Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tools of the Trade

In order for any sculptor to be able to complete a piece they must have proper tools even though I have seen amazing work done from stone with no pneumatics.

My work is very detailed and it is due to the many tools that I use,

This tool is so versatile that it is a great choice

 but honestly 90% of all my work is done with one tool I have had over fifteen years. The one is shown above and has a rounded flat tip and the other a pointed end (the wood is soft so it does not scar an area it smoothes it just as your finger might if it could reach that spot.)

when you are working it helps to keep clay warm

nice for adding a crisp straight edge

I use anything for texture, here lava rock
At the beginning of a work your most constant tools are calipers.  You will end up with several different sizes and use all of them.

great for tiny eye detail

You are constantly forming and measuring the piece in its infancy.   Your clay is kept warm so it is easily worked. I show a picture of a heat box that I warm my Chavant with in order to keep working.  This is easily constructed out of an old box with a hole cut into the side and the little heater you see sitting in the box. Chavant is great when warm to get texture and detail and also strong enough when cold to hold a fine edge when being molded.

I have also used non-tools, what I consider my unique texture tools.  It has so far consisted of waded up foil, lava rocks, tooth brushes and scratchy wash cloths as well as anything else I happen upon that leave an unusual pattern.

When you find the style and size of the work you like to do then adapt the tools to meet your needs.  But keep an open mind not all tools need to be purchased....even the rough edge of a bottle cap can work!
wire cutters are a have to have

magnifying device used for tiny details
Pedestal I use and lazy susan
This is my traveling pedestal my little brother made this  easy to throw in my Subaru forester and demo at shows
all sizes will be used

Just remember anything can be a tool, if you see the need just put your thinking cap on and more than likely it is in the garage or somewhere just begging to be used (even if it was not made for that reason, just don't tell the husband).