Tuesday 13 March 2012

Feet of Clay

Today is my wife's birthday and in place of the usual perfume/ costume jewellery/ two week shopping trip to New York, she asked me to do something cartoony about the kids. I'd been meaning to get around to dabbling with clay, so this was the perfect opportunity. I put together the basic frames with pipe cleaners wrapped in masking tape and worked from a quick pencil sketch of the three vagabonds.
My eldest daughter likes the idea of being a skateboarder a lot - quite a bit more than the actuality of getting out on the thing and putting in some time to master it. Her sister likewise likes the idea of playing her pink guitar more than the tiresome chore of actually practising on it. Their little brother, however spends all his time working on his mastery of rail crashes and is bound to make his parents proud in his future career as a stunt train driver. The dog?. Well the dog thinks he's just perfect as he is.

I started with a quick pencil sketch and started getting the general shape of the figures together with pipe cleaners.
These I wrapped in masking tape to give something for the clay to get a grip on.
The heads were made using polystyrene or aeroboard spheres about the size of table tennis balls. These I scored with a breadknife, again to give some purchase for the clay. The clay I used was DAS air drying clay - inexpensive, fairly quick drying and crucially I don't have an oven in my studio.
The pink figures you see below are where I brushed PVA over the figures to seal them. I added a little pink so I could see what I had already covered. I finished them by painting the figures in acrylic. Guitar and skateboard were just cut from cardboard and capaboard and scraped over with wet clay.

Finally, I made the display case from some old Ikea drawers - they have grooves routed out for the hardboard base -perfect for slipping the glass and backing board into.


Balaji said...

It is wonderful! I am sure your wife must have loved it.

Jon Berkeley said...

Monster present, Rodge.

Tim Mooney said...

Creative beyond the call!
Well done indeed