It's an incredibly emotional exerience (especially if you're me) to cut a piece apart and begin the mold process.
It is never again in its original form - to me, unfired clay is the most beautiful state/phase of a sculpture. There is something about the way it reflects light that feels so much like skin.
Beginning the mold process is the end of its evolution. The sculpture is done becoming, so to speak.
So there is a saying goodbye to that part of the process. Cutting the piece apart is painful, but necessary.
Analizing how I was going to make the mold was the first part. I had to cut off the arms and then a leg, which ultimately I wish I hadn't. Here are some pictures...
The mold process goes through many stages; parting lines - silicone rubber, reinforcing with cabosil and rubber, burlap, and finally a plaster jacket- or mother mold.
Alberto measuring and mixing the silicone and the catalyst.
A rubber mold holds all the detail of the clay original and I can use it to cast her in whichever material I choose. That will come next...
I've shared the process of sculpting a piece for the first time ever. It's been an intense process over a long period of time, interspersed with many other things in my life- exhibitions, commissions, teaching... It's hard to say when a piece is finished. But in this case, the clay is telling me it is.
Many other sculptors think I'm crazy for working with water-based clay for this reason: the working time is finite, but so be it. I hate chavant, and plasteline, and classic clay (all oil based options that sculptors insist I try.) If I didn't I could work on this sculpture forever. I wouldn't be running into shrinking and drying issues and wrapping with plastic and so on. But its kind of nice to know it has a somewhat natural end.
My dear friend, Jonathan Bickart, came over and worked with me on her hair last Saturday, gave me some unbelievable wisdom. Thank you Johnathan.
In any case, here are parting shots of Sara. Mold begins next weekend.
In the Studio
Since January Sara has come a long way although I am only able to work with her a few hours a week- mostly on Saturdays and Sundays, as she is the most loved and in demand model in LA. The clay is starting to tell me I'm finished, whether I like it or not. I'm not sure what material I am going to cast it in yet, and ultimately my goal is to work with elements of it. In other words, this is not the final piece just part of the process...
The Picture Cultural Art Center
I just received news that my work has been accepted for The Picture Cultural Art Center's show Love, Faith, Shame, Hope. I don't have all the details yet, but the venue is on the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus in Carson. The Opening Reception will either be the week of April 25 or the week of May 5. I'll post an update soon! This sculpture of Amy & Ruby is dear to me. Amy modeled for a number of sculptures, including one of the Lifesize Pieces of Women I Love. I followed her life (and her body) through her pregnancy and birth, and am honored to call her my friend. It's perfect that this particular piece was selected under the category of LOVE for this show. Thank you Amy.