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Sculpting Demo
Sculpting:  From Concept to Reality

Coming up with the pose. 

The hardest step in sculpting is coming up with the idea of what I want to create.  Once the idea has been formed, I need to create a visual of how I want the sculpture to be posed.  I usually use either a drawing or photograph to create a visual that the sculpture is based off of.

Here is a picture of one of the loves in my life, my daughter, helping me come up with the pose that I want for the sculpture
Sculpting - starting out

Materials used

Basically the sculpture starts out with an armature.  An armature is a wire frame of the sculpture.  Once the sculpture is laid out with wire, I then wrap the wire with aluminum foil. Aluminum foil is used to reduce the cost of the clay. I predominantly sculpt a polymer clay called Super Sculpey.  Super Sculpey has a nice feel to it and really holds details well.            

Sculpting materials

Things starting to take shape

Here is a side view of the sculpture (left side)

In this stage you can start to see the basic form of the sculpture taking shape.  Once all of the basic shapes are in place, I will start to work on the details.

Sculpting - taking shape

Front view

In the front view of this picture you can see two wires coming out of the back of the sculpture.  The wires will later be used to support the angel's wings.        

Sculpting - front view

Right side view

Yet another angle to view the beginning stages of the sculpture

Sculpting - right side view

Adding detail

Now for the fun part.  Since the basic shape in place I now begin to work on the detail.  This is my favorite part of sculpting.  The details really bring the sculpture to life.

Sculpting - adding detail

More detail

In this picture additional detail has been applied to the baby's blanket and the angel's shoulders.

Sculpting - more detail

Shoulder detail

The side view in this photo shows the shoulder detail.

Sculpting - shoulder detail

Baking the sculpture

The next stage from here is to add the wings.  Before I add the wings, I will bake the sculpture to preserve the detail work that I have been working on. 

I bake the sculpture for around 30 minutes at 220 degrees for every 1/4 inch of clay.  (Remember that the sculpture is mainly made up of aluminum foil.)

Sculpting - baking the sculpture

Starting the wings

Now it is time for our Guardian Angel to start looking like an angel.  I will start by wrapping the wire (for the wings) with aluminum foil.  Another advantage of the aluminum foil is that sometimes the clay does not stick well to the wire.  By adding aluminum foil I can easily apply the clay to my armature.

Sculpting - starting the wings

Working on the wings

A thin layer of clay is now applied over the aluminum foil.

Sculpting - working on the wings

Adding feathers

Each feather is individually added to the wings.  A thin wire (floral wire) is inserted into the feather to allow me to manipulate the shape of the feather.

Sculpting - adding feathers

Basic wing shape

Starting to look like wings now!

Sculpting - basic wing shape

Wing detail

Here I am starting to detail the wings.  Again this is my favorite part.  The details really change the feel of the sculpture.

Sculpting - Wing detail

Additional wing detail

Now that the back is done it is time to start working on the front.

Sculpting - Additional wing detail

Finished sculpture

Here is a picture of the finished sculpture. 

Additional work will be made if I decide to put this angel into production.  A mold will have to be made from which individual cast will be created.  Due to the complexity of this sculpture, I will most likely have to contract a master mold maker to make the mold and individual cast.  The process of putting a sculpture into production is a very expensive and tedious job but well worth the expense and efforts in the end.

By the time this project was finished, it took a little over 100 hours to complete this sculpture.

Sculpting - finished sculpture

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August 22, 2017, 10:33 am