The Hollowing of a Bust

After slicing off the crown of the head with a wire tool, you can see the clay of this portrait bust enrobes a center of crumpled newspaper on the armature.  I’ve set the crown aside and will keep it in tact so that it can be replaced later in the process. This portrait bust is larger than life, requiring about 50 pounds of water-based clay.

The newspaper has absorbed moisture from the clay so it tears apart easily. It  must be removed and the walls of the sculpture must be thinned. I use a ribbon tool to shave away clay from the inside walls.

Hollowing a portrait bust by Kim MarchesseaultSide cut by Kim MarchesseaultCut by Kim Marchesseault   

In the photos below, the sculpture is freed from its armature and placed on a wooden board. It is now hollow. About twenty five or thirty pounds of clay have been removed from the inside.

You see channels have been punched through. These are necessary only if the sculpture is to be fired. If you were to cast the sculpture, you could skip this step. The channels allow air and moisture to escape thick walls of clay during the heating process in a kiln. Without them, the sculpture is more likely to explode in the kiln. Channels by Kim Marchesseault

The outer surface of the clay is smoothed over, concealing the channels from the outside. The channels open toward the inside and will vent through the bottom of the sculpture.Channels by Kim Marchesseault

The model will sit for me one more time after the smoothing of the channels is complete.

Younger bust

Portrait by Kim Marchesseault Portrait by Kim Marchesseault

Here is the continuation of the previous portrait since I have changed models.  I learned a lot about the differences in the ages of faces by changing from an older woman in her fifties to a younger model of age fifteen. The area around the mouth in particular, the jaw line and they eye areas are so very different.  In a younger person, the eye sockets are more filled. The mouth is full. The muscles around the mouth are plump. The Jaw line is cleaner.

Teenagers are lazy! That’s the most important lesson. I have to wrestle this girl (my daughter) out of bed at two in the afternoon. She gets to sit there and read a book, but she’d prefer to lie down.

Sculpture Bust

oldportraitsmall1962 Here is the very beginning of a larger than life portrait bust in clay. I had about 2 hours with the original model and, even though I think it would have been very nice looking, because she is a beautiful woman, she is in her 50’s and I realized I wanted a more youthful face. In this picture I just pulled off the plastic and started reducing along the jaw line and making changes. …and now I have a new model!

My daughter is going to pose for this portrait. She works cheap and can read a book while I sculpt!

On to England

Hope Dolphins by Kim Marchesseault These dolphins are now making their way across the pond. After the maquette was approved, the sculpture was created in black clay, dried to leather hard, carved design according to the buyer’s specifications, spent quite some time drying, bisque fired, glazed, fired again, finished and now off to sea.

The word “hope” is carved into the bottom of the piece under the base. The glazed portion symbolizes armor.

I sure hope the new owner enjoys them.

Hope Dolphins

"Hope Dolphins" by Kim MarchesseaultI am  commissioned to sculpt a pair of dolphins with special meaning that will be given as a gift. They represent hope. One of the dolphins is slightly smaller and following behind a  larger dolphin."Hope Dolphins" by Kim MarchesseaultThese images are of the maquette for the final piece, which will be done in black clay.

"Hope Dolphins" by Kim Marchesseault

The sleeper

"The Sleeper" by Kim Marchesseault"The Sleeper" by Kim Marchesseault 1117 "The Sleeper" by kim Marchesseault1128 

Here’s a reclining male I recently finished sculpting. The model was fantastic. This piece is about 19 inches long.

The Good Dream

gooddreamflatsmall1107 gooddreamsmallflat1100 gooddreamsmallflat1103

This work can be seen in progress here: A Puncture Saves a Thousand Curves