Monday, 22 February 2010

There's a new man in my life...

Yeah, I thought that might get your attention! Meet Fred, he's my new man...

Fred very kindly allowed me to wrap his head in clay at 4 O'clock this morning. It had to be 4am, because, y'know, that's when inspiration strikes isn't it?

I've been wanting to make clay head sculptures for the longest time. In fact, I made one at school about... umm... 20 something years ago. Unfortunately that was before the days of camera phones so I have no photo's of that.

Keith Phillips from Mudstuffing Sketchbook has been working on the same thing, with stunning results. His inspiration came from the DVD series of Philippe Faraut. There are some little clips of the DVD's on the web page, and from what I saw, the instruction looks excellent. Unfortunately, those little clips were all I had to go on since I can't afford the DVD's at the moment and I'm not even sure if they are available in the UK.

I put off making a start for a few hours because I didn't really have the right tools - I don't have a dowel to put the head on, and what's that interesting tool they use for the eyes? Plus I wasn't sure if I had enough clay, but that restless feeling got too intense and I just had to make a start.

Here Fred's head looks like some sort of strange patchwork football head! I've re-watched the little clip on the website and I see now that it was all going wrong right from the start! His head should have been more like a light bulb!

I should have taken more photo's as I progressed with the piece, but to be honest I wasn't confident that I was follwing Faraut's instructions right. I didn't seem to be able to get the head shape right. I added the "cap" of clay at the back, which I think was too small for the size of the head, and I kept pressing down on the top of the head to steady it while I worked, which has obviously flattened the top of the head. The result is this strange looking being...

I have faith that I can pull it back though and make something semi-reasonable. The good news is that the person I am making is a strange looking creature anyway! Now there's a clue!

At this point I'm not worrying about the shoulders at all. They're there really just to support the rest of the piece, and will be corrected later. The eyes look too high, but that is probably just because the head is so flat on the top! The nose isn't very big, but this person has a tiny nose! Lot's of clues there!

Oh, what the heck, why not have another giveaway? A tile of your choice for the first person to guess who it is! (And no, it's not Fred! That's just a working title!)

PS. Linda, I'm sorry you haven't received your tiles yet, I just haven't got round to going to the post office! They'll be on there way very soon!


Trudy Callan said...

Hi. I am Emily of Super Stitches', mom. Nice to meet you.

I love your sculptures. I am very impressed.

My art blog is and my sewing blog is

Kathy L said...

I am way off I know but at this point it looks like President Barack Obama? OK you can laugh now...

Undaunted said...

Hi there Trudy! Thanks for popping over to my blog. I had a little look at your blog the other day - I like your "what I'm wearing" photo's, you look so glamarous! And what a fabulous Mum you must be! Your daughter is so talented for a 9 year old! I think it's good for kids to have more to do than just playstation, facebook and telly! Good for you!

Hi there Kathy! Actually that's not a bad guess at all, they both have a pretty big chin! And it might end up looking like him anyway! At this point, I'd be happy for him to look like anybody!!

MudStuffing Pottery said...

Hi Linda, great progress! I swear that series of DVDs helped my sculptures tenfold. I know they are pricy but well worth it. One thing he does that helped my was his paper 'armature' is very minimal, most all of it is mass amounts of clay. This helps you be bale to push and pull features around to adjust them proportionaly. He then slices the whole thing in half and hollows it out. I was crazy nervous about doing this the first time, but it's not so back if you let the piece sit under wraps for a day or so before slicing. Good luck!


Undaunted said...

Hey Keith! Thank you so much for popping by, I was hoping you would.

Yeah, I realise now that I was going wrong from the start. I wondered why his armature was so small! There I was thinking I could save clay by starting with a big paper head!!

When you say "slice in half" do you mean from ear to ear, over the top of the head?

Thanks for the advice - I really need it! Any input you can give is really appreciated.

JafaBrit's Art said...

That's really coming along and what a challenge, but I bet its so going to be worth it.

Undaunted said...

I really really hope so Jafabrit! Thank you!