Saturday, August 14, 2010


As I mentioned before by the time I begin to build my armature I have already built a grid on a full body photo to give me exact measurements needed.  I have observed that animal and know the attitude I want and now comes what I consider the most important feature of the entire process.

This particular piece of blue contractors insulation was sawed with a small  saw in the desired shapes that I saw working in this piece. I stayed lose and gave myself lots of room for changes. Super glue held the pieces secure enough to support the weight of the clay and of course I formed it on to a board that would support it in the finished clay and the weight of the mold afterward (not board shown).

If you notice I kept the original idea (picture) nearby to remind me of the attitude I was trying to capture in the form before I even began with the clay.
 If the armature is incorrect the entire piece loses its integrity whether it be in strength needed for supporting a mold or in correctness of final work.  I wanted a size that would show a lot of the wonderful detail of the hair and eyes but also small enough to fit on a desk or a foyer without looking cumbersome.

You have to be very careful that the blue insulation is not in command of your shape and not let it dictate to you your own dimensions. I made the form just large enough for support but small enough that I would be adding the last two inches or so in my interpretation not just laying it on the form.

In the last 15 years I have used numerous items for armatures, pipe and pipe fittings, contractors yellow spray foam, heavy to delicate wire in horns, wings or entire wire armature body. I have even gone to the trouble of having a much needed piece machined for me not being able to find it at your local Home Depot (my usual source for materials). A lot of artists use wood or actually weld an intricate base on which to work. Needless to say your armature is just for support not guidance it should again never dictate space or substance to you as your work.

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