As I told you in my last post I was going to work on a Pop art face cane. After I drew the sketch the look on her face made me think she had a sad look. This got me to thinking about a swap that I had signed up for. I had thought about molding an Egyptian pharaoh type face that I would put canes on, Then I thought about the 20 masks that I had to make and I decided I would make this cane. (after all I'm Julie Eakes face caner!) I decided I would call it "Mask in the City".
Well the idea was that this was going to be easier. Laugh laugh! Now I've written about the new mush that they call Kato clay. I know my students have had problems with it and I have problems with it. The white I was using was very soft. I tried leeching it but you know that doesn't do it right either. I plowed on and made the cane. You can see a picture of the cane prior to being reduced. I thought it looked OK. Alright I know what you are thinking. "what were you thinking with those color choices for the curtains"? I'll admit I was using up some clay that I had leftover and I wasn't really happy with it. It had taken me days to build it and I just wanted it finished.
The next morning I reduced the cane. Now this was a rather tall and slender cane so expected it might be a little difficult to reduce. It seemed like it was going fine. I was beating my clay on the bathroom floor. All seemed to be coming along fine.
Then I cut it open to take a look. You can see the results in the second picture. The corner had disappeared, she had a big eye and I don't know what was up with the cityscape behind her. It looked like a nuclear plant behind her. Well that would explain the mutant big eye! There is no explanation for my color choices. Before I reduce my large canes I put scrap clay on the ends. The idea is that the scrap clay would end up being the distorted part and there would be more of the "good" cane. I decided to slice into the scrap clay. You can see in the picture that the softer (mostly white clay) side of the face bulged out faster into the scrap clay. This is why she looks like a big eyed mutant monster.
So much for easy slices for my mask swap. But fear not friends there is help for this cane. Fortunately it is a stylized version of a face. (although for some reason I kept thinking of Celine Dion when I was building it. Sorry Celine!) After reduction I had about 12 - 14 inches of cane. Didn't end up with anything close to that in usable cane. I cut off about a two inch segment and pushed in the smaller eye side. This made this side bigger. You can see in the picture how I did this. I then evened up the ends. It isn't perfect solution but by doing this I removed some of the excess clay in the darker half (the side with less white and therefore stiffer clay). Now I knew that there would be more tweaking necessary of each slice. So long easy swap idea. Fortunately with my handy dandy slicer I was able to make thins slices. For each of these I put onto a backing of black clay. I could then "tweak" the cane some more. Mostly around the eyes. Once I got her looking fairly normal I baked her face down. I knew that there would be an uneven back and I wanted the face part to be as flat as possible. Again I knew that now I would have to sand each piece. UGH! (**&%#$ Kato clay)
I finally got twenty slices looking "OK" so I can continue with my swap. Since I ended up chopping off most of the cityscape I have renamed her "mask of a lonely woman". I hope my swappees are alright with it. Still have some sanding to do. UGH! (#$%^& Kato!) I just wanted to share my frustrations and my attempts at corrections with you.