Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Braids on the Brain

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I've been quiet here because my mind has been immersed in sculpting. Whenever that happens, I sink into my own world as my focus shrinks to a fine, intense point. Days go by in a blur and my only measure of time is how far along I get on each stage of sculpting. And when it's going well (as it has been), it goes fast! But this means I'm blissfully happy! When life permits this kind of delirium, I go for it full bore and all my sensibilities relax into a calm, serene joy. This state of mind allows the work to create itself and I become simply a conduit. To me, this is paradise.

To you, it means a lot of new sculptures will be stampeding out of the studio very soon! The first couple of editions will most likely be minis, but I plan to throw in some larger scales for good measure. I really want to finish that Friesian stallion and sproinging Arabian mare this year -- they are big goals. But we'll see. So often in the studio, things simply come in their own time.

And speaking of which -- guess who decided to play nice all of a sudden? Yes -- V.2! The moment I decided she'd be shelved for awhile was the moment everything changed. I suppose it was the removal of pressure or maybe I spoke too soon, but she's nearly done! Here's a sneak peak:

I've redone her braids now four times, and I finally like them. At first, it was a scale issue because if they aren't in scale -- as exactly as you can get it -- the entire illusion is jettisoned. So that was a big issue for me, but I figure those first attempts were practice. It's been a long time since I've sculpted braids! However, what I found especially interesting was my third attempt: I got the scale right, but they still didn't look right. I pondered this for some time, then realized -- they were too perfect. No matter how tidy a braid job is in life, there are always little eccentricities and imperfections that are just as important for realism as scale and precision. So I had to recreate imperfections in my sculpted braids in order for them to look right to my eye. And voila! So now I just have to do some fine-tuning here and there, and then she's off to Resins by Randy for casting.

Elaine Lindelef was a huge help in guiding me with the braids on this piece (Thank you, Elaine!) as was this book, Braiding Manes and Tails, A Visual Guide to 30 Basic Braids. To be able to see how these braids are created was a tremendous help in getting all the little details right on V.2. Because let's face it -- a good braid job is all about attention to detail, whether in life or sculpted.

So...back to paradise!

"Joy is but the sign that creative emotion is fulfilling its purpose." ~ Charles du Bois

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