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Foray into clay sculpture

Years ago, I purchased a few packets of air dry clay. Never had a chance to use them though.  It is hard to spend a few hours of daylight time playing with clay, uninterrupted, with two little children and their fast hands flying about your workplace.  Then I saw this pretty sculpture at my friend’s house.  Such smooth lines and elegant simplicity, I can almost hear her snobbish words dripping sarcastically from those trout lips!

The Lady with the Lips inspired me to finally scrape together my courage and a few nights ago, I opened one of the packets.  It was actually still workable, remarkable for something I bought almost 9 years ago!  The terracotta clay by Jovi was in fact, almost too soft for my liking.  It flopped about a bit.  Obviously, I will have to experiment more with armature and other delightful support mechanisms.

Here is my first attempt at a face:

I think this looks more like a death mask of someone very old and very ill, lol, but at least I managed to get some of the propertions right.  The clay was drying out very fast and I had a lot of little dried bits sticking to the main portion when I worked with it.  I kept a stiff bristle brush in a little bowl of water and every so often, I’d brush over the face to keep the clay moist.  I had a lot of fun modelling the nose.  Especially as I was scheduled to have septoplasty done on Thursday, 10 November.  Fortunately for me, the surgery was successful and my nose hopefully looks a lot better than the death mask’s nose!

I had half a packet of clay left and could not decide what to sculpt with it.  It was getting late, my hands were icky with dry clay and I’d had enough of the floppy stuff.  So I looked at my crumbly fist and decided to give a go of copying it.  Here’s my “fist of clay”:

It was a very interesting experience to try and capture the angles of the finger bones and the knuckles.  I think I managed to get the finger lengths right.  The clay was too soft to make a hand resting on a wrist, it just kept on collapsing.  So, I decided not to fight it and just let it rest on the base as it wanted to.  They are curing right now.  The weather has cooled down and the humidity is stable.  I hope they don’t crack too much in the drying process.