Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

So what have I been doing since my last post? I was writing about a Red Riding Hood cane that I was working on. Well lets just say several pounds of clay and many hours later it is done. And I am not happy with it. I could write about that failure but instead I thought I'd write about a different failure. It started with Clay Carnival in Vegas last November. I knew I was taking a class from Leslie Blackford. I just love her and her classes but I never seem to finish in her class. I work slow I can't help it. So I decided to work on my "Mad Hatter" before I got there. I had had help with some sculpting from a friend, Maggie Westall, and I was really happy with my mad hatter head. I took this with me to Vegas but even with this finished before class I still didn't complete my box until I got home. Here it is. So after I got home I started working on my red riding hood cane. After that failure I was tired of caning so I thought I'd try to sculpt a woman. Not sure what the final was going to be I just started on the head.
This first head was made with premo right out of the package. It was small and I thought not too bad for a first attempt. (actually I had done a little sculpting of Santa's in the past. Hmm... maybe that's why they were all turning out too masculine) So my first thoughts on head 1 was I hated the eyes. I tried painting them on and they pretty much looked like crap. The other thing thing was that my head was far from the beautiful woman I wanted, but it was my first try.
I did some research on the web and came up with some eyes that were prebaked that I could insert into the head. Head 2 has these eyes in them. Now when I start sculpting I do like the books and video's say and mark off the eyes (mid way down) the nose and mouth areas. What happens for me though is that while I am working it the head becomes misshapen and ends up looking like Benjamin Button. ( and I don't mean the handsome Brad Pitt version) So here is head 2.
Head 3 is a little less Benjamin but still not right. For some reason Head 4 went back to Benjamin. Head 4 has slightly different eyes. These I coated with resin that hardens in the sun. This is the best part about head 4. She is still no beauty. I also switched to a mix of translucent and beige Kato clay. This cracked when I took it out of the oven.
Head 5 and my last attempt has some improvements but the shape is still not right. Like the last one there were cracks in the clay. Still not much of a beauty. I penciled some eyebrows just to see if it would help. Not much.
I guess it is back to caning for me.