I have been encouraged by a few people to make an instructional booklet and an ecorche (anatomical human body sculpture). Although I have never really taught sculpture I feel that it is something that I would like to do in the future. Many of my family members are teachers and I feel that it is in my blood and it would be selfish for me to go my whole life and not teach. What is it that I would like to help others with? Understanding the human body and art.
When I was a student at the Academy of Art we used to study cadavers at SFSU and my memory of this trip to the cadaver room is fairly vivid. There were about 30 dead bodies all on tables covered in a sheet. Our teacher, the sculptor and anatomist Thomas Marsh, would pull off the sheet to expose the dead body. Although a few people had to leave the room, most of the students were fascinated. To me it wasn’t a dead body. I saw muscles and bones and it all started to make sense having previously only seen pictures and illustrations of cadavers in a book. Seeing the muscles in the flesh (no pun intended) was pretty cool.
Years later I worked for a sculptor named Danielle Anjou. Danielle hired me to sculpt human bodies. That was all that I did, human body after human body. Working closely with her I cranked out about one figure every week and after about 2 years I did close to 60 sculptures for her (yeah, we added em up and I’m guessing I had quite a few slow periods as I should have completed about twice that). During that 2 year period I worked from only one ecorche. This ecorche was our prized possession and was huge in my growth as a sculptor and in understanding the human form. I think back on that time as yet another example of the importance studying anatomy was.
Although I have known for a long time the importance of understanding anatomy, it is only recently that I’ve noticed that I have the understanding to create one of these sculptures and accompanying booklet for others to learn from. It is now that I realize that all of my anatomy homework assignments were very instrumental in my understanding of the human body and understanding of the musculature (of which there is still SO much more to learn and I stress SO much more!).
I do not know when this anatomical sculpture will be ready, but I do plan on having it in the 2012 Loveland Sculpture Invitational. More photos to come in the coming weeks and months…