I’ve assembled all the materials I’ll need to build the armature. Steel pipe, heavy gauge aluminum wire, a board to fasten the armature to and wrapping wire. All of which have to be assembled into a framework much like a skeleton of a horse and rider.
First I make the armature and set the metal in motion, next apply foam to flesh it out, then the final material which will be the warm squishy wax based clay where I make all of the details come to life. I have plenty of clay which I keep in a 50 gallon metal trash can. Some artist’s use a wet clay but for the life of me I can figure out why they’d bother with it. It might be easier to slather onto the armature and make smooth as ice, but it has to be kept moist under wet wraps. And if it’s in an unheated building during the night it will crack too. Too much for me.
Although the wax clay can be temperamental with it getting too hard to work easily with my hands if it’s cool in the studio, I can apply heat from a heat gun to warm it up once it’s on the armature or heat it by several methods before application. A warm bucket of water will also warm it perfectly. A big slow cooker with a water bath will also heat it up to a squishy consistency that makes it easy to apply. So does heat lamps but I find it can get too hot and actually burn my hands. Many sculptors use plasticine, I find it a weird pasty gray color and not like a finished bronze color like Classic Clay. And it feels plastic to me. You can warm it up slightly but it doesn’t like being melted like my favorite Classic Clay. Each to our own.
I’ll be posting updates as the piece evolves.