Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net  

Go Back  Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net > Sculpture Roundtable Discussions > Sculpture focus topics
User Name
Password
Home Sculpture Community Photo Gallery ISC Sculpture.org Register FAQ Members List Search New posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-26-2012, 02:26 PM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 399
Flat low relief

I've always been fond of the so called Elgin marbles from the Parthenon, shame most of them have been so smashed, and then those in the British museum made worse by 2-3 "cleaning" periods where metal scrapers, wire brushes and even acids were used in a crazy attempt to make the stone white as they thought they were originally.
They say 2-3 mm of material was removed off many of the panels by this.
Panels that were not cleaned that way in the 1800's show original tooling marks still in some areas.

Anyway, I found a picture of this panel in the British museum taken from a different origin, but carved in the same style. I like the designs of these, and with having done 2 panels recently of a somewhat similar type flat relief, but in modern Art Deco style, I might want to try a model of something like this sometime.



Roman, circa AD125.
Found at Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli, Italty.

This would probably work out okay in water clay, but I'm thinking that for several reasons if I did a panel in a deep relief as found on some of the Parthenon panels, that plasticine might be a better way to go with that design due to the drying issue and the thin projecting areas wanting to dry out amazing fast.
My studio is always very warm and dry, with a skylight facing South and 2 large windows, so it's always a challenge to keep water clay moist enough to work on over weeks, and I know that with the new to me style of that which I'm not real well versed with, I would have to take my time on it and mess with the model over several weeks. I've only found photos taken straight on, so it's more difficult not seeing how much projection there is and where, photos taken straight on lose the 3D effect and can be deceiving.


Any thoughts on the best plasticene to work with?
I have some chavant, I don't really like the stickyness, odor or how the surface texture goes with plasticene, but thought there might be one really good brand/formula that is popular due to not having those negative aspects.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-27-2012, 12:48 PM
Chris_Johns's Avatar
Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
Level 5 user
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 87
Re: Flat low relief

I would suggest using modelling wax. I suspect that both plasticine and might be a bit on the soft side to really capture the crisp lines of this style of stone carving.

The good thing about wax is that you can soften it as much or as little as you want by heating it. SO for example you might make up your own blend which was quite firm in your normal studio conditions and then warm or even completely melt it as needed to build up the rough shapes and then allow it to set for more detail and crisper lines. A medium to hard wax can be carved with relative ease, smoothed with white spirit and warmed to be sculpted by hand or with tools. You can also cast slabs, sheets etc with simple moulds to speed up rouging out forms.

Most modelling waxes are based on paraffin and/or microcrystaline wax blended with ingredients such as vaseline, rosin, carnuaba wax and beeswax to control their hardness. Powder fillers such as talc and marble powder can also be added as can pigments.

Probably the best approach is to experiment with differnt blends of ingredients in small batches to work out what works best for your specific studio conditions ans style.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-27-2012, 07:23 PM
GlennT's Avatar
GlennT GlennT is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,213
Re: Flat low relief

You can get a sample kit (costs money) from Chavant which has quite a few different types of modeling clays with a wide variety of properties to see if any suit your needs.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-28-2012, 09:58 PM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 399
Re: Flat low relief

Oddly enough I have most of a Chavant sample box sitting in the basement, ordered maybe 12 years ago, I had apparantly chosen one and ordered that for a project, the rest still sits in their wax paper wraps.

I don't know if they are still good, or how many of them are still made per the samples.
I could look at them, maybe the modelling wax is an idea too.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-02-2012, 01:38 AM
seanhwilliams seanhwilliams is offline
Level 3 user
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Montpelier Vermont
Posts: 40
Re: Flat low relief

I would use good ol' water clay. Just make a thick slab of clay so it doesn't dry out so quickly, and do a low relief on top of 2'' background. Washcloths and plastic bags should take care of the rest, right? If you want to be extra cautious that to make sure the clay slab doesn't crack, you could make an inch and a half of clay mixed with hair (what Andy Goldsworthy does for is wall installations) or some other fiber to retain moisture and give strength. You could also use woven fiberglass (which is safe for firing as well).

I only say stick with the water clay because it's easier to achieve a kind of softness with water clay.. nice relief you found!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-02-2012, 01:45 AM
seanhwilliams seanhwilliams is offline
Level 3 user
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Montpelier Vermont
Posts: 40
Re: Flat low relief

I would use good ol' water clay. Just make a thick slab of clay so it doesn't dry out so quickly, and do a low relief on top of 2'' background. Washcloths and plastic bags should take care of the rest, right? If you want to be extra cautious that to make sure the clay slab doesn't crack, you could make an inch and a half of clay mixed with hair (what Andy Goldsworthy does for is wall installations) or some other fiber to retain moisture and give strength. You could also use woven fiberglass (which is safe for firing as well).

I only say stick with the water clay because it's easier to achieve a kind of softness with water clay.. nice relief you found!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-02-2012, 12:51 PM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 399
Re: Flat low relief

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanhwilliams View Post
I would use good ol' water clay. Just make a thick slab of clay so it doesn't dry out so quickly, and do a low relief on top of 2'' background. Washcloths and plastic bags should take care of the rest, right? If you want to be extra cautious that to make sure the clay slab doesn't crack, you could make an inch and a half of clay mixed with hair (what Andy Goldsworthy does for is wall installations) or some other fiber to retain moisture and give strength. You could also use woven fiberglass (which is safe for firing as well).

