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This is a bizarre wall sculpture that I did back a few years ago after photographing a cloud formation that got my attention one bright spring day.
The more that I stared at the photo this was the dominant image that kept coming to me. This is a great method for shaking up the creative juices when looking for a starting place for a particular art project.
One day, totally out of the blue, I had an idea that I wanted to play around with so I started sculpted a really large face. Before I finished, I didn't like what I had did so I began tearing away clay and to make a long story short, I ended up with this final design in which I fabricated a one off fiberglass casting. I hung this mask up for a while before I eventually sold it. I miss seeing it around ... thinking about doin' another similar one sometime in the near future. Bizarre sculpture? Yeah it is but considering the sculptor ... quite fitting.
I sure hope that you weren't expecting a discussion about why a sculptor creates dark sculptures. All that I can say about it personally is that it feels cleansing. Besides that, it's just another day in my demented, tortured world ... Why can't everyone be this happy?
I have to do this little creative sculpture technique every now and then to keep everything balanced. I create a wall sculpture (or any other type of sculpture) and then destroy it. The lesson supposed to teach me to learn to let go of my sculpted creations without getting too attached. This is something that I have heard certain sculptors discussing before in sculpture forums and this is one of the better actions to take to remedy that mindset. For this exercise I simply fastened a few 4" thick foam squares to my relief board with a general idea of what I wanted to create, which was, at a minimum, a larger than life male head and torso wall sculpture and see how far that I could get in two hours.
Here is the end result after two hours. Understand that I am leaving out a great deal of in-between working time but the majority of time spent was taking large slabs of sculpting clay and jamming it all around the foam squares as I 'fleshed out' my form.
I came back later that night and took this photo before I tore it down. I have to admit that I really wasn't pleased by the destruction but I know that it's a necessary evil that produces, I believe, better sculpted art works down the road.
It's an amazing facet of creative thinking where we begin with an idea that eventually materializes in a completely different way than we had originally imagined. I had started a sculpture where I wanted to explore the facial traumas that professional fighters endure for their chosen sport.
As I got further into the work however, I suddenly, and unexpectedly, changed direction and decided to parallel how politics, religion, the media, etc, etc, ad nauseum, attempts to control our thinking, day in and day out, by showing us the images and the stories that they think we should see or hear. What better way to expand on that idea than showing a device securely strapped over a head, which severely restricts our ability to hear and see, and that effectively silences our freedom of speech?
Even though I had never sculpted anything similar to this before, doing this garden art statuary bust was strangely cathartic for me. You may or may not agree with my thinking on this but you have to admit that mounting a casting of this head in your flower bed would forever protect you from evil spirits and create a very special garden decor aura all your own.
You may even attract a little attention from your neighbors in the process.
I had received several requests for a gargoyle creature for the garden so I sculpted this figure out of sculpting wax, painted it to see what I had, and as shown above, began the process of creating a two part silicone mold and a fabricated fiberglass mother mold (not shown) for support. Here you can see that I have cleanly established the seam line by using Kleen Klay and wooden blocks for support.
In the photo above, I have applied the initial detail coat of silicone and made certain that all areas have been covered including a predetermined area surrounding the sculpture so that you will have a lip of rubber that aids in the proper alignment of the two halves. Two additional thicker coats of rubber will be applied to give you a strong enough mold for many castings.
Here you have the cured rubber mold lying in the fiberglass mother mold flipped over with the back part of the sculpture now facing up, ready to repeat the above process. When this has been completed holes will be drilled through the fiberglass and rubber lip and joined, now ready for casting.
When viewing sculpture, what most people are seeing are the final forms after the modeling clay has been sculpted. What several people have expressed their surprise over the most was the clay itself. It was as if there was just as big of a mystery surrounding the clay as much as the sculpture itself. Surprisingly, many people are not aware that sculpting or modeling clay comes in large slabs normally averaging 7-10 pounds per slab. The clay that I use exclusively is a personal formula that I use for everything. The detail that it is capable of holding is astounding. When completely cool it will produce very sharp edges if you should need that degree of detailing. It is priced at $2.50-$3.50 per pound, depending on weight, and is available for order at snarlingcrow.com
But what seems to be an even bigger mystery are the supports that holds the weight and helps the sculptor flesh out any particular form ... the sculpture armatures. Building armatures can be an art all by itself.When I undertake the building of a complex armature, I take almost as much pride in the armature as I do in the final sculpture.However, for the more simpler forms, the armatures still play an important function if you are sculpting with a material that needs help in keeping it's form.That's why I make an extremely rugged portrait head armature pictured above that I make available to my customers at snarlingcrow.com as well.
Beautifully designed hummingbird houses for home decor or garden placement.
These are wholesale items for those that would be interested in becoming sellers of a few of my selected sculptural creations. Please visit my Etsy Shop/SnarlingCrowStudiosfor more info about this item.
The sculpture above entitled "Heartbeat" was sculpted by Will Cox of Greenville, SC. Unfortunately, Mr. Cox passed away just prior to the completion of the castings of his pieces. I am going to show some of them here over the next few days as a tribute to him and his sculptural vision. I enjoyed working on these pieces, Will. I am certain that your family and friends are enjoying them today and that they bring many fond memories back to them of you on a daily basis. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work on them.
One of my customers, Alan Clement, from Raleigh, NC, who sculpts mostly portraits did this very smooth piece that we cast in plaster. It was one of my favorite pieces of his and I am not sure why. Maybe the stark whiteness of the plaster plays well with the design and creates a wedding of composition that draws me to it, no matter how often I look at it. To me, that is the true test of whether or not a sculpture is going to be right for any specific buyer.
Should you get the chance to look at the work of brickartist.com check it out. This guy uses only LEGO bricks to fashion his sculptures. Interesting to see what is possible when using only rectangular bricks.