WORKS IN PROGRESS
This page details the start-to-finish of the work generally involved in some of my one-off sculptures, and some of those which I am gradually getting around to moulding and casting (using similar methods as described on the snuurg's little workshop page ) - notably a select few of my most recent sculpts for a range of character-figures from Wyrdworld.
Any unfamiliar materials mentioned will link you to the suppliers page, giving a list of the companies I generally turn to for my equipment and material requirements.
Any figure generally starts out as a fairly rough sketch - either of my own design or following a client's own drawing or description, to give me a starting-point upon which to begin the work. The drawing will tend to get more involved if the subject is going to be a particularly detailed one, but some designs start as little more than a rough biro-doodle on scrap-paper.
A length or two of aluminium armature wire will then be bent into the approximate 'skeleton' of the piece concerned, providing a flexible, poseable basis upon which the main masses of the body can be built using plasticene or similar modelling material: I will often make the head, hands, and feet of the figure - and occasionally props such as weapons or other carried items - of more sturdy material, to allow me to move them freely around without damaging their detail while 'posing' the character - sometimes making them beforehand and casting them to be affixed to the relevant areas of the armature: such additions often also help with the proportioning of the figure.
Once the pose of the character has been decided, I begin to model onto the plasticene using milliput, an epoxy-putty which dries in air without baking, and can be worked with most sculpting tools while still malleable: when hardened, it is durable enough to be drilled, sawn, and cut by various methods to achieve whatever finish is needed.
When the modelling and detailing is complete, I prime the work ready for painting - unless it is to be moulded, in which case I may divide it into pieces to enable a better casting of the more dynamically-posed examples. Otherwise, I work up the necessary colours for the piece, and bring it to its finished state ready for photography and delivery.
Depending on the size and / or the costs involved with any given piece, I may add more exceptional details such as perspex eyes - which I make myself from perspex dowel or hemispheres for the figure concerned: check out the pictures below showing how effective these can prove to be: the cat is a model of my own pet 'Paws'; the dinosaur, being quite an old piece of work and therefore not quite up to my more current standards, shows how these eyes can vastly improve the appearance of a model.
This last shot shows a fully-modelled figure at the stage prior to painting or being moulded for repeat castings: I've given it a primer-coat for the purpose of getting a better photograph, all that milliput isn't quite so photogenic; normally when going straight to the moulding of a figure I prefer to use it in a wholly unpainted state as otherwise the resultant mould will need to be thoroughly cleaned before the first casting can be taken.
The moulding process I use to reproduce such figures is similar to the method discussed on my workshop page, although a little more refined. There are examples - both of my more unique models and of some of the moulded-and-cast items - throughout the various galleries on this site: try the gallery links from the home page to take a tour.
Beyond what little help I may have been on the subject of sculpture, you might also find it useful to hunt out a book or two on the theme, such as Katherine Dewey's 'Creating life-like animals in polymer clay' pictured right, published by North Light Bookstore, producers of a great many very useful art-related manuals.
For anything else that isn't already self-explanatory or might otherwise require some further coverage on my part, please use the e-mail link below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
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All original artworks, drawings, sculptures, models and photographs, and any names, terms, or phrases originating in the text or logos appearing on this page or any other page throughout this website are copyright Jon Brumby 2002 unless noted otherwise.