Friday, June 29, 2012

How I am working now

The weather is terrible at the moment. It's cold dark windy and rainy. Starting with a cube I came to where I have planned and stop.

I've been using the heavy three pound lump hammer and the large point. Now I'm using the light point and the one and half pound iron lump hammer. 

Drawing on one of the A4 photos.  I'm doing it in bed.
 I photograph the stone from all angles - front stone face, left front corner, left stone face, left back corner, etc. and from above. Then I put the photographs on the computer and print them out at A4. As they come from the printer, I take each one and study it, and with a 7B pencil mark the places where I plan to remove the stone. I line up the photos three in a row e.g. front  stone face, front left corner, left face and double check they “agree”. 

Then I return to the stone an mark where I plan to remove. Also I make another mark on each original face which I have kept, never cut near the base, as it is so easy to lose our way on the stone. It could say front, left, back, right, en each face of the stone at the base.

Drawiing on the photos again.  This time in my armchair.
I have been marking with charcoal. It makes the stone grey and dirty looking, but it shows up well. I wash it off occasionally. I also use watercolour and as I'm carving two figures together I painted one figure green and the other yellow to remind me how they fitted together.

This pic shows the clothing and the charcoal marks on the stone.
I am now getting the basic shapes the sculpture looks like it's created with sheep's wool, i.e very bumpy. I will need to work into it creating a smoother finish using chisels then files then abrasive paper, I have rifflers and a new sort of file that looks like a file covered in metal crumbs and I'm getting new tools tomorrow.

Clothing: I've got a gas-man's type overall navy drill and bib and braces, heavy toe shoes. I've not got steel toe cap boots. Need some! I wear a glove in my chisel holding (right) hand and goggles that can go over the specs if you need both. Plus an old anorak and leather beret. (I am left handed).

Tools: Just a point and a hammer. Now chisels, then files and rifflers rat-tail file, abrasive paper in several grades so they can be whittled down to size and also smoothness. I'll leave the hair thicker than the faces and work into it with waves and texture. I want the heads to grow from the neck at the correct angle so I am studying anatomy constantly and looking at little children and how their anatomy differs. I want the total shape of the sculpture to 'speak'. That was there from the start. I don't want to lose it. There's a sweep up from the boy's left shoulder up past his ear to the top of his head, another from the same shoulder down his left arm joining the girls shoulder. Their heads rest together.

I've studied he skeleton of the back, I will be interested in the facial carving, must be even, how to do the eyes, get the head seated on the neck evenly comfortably, inclined slightly the hands softly relaxed not claw like or parrot hands resting gently. The swing of the boy's back, the swirl of the girl's skirt the calm boy's expression, the delighted smile on the girl. Some aspects lost in the stone. All rising from the base, which is still almost a square without corners, but the areas of untouched stone face have gone. The drilled hole for fixing should have been done with the masonry bit on Black and Decker in the centre of the base plate for fixing to the plinth, All this before the face details are done or a nose may break off!

Finally a picture of the stone as it is tonight.  I have just begun work with the file.

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