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First time post from a newb. I am working on a bust right now. Its my first attempt at sculpting. I know i need an armature for it but I'm having trouble making it. I've made a cross shape for the arms, torso and head and have added some foil to it. Is this corrct for a bust? How thick should I lay on the sculply? Is it to be layered? Any advice on proportion would also be appreciated. Thanks! :)
07-23-2006, 08:23 PM
You should have a look at the book:
Lanteri, Edouard, "Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure" (New York: Dover Publications) 1902-1904.
In his method you have a nine inch upright of wood to support the chest and then make two loops of metal, meeting at right angles at the top of the head. He uses lead piping for this, but several strands of thick galvanised wire twisted together will do the same job.
Clamp one end of the wires to your bench and clamp the other ends in the bit of your drill. The drill will then twist them together for you. You need about four strands to get enough strength.
Since you are using plastecine you won't want to fill all of this void so you'll want to wrap this head shape with plaster soaked scrim or hessian, and give it a few coats of shellac. Don't cover the neck this way as you will want to adjust the direction of the head later, use some fly screen instead. You can do the same for the rib cage (using plaster) and two shoulder shaped `wings' of fly screen.
You then lay the plastecine over this. Make sure there is plenty of room behind where the eyes are going to go.
07-26-2006, 12:32 PM
Mettw has given good suggestions. Based on my own work, here's about what I'd do at this point. Get a plywood sheet of the size you need, probably 16 - 20 inches square, and be sure there is enough room around the edges, both to secure it to your work surface with C-clamps or otherwise, and also to let you pick it up at later stages. I use about 3/4 inch ply. Next, I’d attach a ½ inch galvanized pipe to the center of the ply with the standard flange. (Use screws or preferably bolts, not nails, for security. Bolts will extend below the surface, so you will need to position the whole shebang slightly off your support. I use small wood shims for this.)
In the flange, screw a piece of ½ inch galvanized pipe approximately to the height of the arms, staying BELOW the shoulder height. Put a 4-way pipe branch at the top of this, with horizontal and vertical pipe nipples the right length to go almost to the arm and head extensions, leaving up to 1 inch clearance at the ends for adjustment. On top of this pipe arrangement, I currently would duct-tape bits of expanded, rigid plastic foam, cut more or less to the desired shape for chest, neck and head. Depending on how close to the chest the arms will be, I don’t think you need a separate armature there, but if you do, you could twist lengths of some rigid metal wire as Mettw suggests, and secure these to the horizontal pipe nipples. I usually do this by extending the wire-wrap into the nipple, and taking a couple of turns around the nipple before letting the rest extent where necessary.
As you see, my method of filling space is to use rigid foam, but be sure to cover that with duct tape or something similar, so your clay will come off clean later for reuse.
Ask more questions if necessary, and others may post still different methods. Good luck with this!t.
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