For the past month I have been spending more time thinking about processes and techniques than I have been sculpting on my own works. There are bucket loads of ideas worming around in my little head and popping out when I least expect it; at night as soon as I hit the lights, on the toilet, when someone is talking to me. It is odd to most people, but I’m sure this is what all artists deal with-getting ideas out of nowhere. I do go through dry spells and I feel that it is natural, but I’m learning how to get out of them as they sometimes scare me: “what if I grow old and this is it, no more ideas” or “so this is what happened to Bernini when he got older”. I’m determined to never let that happen! It is a promise to the universe that I’ve made-I will always have new ideas for sculpture. Period. So rethinking my processes and techniques is only to better serve the ideas and get them out there. The areas that are in need of major adjustments for me are armature building and reference materials. I have found that if I have all of that at hand I can usually go through a piece relatively quicker and achieve a high quality sculpture. If I don’t have enough reference material or if I have questions I am tremendously slowed down and sometimes the sculpture will sit for way too long. Example: I started a sculpture over 10 years ago “Violinist” (not “Paganini”, this was way before that) and it still sits in a storage shed in California! When I see it, I get very sad! I wish there was time as I would like to destroy it. The problems I ran into on that are deeper than I could fix, I had used sulfur based clay (which inhibits rubber mold making), the rebar armature was when I was learning to weld and has weak welded joints and it was a poorly planned out sculpture where I didn’t make a small maquette first to work out bad angles, etc. 10 years later, I’ve made improvements in my sculpture (I don’t use sulfur clays, I’ve learned how to tig weld and I make small clay studies before starting large pieces). However, there are still areas to improve that would make sculpting go much quicker and give a better end result. I recognize that I would like to have a variety of small aluminum armatures handy and ready to position and add clay to. Having these would allow me to jump right in a piece if I feel inspired to do so. This leads me to the second improvement I want to make, having all necessary reference photos printed and organized by sculpture. I’ve created a folder in my filing cabinet called “New Sculpture” and have been looking through photos I’ve taken of models, of myself, in different poses from all angles that I will print and put in their like a waiting line at the liquor store on a Saturday night. The reference photos answer many questions for me as a sculptor and are very important to keeping the piece fresh and alive-at least in my minds eyes. These two things are key to me producing more sculptures and I hope to finalize my thoughts on this soon so I can get back to creating clay people and more interesting blog posts!
You are here: / / #23 evaluating my processes and techniques