Tonight I took my first sculpture class at CSA (California Sculpture Academy). Yep, that’s the same place where I’m teaching a class on thursday nights. But on Friday nights, I get to be a student and learn how to do a bust using a live model. Tonight we got the profile correct. It’s an additive process, you build up from a base called an armature. Here’s mine, note the perspective in the picture.
There is a human behind the pole which is only about 16 inches high. You wrap the pole in wire and then put a small wooden piece of wood a couple inches from the top. That provides a place for the clay to hold on to. Then you start adding clay and making the profile. The model sits in a chair for 30 – 40 minutes at a time, she’s not supposed to move. There are some tricks that Brandon Roy taught for looking and measuring the face. Basically you draw an ear and then sketch the basic structure — mouth, chin, nose, eye, hairline. Add clay, check distances and repeat. Take a break. Move stations — that is move your stand to another location. It turns out that some locations are better than others; by moving in a circle everyone gets the good spot. Brandon says that it can get really competitive with students jostling for the best spots. After three hours, I’ve got something that is sort of recognizable. Heres the left side of the face.