Started new term of sculpture course and new fellow students. Great to get to know new folk. I'm not too much of a total novice, because I have sculpted - in clay and balsawood - before, but I wanted to do more, get more experience.
This week we've started on paper clay and made a base using rolled out paper clay covered in hessian squares dipped in liquid clay to give it strength. Pictured is the clay 'thingie' I sculpted last term. I've never had that amount of clay to play with before - whoopee! Don't ask what it is - I don't know either. It was supposed to be a garden sculpture influenced by Henry Moore, but it organically went it's own way and ended up with an Aztec look about it. The aim was to produce a plaster mould from it, so I had to first decide on a centre point (hah!) of my not symetrical thingie, then halve it with shims (v thin small metalic squares). Then mix a load of plaster, then chuck it at the sculpture before the plaster hardens. Well, not quite chuck, but plaster the plaster on one side of the thingie, allow it to dry, then do t!he same to the other.
Then - you gotta remove the clay thingie from inside, which involves cracking the plaster mould open and wrenching the whole thing apart...c-r-a-c-k... without breaking too much mould (fat chance). Then...you scrape the clay from the mould with your fingernails, then bind both halves of mould together and fill with ciment fondu (yes - ciment fondu).
Then you - or in this case, Husband - humsp the whole bloody great lump home, ignoring the silence of the college receptionist who stares at it. 'That's not it.' I say. 'It's what's inside.' She chuckles. 'Ahh...I didn't like to say!' Husband gave himself a hernia getting it inside the house. I finally cracked the plaster off and 'Boo!' there it was. My sculpture thingie. It'll go in the garden and get overgrown with weeds so we don't have to look at it ever again.