Now you see it, now you don’t, 100 year old church demolished in Brooklyn, no one even bothered to save those hand carved stone Corinthian capitals, the arrow points to one that had crashed down and was laying in the rubble mostly intact, all of them hand carved on site. Nobody cared enough to even bother saving them.
A previous client contacted me out of the blue tonight, I remembered her right away when she mentioned Ontario Canada since I’ve only shipped to one client in Ontario. I forgot exactly what I sent her, but they were all concrete for her building facade, so a Google street refreshed my memory- 3 queen frieze fragments, 2 acanthus leaves and 2 griffin panels!
The griffin panels can be seen under the two windows, one the 3 queens can be seen on top of a column of stones in the 2nd photo, and an acanthus leaf in the 3rd photo. One of the views is from 2009 so it’s been a few years, now she is looking for another sculpture, we’ll see what she has in mind!
Opened the kiln a little while ago and all the pieces came out perfect, one cherub shown was from a previous firing, a lion block was in this load not shown in the photo.
The beaver is already sold to a client, and the 2 cherubs will get stained.
After I finished adjusting and gluing on the wood grille pieces onto my dry clay model I hit the whole thing with primer so I can see how it looks without the distraction of variances in color.
I’m thinking casts of this will look best in a flat or satin battleship grey like the original 1920s elevated highway this depicts was, maybe some aging/rust streaks on the grey would be even better.
I wish I had used less course clay as I had problems getting finer detailing without runing into “courseness” but it is what it is, and if I had gotten perfectly smooth fine details and lines it would look too “new” which wouldn’t have been accurate. The model depicts the scene as it was in the 1970s after decades buildup of paint, and corrosion, peeling paint etc.
This course red clay has no tendency to warp or crack as should be obvious by this panel’s size and big variations in thickness from about 1-1/4″ in the background to about 3″ on the bottom quarter, other clays I’ve used before that were smoother really warped badly, so there’s trade-offs on every clay that way.
I say this is “finished” but actually I still have to fill in all of the little slots in those slotted brass screws as they are supposed to be smooth convex shaped rivet heads.
27″ x 16-3/4″
I decided to see what would fit in the kiln and as long as these were ready to go, I turned it on. I was able to fit one of the cherubs and the little square lion on the bottom, and one cherub on the upper shelf. the one on the shelf is for a client- it had to be trimmed down an inch on the back to reduce the depth to fit in the client’s 3-1/2″ deep cavity left by removing bricks in the wall. The one on the bottom is the first one and I typically keep the first ones, so it’s full depth, same with lion which is also #1. The client’s 2nd cherub still feels moist inside so it’s not ready yet.
So now these are in for 12 hours of 190º drying before the firing.
I got busy with someone, but I managed to get this mostly set up for to-morrow to finish and then make the plaster mold for it.
I set up my clay model for the mold and the mold rubber along with the plaster and clay I ordered have arrived so I’m all set to do this mold and the plaster mold for the cherub, and set up the grotesque 285 to do it’s plaster mold too. Hopefully in a couple of days I’ll have this new design actually available, and 2 new molds for pressing clay into.
I had to do a little artistic license modification on account of a couple of “layers” in the wings design not quite being far enough out from the backing, so I wound up extending one of the flat ring “gears” up a little further than the original design had.
I also need to overlay another thin run of alternated wing design over the large one as it has that on the original and on what would be a bird’s tail feathers which were represented next to the vertical gears the ribbon winds around. A lot of fine detail yet to finish, some will have to be omitted because it’s just TOO fine and small to do in this smaller scale and with this pretty course clay.
I think I’ll go back to the smoother raku clay for models in the future, it seemed to work a lot better for this.
I started the setup for the cherub to get the original 4″ depth back again.
The new rubber positive has been laid on 4″ thick foam board and the clay built up aound the perimeter. I have it roughed out for now, to-morrow I’ll finish texturing and cleaning up the clay part and I can start pouring the 4 side sections to start with then. There’s virtually no undercuts on the design at all, so the face/front can be done in one large plaster mold section, 5 sections total.
One more section to pour left to go on this- the large “base” that can be done in one piece since there are no undercuts to deal with, and the 4 side sections will all sit on top of the “base” section when I get that done later tonight.
Some more progress for today, there’s a lot of fine detail as well as some interesting textures on the original highway section in the 1970s photo I’m using that is very faint and hard to see that might not translate real well into a reduced scale model of it like this For now I roughed out some of the details in the helmet and below it, and the ribbon below that which winds around the two gears. I had to really study the old photo to figure out what some of the lines were that I could make out and then I realized the lines were a continuation of the ribbon around one gear and up and down and over to the other gear, then the lines made sense.
The ribbon also gets some alternating texture.
And more progress today Sept 3rd
I now have the plaster piece-mold finished for this.
it’s going to be pretty delicate so it will need a lot of gentle care when using it because of all the fine detail, but now I’ll have it to press clay into.
I used up some almost way too soft clay I had left in a bag that was either re-wetted down or some clay scooped out of the back of another sculpture.
I turned the mold over to remove the sections and the bottom section which forms the nose slipped a little and mashed the nose over some, so I’ll have to neater the nose up when I go over the rest of the surface later when the clay is firmer and clean up the details.