I only say stick with the water clay because it's easier to achieve a kind of softness with water clay.. nice relief you found!
Thanks for that, yes, you are right on the softness. I typically work with raku clay, panels I do are always a good 3" thick laid out in a sealed MDF box form, with plastic between the clay and the backing board, and then I only have to cover the working face with plastic. In theory the clay should stay damp a long time with that because the sides and back are all totally sealed against plastic, but still, over a few weeks it always tends to get pretty firm and stiff despite spritzing with a water bottle as I work and then before putting the cover plastic back over.

Trouble is for clay anyway... my house has R100 insulation in the attic, and R24 in the walls, and double glass insulated windows, so it's cheap to heat and since I like it warm the thermostat heat cycle is kept permanently at 71 degrees 24/7, the humidity is always very low as there is no in-stack humidifier in the furnace, and I balk at paying the $500 $600 pricetag Ive seen for essentially a plastic box with a filter pad and water control valve sold to add humidity to the ductwork.

In the summer, one 5200 BTU window A/C is all the entire house needs to remove the humidity and keep 1,100 sq ft around 71-75 degrees no matter how hot it gets outside.

It can get pretty warm and dry in the studio.

The raku clay I use has an absolutely zero tendency to warp, distort or crack, no matter how thick it is or how rapidly it dries out

This model is leather hard now, 3" thick 22x17 or thereabouts, and you see no cracks, warping or twisting, this is typical and it's been the best clay for my use/circumstances. Any distorsion in the image is from the camera being so close causing a little barrel effect, and the top is deliberately made slightly curved upward.



I agree, that relief is a very pleasant design, and I've found a couple of others I like as well.
I have seen a reproduction or two of some of the Parthenon metopes, but they were full size 4 foot tall panels, either plaster or fiberglass, and the price I saw on a couple were somewhere around $6,000 which is pretty insane, and I doubt many would sell in that kind of price range.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:03 AM
seanhwilliams seanhwilliams is offline
Level 3 user
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Montpelier Vermont
Posts: 40
Re: Flat low relief

Woooowwwww!

Raku clay, you say? I've heard of Raku, but never I've never seen raku clay. Is it grittier than modeling clay? Like stoneware? What makes it specialized for Raku?

Nice relief, you're getting some nice depth in the composition. Do you plan on firing it? Or is that Raku clay so it will stay in tact long enough to make a mold of it? I think firing them would look great, especially if you are going in the direction of the Raku art form/glazing techniques. You could also glue a styrofoam core on your mdf, using water retaining floral styrofoam, so the relief appears deep-set, but is actually hollow, and remains stable while you are working on it. Then again, that foam doesn't have much strength... might be enough.

Last edited by seanhwilliams : 03-03-2012 at 04:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:25 AM
Art-Deco Art-Deco is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 399
Re: Flat low relief

Quote:
Originally Posted by seanhwilliams View Post
Woooowwwww!

Raku clay, you say? I've heard of Raku, but never I've never seen raku clay. Is it grittier than modeling clay? Like stoneware? What makes it specialized for Raku?

Nice relief, you're getting some nice depth in the composition. Do you plan on firing it? Or is that Raku clay so it will stay in tact long enough to make a mold of it? I think firing them would look great, especially if you are going in the direction of the Raku art form/glazing techniques. You could also glue a styrofoam core on your mdf, using water retaining floral styrofoam, so the relief appears deep-set, but is actually hollow, and remains stable while you are working on it. Then again, that foam doesn't have much strength... might be enough.

I switched to raku clay after my very first model using another clay started to warp like hell.

My sculpture class professor a few years back gave me 100# of it to test out and I found it so stable I was sold on it right away.
I contacted continental clay and spoke at length with their clay "guru" and explained what I was doing and they made some suggestions but felt the raku clay was exactly what I wanted.

It's no gritter than any other clay, it has some grog in it but it's still smooth.

http://continentalclay.com/detail.ph...b_categoryID=1

Quote:
Raku - Wet

Cone 06-10

This amazing Raku clay body was developed for the Raku technique, but is suitable for much more.

Great for use in programs that need a clay body that fires at all temperatures.
Has exceptional thermal shock properties to withstand rapid cooling during the Raku process.
Widely used by potters for high fire utilitarian ware. Beautiful golden brown color in cone 10 reduction.

Off white at cone 06
Cream colored in 6-10 oxidation.
I dont have a kiln so I can't fire clay, the models I make are strictly for pulling silicone molds from, most survive the process intact, but some dont and the rubber pulls some of the fragile details off, so the color of the clay doesn't make any difference but this raku clay fires from 06 all the way to 10.
I do hang onto the greenware models in case some day I get a kiln and decide to try firing them, but since I already have molds from them I just cast a hydrocal master to use for future molds. Firing the clay original would shrink it smaller than it was when molded as green unfired, so pulling a mold from that fired clay model later would likely not be desirable due to the size change with the resulting casts.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Sculpture Community, Sculpture.net
International Sculpture Center, Sculpture.org
vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Russ RuBert