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CLFA sculpture sessions 2 and 3

So in week 2 we were supposed to have a clay maquette ready from which to work into wood. I'd produced more at home, though they were left to air- dry and fell apart eventually. Our teacher Alex wouldn't let me do most of them because they'd be too complicated for me to carve in wood. At this point, I felt fairly frustrated because if I'd known we were supposed to be making more "lumpy" sculptures I'd have steered my thinking that way. So I chose one that was still fairly difficult to produce in wood, a wavy swirly one that was originally inspired by dizzyness after a cartwheel (vaguely! ) . It's the middle one below. The last one was my favorite of that batch though - inspired by the tingling of my hand after it's hit the floor to take my weight during a cartwheel.

All fairly annoying and frustrating, this clay business, and the wood is not my material either. However, I sidetracked for a bit back into photography and produced these, which I could maybe use as abstract inspiration for painting.

So in Session 2 we started on the actual wood carving, boy was it tough. Takes some time to get used to the tools and they all needed sharpening.

You have to draw all 4 profiles of your object onto all 4 surfaces of your wood rectangular block. And you have to keep redrawing as you cut, and keep envisioning the piece emerging from the wood like Michelangelo.

It wasn't until Week 3 - today - that I felt I made headway and had plenty of ideas of how to take it forward.

I've always wanted to explore resin - not sure I'll be able to do it at home but I could experiment with coloured jelly maybe? Here are other ways I thought to take it forward:

Drill / Carve holes and thread string through, or wool, or some other delicate thing. Wire.

Hang it, dangle it.

Spear it all the way through with the skewer I originally had in the maquette

display it on a rod

Wrap it

Suspend it in resin, which will go into holes I've drilled to act as a key, or carve holes into it which will then fill with resin, so that then it can be cut up and cross sectioned.

Stick nails or sticks in it.

Burn it, to an extent, then rescue it (see artist David Nash)

Use my pyrographic tool on it.

So at end of Session 3 (which I had to leave 3 hrs early) it looked like this:

I was able to hack pieces off but really what one is looking for is the lovely quality of hand-hewn surface - which I will produce next week I hope. I'd like to carve into it so much more to make it delicate, but I fear I will not have time. Carving needs special tools, obvs.

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