This model is officially started now, no turning back!
In looking at photos of the original terra cotta lions that were removed, and referencing the 1914 rendering’s measurements, it became clear the lion’s base was made thicker than the drawing’s specified 2″, it appeared to be closer to 3″ than 2″ so that I what I am doing, starting out 3-1/2″ thick and with the shrinkage it should wind up about 3″ or 2-3/4″ thick.
Almost impossible to see unless you know it’s there and look carefully, the top of the modelling stand has a sheet of glass. I decided to use the glass rather than sheet plastic to prevent moisture from the clay from warping or damaging the plywood top even though it is urethaned, because over weeks of constant contact even that polyurethane will be affected by the constant moisure.
The glass is the perfect solution, it’s totally flat, smooth,and impervious to water.
The base of the lion shown is 17″ wide and 25-1/2″ long, all measurements are to be 10% larger than the 1914 drawing.
Now I stop here on the model so that I may study the drawing and photos, make notes, adjust measurements on a scrap of paper for that +10%, and print out some reference photos to look at while working.
Oh, that is 150# of clay in the photo, or 3 of those white boxes shown in the other photos.
In alchemy, the lion is symbolic of gold – a spiritual quality that is luminescent and rich in value. Alchemical texts and artwork will depict a lion when a specific magical/spiritual goal is to be achieved.
Since the original winged lions on the bank were either gilded or painted gold, the winged lion’s symbolism and color fits a bank well.