump of clay!

      Couldn't resist showing you what this poor chap had to endure while I took a cast of his face.

Monday, 7 April 2014

More images from the photography studio

I spent more time in the UWE photography studio today. I don't think I've shown you these sculptures before. They are mostly from last semester. They are all made of high fired porcelain. The little figures have a stuffed fabric torso.

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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Photographing Sculptures

We had a session at uni recently on photographing our artwork. As a result I have started to use the photography studio to take pictures  of some of my sculptures on a black background which makes them look quite dramatic. These are all high fired porcelain. They are a rather random selection at the moment as they are the sculptures which happened to be on my shelf in the studio at uni.