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Old 04-05-2012, 06:44 PM
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Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

Hi everyone! A friend of mine though I should share it with WC.
A few months ago I have decided to give my bedroom a new makeover and while I was working on building up decorative panels molding around the room, the focal one was kind of screaming out to be filled with...not with painting but something more solid...a sculpture...a bronzed one. I was keeping in mind myself and my husband, but I wanted something more allegoric and since I'm so much in love with the ocean, the sea theme and mermaid people settled in.
The thing is I didn't know anything about sculpting, how to do it, or what kind of material would work well. It was completely new to me. I needed an air dry type of clay and people in our nearest Michael`s store assured me that Crayola air dry clay would work the best. Well, it was a wrong idea! While it was moist and I had a lot of fun doing the sculpting( Image 1) this is what happened on the next day when I let it dry(Image 2) Almost broke my heart! So, I started to Google, trying to find an inexpensive air dry type of clay material which would not crack, shrink and break in pieces. I found Angela`s site ( http://pistrucciartworks.wordpress.com/)and I was curious about one of the recipes of homemade paper clay. I emailed Angela with some questions, explaining her my situation and asking if she could help. She emailed me right back with encouragement and support. She gave me a lot of information on possible options of how to do it and what to do and with what to work. Equipped with her guidelines, which only an experienced sculptor could know, I bought the necessary ingredients for paper clay, made a dough and started to rebuild the sculpture on the piece of plywood I had in the garage(Image 3). The key is to work in layers ...letting one layer to dry after another and slowly building up the shapes. In image 4 you can see a complete stage of almost 30 pounds of paper clay and three months of work. This paper clay has a rough texture but it was perfect for building up a base for the sculpture. It dries into solid hard wood texture and had almost no cracks. Next I d drilled the whole thing and placed a lot of long screws with strategically placed anchors so it could be mounted to the drywall and secured into the wall beams ( image 5). Then I started to cover it with La Doll Premier air dry clay. Its nicely pliable, does not stick to the fingers much, dries light and solid, with almost no cracks and has minimal shrinkage if you work in layers. It allowed me to create smooth surfaces, small little detailed and delicate works and textures. Here is finished stage of sculpting with Premier clay, 20 pounds and two more months of work. (Image 6). Next stage was covering it with thing layers of gesso. For giving it a metallic work I applied gilding techniques, using a lot of different colored foils, sealed it and applied a metallic bronze glaze to give it a patina appearance. Two more weeks of work and here is complete project(Image 7).
I'm very happy with the results and how its come out despite the fact that I didn't know what I was doing most of the time. It was my first sculpting project ( Im into oil paintings) and I was learning in process of working with it. I have opened another road for myself and right now I'm looking forward to creating a few more pieces. Thank you so much to Angela for helping me! Thanks to everyone for reading . Best Regards.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:51 PM
sculpturedolls sculpturedolls is offline
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

That is so awesome! Congrats to you to take on a project so big and come out with flying colors! What a dreamy image to look at in your bedroom and what a talking piece. Love the sentiment of the male mermaid (which I've never heard of but sounds good to me) and holding his little lady mermaid.

The underwater plantlife looks great and all your painting experience came out as the richness of colors really makes it all sing.

Good job!

~SD
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:56 AM
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

SD's right - it sings!! What a lovely piece and how patient you were to work on it for so long! And what a great result! Congrats, and thanks for sharing with us!! You told us about techniques and materials I haven't heard of, and that's always a pleasure - there's so much to learn about sculpture, I love it when someone shares information about something that's completely new to me! Thanks for that, and welcome!
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:32 PM
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

Aw Thank you so much for your very welcome and positive feedback Ladies! It means a lot to me and Im glad you liked it. Best regards,
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:39 PM
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

Hey, if my first sculpture looked that good, I'd be over the moon! You should be too! You have a 3-D future ahead of you! Or at least a "relief" future, but reliefs are harder to do in some ways than 3-D. Try something 3-D next - I'll bet you amaze us again!
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:56 PM
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

Lynda, Im very much over the moon but right now my hands are itching to start a new relief, a bigger one but a wall removable.....the problem is in money....I have to save every penny to collect enough material to work with and Im looking for less expensive and workable enough medium...considering winterstone but their website has some problems with online order so I gotta ask my hubby to call them....meanwhile Im doing some drawing on the new project and calculating an estimate price for the project expenses
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:04 PM
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

Y'know, working big is fun but it is expensive. You could try doing smaller wall hangings. That's what I make as reliefs, things about the size of other framed artwork (small to medium sized things, not big ones). They're easier to carry to shows, easier to display in galleries and don't cost as much to make. Just a thought, since you're watching your pennies (as we all are!).
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:10 PM
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

Good idea! You are absolutely right! Okay lets see what can I do
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:25 PM
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Re: Poseidon and Mermaid Relief

You go, girl!
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