Every piece of art has a process. The same set of steps completed in the same order. With my statues, they all start out with the same number of strips of clay that forms their bodies. No matter who is being sculpted, male or female, they all start out with the same body shape. I extrude their arms with my clay extruder. No matter how many statues I’m working on, all their arms get cut at the same time and shaped the same way, one end gets pinched and shaped into a hand, then gently rolled narrow to thicker where the shoulders would be, this gives an overall hand, wrist, arm shape. Once the arms are shaped, before they are attached, I shape and flesh out the bodies. This is where they usually are made either male or female.
As I sculpt, I begin to get a good clear idea of what they are going to look like in my head. And if I need to sculpt additional embellishments like horns, buckets, vases, etc. These will be sculpted and pre-baked a bit before assembling it onto the actual sculpture.
If I am working on multiple pieces at the same time, I will quickly sketch my ideas down in a small notebook so I don’t forget what is going on. This is also the point where I work on any small details that I need, whether it’s adding a skirt, or texture. These sort of details are easier to apply without a pair of arms dangling in the way. That’s not to say that there aren’t times I just attach the arms because there really isn’t a clear direction yet. At that point, I just work around the arms.
As the details are added, the statue’s persona is fleshed out. I also decide what sort of extra elements I’m adding, whether sea shells, rhinestones or mica powders until it’s time to bake. After it’s baked and cooled, the extra details are added with paint. I use acrylic paint for this step and once it’s dried, I’ll seal it.
That is a quick over view of my process. It is much more involved though. A single piece can take well over 8 hours to sculpt alone.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments below!