View Full Version : going big; going public
10-04-2006, 09:02 AM
Hi. I'm a new but older (40) sculptor from Metro DC. Figurative. Terra Cotta but looking to expand both media and size. Anyone know how to make the leap from clay modeling to large scale (at least life size)? Anyone know where I can find out how to work in aqua resin? My real interest is public art but I don't know how or where to get the experience to be able to say I can design execute and complete and install a large scale permanent sculpture.
10-04-2006, 05:59 PM
I've seen some sort of clay figures in New Orleans galleries that are about life-size, so it can be done, though I don't know whether or not "terracotta" is the proper description; assuming thatís what you meant by life-size - in clay. I would guess you need some way to let the clay dry slowly; also, clearly, joining edges when the piece is made in segments will be a major factor.
As far as public sculpture, read the forum a bit. Thatís a concern of many people (how to get started), and Iíd say there is no formula, except to work very hard at production and salesmanship.
10-04-2006, 06:56 PM
Yesterday I went to get some styrofoam cut for some shipping containers and the owner showed me around. They cut out some very complex shapes with a hot wire and I suppose that other hot tools like a soldering iron could be used for detail work. The most impressive thing he showed me was something that had been sprayed with styrene. This made a super hard shell that is impact resistant and weather proof. Not a great color but it can be painted. I think working in foam could be the fastest and easiest and one of the cheapest ways to make things large scale that will last a long time. They even make things like columns and moldings for architecture, as well as sculptures (I saw a full scale buffalo) so it is strong and lasting.
A good thing about is that you don't have to worry too much about special machinery to move it or injuring yourself when you do work on it and move it. Bad thing would be that it could easily sprout legs and walk away some night unless you find a way to partially fill it with concrete or something on the spot during instillation. That doesn't seem like it would be too hard.
10-05-2006, 05:13 PM
As far as solid clay sculpts, I recently experimented with a clay called "Dixon". It's very grogy and not really great for anything half-life or smaller, but since you said you wanted to do life sized work this might be an option. You don't need any kind of internal armature and it can be fired solid. There are some precautions of course, too many to get into detail about now, but if you're interested I can tell you about my experience with it. You can order it through Aardvark clay supplies ( they're located in Santa Ana, Ca. - not far for me, but I'm not sure about you. They do ship however.) As far as public commissions go I have to agree with Fritchie. No real formula. It's sad but alot of it comes down to politics and who you know. ( I've been a victim of both and have so far not recieved a public commission). I did recently meet a man who has put me in good favor with the Laguna Beach city arts counsil, and they are considering me for a very important and prestigeous public art commission. If I learn anything from it I'll let you know. Good Luck with your endeavors.
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