Sometimes I like to break out sticks, sporks and other things that poke and prod so I can make feeble sculptures. My medium of choice is Super Sculpey, a polymer clay which can be purchased in alluring fleshy bricks at your local craft store. I did a few pieces with regular Sculpey, but prefer the flexibility of the Super kind.
I promised Vince sculptures to a couple friends some time in the late precambrian period, so I figured it was about time to break out the tools and get something done. I'm posting about the first half of the project here on TOC mostly so I'll be more motivated to finish this up. The first sculpture I'm attempting is of Vince sitting astride a tombstone, happily playing a ukulele (or tiny guitar).
As I said, my sculpting skills aren't much to shout about. The process I describe here was taught to me by Tom Collie, who was the resident sculptor back at Humongous. Tom made great, polished pieces of the characters in the kid's games at HE. These were handy reference for animators, and dang cool to look at. Here is my bastardized, sloppy version of what I learned from him.
First, I start off with a wooden base. I drill some holes for the primary armature pieces, which I fashion from quarter inch copper wire. The base can be a simple post cap for fencing from any home improvement store. Craft stores have more polished (and expensive) wooden bases. I went with the slightly swankier craft store kind here. I use a narrower gauge of regular metal wire as an armature for the smaller protrusions. I'm the worlds worst engineer so I do a lot of needless twisting and bending so I feel like I'm making it stronger. I'm probably not.
Next, I jam aluminum foil into any major gaps within the wire armature. This should be packed as tightly as possible to avoid any sizable air pockets.
Once this is done, I slather a base layer of Sculpey onto the armature. If I don't like the way things are shaping up, I can still nudge the wire and foil pretty easily. I try to work the material into the many, many nooks and crannies I have created in my sloppiness.
After the basic Sculpey is in place, I add another layer or two. Something of where I'm going has started to emerge at this point.
Next on Procrastination Theater: the detail work which will include a big pile of bones around the tombstone, Vince's other arm and other untold wonders.