Sculpture 101

This last semester I finally had to fulfill the 3D requirement for my art degree. I was very excited to take a sculpture class. I had always wondered how sculptors could replicate people and things so perfectly in clay. Of course, we learned that a good sculpture, even if it is shooting for realism cannot be just a copy of a real form. Sculpture interprets just like drawing or painting. If you want an exact copy of something, you can have a 3D printer do that for you. There are techniques used in sculpture that flout realism for the sake of aesthetics, but the viewer accepts them because they feel better than the truth.

Anyways. The piece above is a plaster cast made from a silicone mold. The original sculpture was made of clay, and then we made molds so that we could make endless copies in plaster!

This project was very different than what I was used to at this point. We had to assemble a "mask" from found objects. It had to look like it was a face first and foremost, and the fact that it is compiled from a bunch of random junk had to be secondary. I think I accomplished the goals fairly well. I call him,

The Barbarian King.

 Here we created non-representational sculptures from vermiculite and plaster "blocks". We poured wet plaster and vermiculite into bags and let them dry in various positions to create the different "blocks".

Mr. Voltaire here among other fine historical men, taught us basically to sculpt what we see. We went around the room sculpting various masks for more than three weeks. When we finished one, we tore it down and moved on to the next one with the same clay. I ended with Voltaire here. We then fired the clay and learned to put a patina on it, which I think looks quite nice. 

 More head studies in class. That's my professor on the right. :)

This is my final sculpture from a live model. This poor guy had to come into our classroom for three, maybe it was even for days, 3 hours a day and sit and spin on his chair every minute as we sculpted his head. It was the best clay likeness I had done to that point, so I was pretty proud of it. I was going to have it fired, but then I realized....

"I have no room to keep any of the sculptures."

So after finals week I hauled them all to the dumpster and chucked 'em in. Except for Steven here, his head has most likely been recycled into someone else's clay sculpture by now. Oh, and I kept the fish. My sister wanted the fish. But hey, I have the photographs! So, no harm done.