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handbuilt sculpture

updated sun 30 jun 96


Nicole Lallande MIPANA INT'L on sun 16 jun 96

Hello All:

I recently had an interesting learning experience handbuilding a figure
from slabs. I have always loved and admired the work of Carmen Dionyse,
and while I knew her figures were slab built, I had actually never been
successful myself. I had always built my figures and heads from solid
clay, hollowing out after the sculpture was complete.

For this experiment I used terra cotta clay slabs, 1/4'' thick dried to
leatherhard for the body. My subject was a 4 year old boy and the
sculpture is scaled to fit my kiln (27" with a little breathing room). My
concern was how to make the head -- and when I got to it, the solution was
more fun than the rest of the piece! For the head the clay had to be much
more plastic and I worked with smaller chunks building -- letting it dry
for a couple of hours -- and building some more. I am so happy with this
-- it has opened up a whole new arena for me!

Had to share it with ya!

loving mud dancing