Friday, 11 February 2011

Apendix - Referenced Websites

Follow this link to see a list of websites, which I have used during this project.

Books Bibliography

Arthur, D. (1993). Modelling in Clay and other materials. London. A&C Black.

Carlson, M. (2000). Family & Friends in Polymer Clay. Ohio. North Light Books.

Carrington, J. (2000). 1/12 Scale Character Figures, for the doll’s house. East Sussex. Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications Ltd.

Kracov, D. (2001). Modelling with Polymer Clay. California. Walter Foster Publishing, Inc.

Lanteri,E. (1988). Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure. London. Chapman & Hall.

Lucchesi, B. Malmstrom, M. (1979). Modelling the head in clay. New York. Watson-Guptill Publications.

Neat, D. (2008). Model-making Materials and methods. Wiltshire. The Crowood Press Ltd.

Rubino,P. (1997). The Portrait in Clay. New York. Watson-Guptill Publications.

Waite Brown, C. (2007) Bible of Sculpting techniques, An illustrated guide for beginners. London. A & C Black.

The Making of The Iron Giant

I started this sculpt by making an armature which had the basic proportions of the shoulders. I then packed this out using tin foil and wire. Over the top of this I added the Super sculpey firm. The last sculpt did not go how I had planned it as I left myself only 4 days to complete it. This was due to over running my time plan in previous weeks. Therefore this was quite a rushed process to mett the deadline. Because of time constraints I decided to only focus on the front of the sculpt.

I cut out styrene outline of the front view and the side view so that I could keep comparing the shape and size of my model. I chose to do this sculpt because it was much more angular than the other two and showed a different skill. I got these straight edges and angles by using a scapel to carve pieces of sculpey away. I also used lighter fluid to blend in edges.

When it came to doing the head the armature underneath was not sturdy enough a so i bulked it out using milliput as a base.

The final model was not completed and I was not happy with the standard of the model. Although this can only be expected from a rushed sculpt. I did produce a small maquette of the head before christmas which is shown below just to give an example of what the head might have looked like.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Making of Peter Cushing

I began my sculpt by gaining the initial shape of the figure. Using my calipers I measured out certain aspects such as the chin to tip of the nose reference, the width of the head and the eyebrow level. Underneath this was a wooden armature. Using the Chavant NSP medium was difficult at first because it is hard but heating it with a heat gun made it melt down more to a butter like consistency. I was then able to spread it onto the armature and build up the shape quickly. If there was one thing I would have done differently then it would have been to build out from the armature more before applying the NSP because it would have saved me a lot of clay.

I kept refining the shape of the face and head, turning the sculpt frequently to make sure that it was not flat and measuring distances every now and then. Another technique I used was to build areas up with small smudges of clay so that I could build up areas easier.

Next I added the ears. In a sculpting class last year we were taught one method where the ears, eyes and hair come last. However I felt that I needed the ears to get the jaw line right so I put them in which personally I found quite helpful. One thing about Peter Cushings face is that his cheek bones are very prominent and his face shape is very skeletal. I had to make sure that these angle were right throughout the sculpt. Occasionally this meant that I would draw lines with my tool on to the surface of the clay to show myself how the face was built up and see more clearly the planes of the face.

To do the eyes I tried using a few different techniques that I had either been shown, read about or watched online. The best one for me was to scoop out the eye sockets and place larger eyeballs in, sculpting onto the ball with the eyelids. This part of the sculpt was by far the hardest as positioning the eyes was very difficult. I probably positioned them 4 separate times before I got them level with each other and the right width apart. Another thing that I did was to put a very rough hair line in so that I could amend the forehead and facial shape as it helped to have that extra reference point.

Here are pictures of the final sculpt. Although it is not finished to the standard that I would like due to time constraints, I am pleased with the outcome as I have improved my realism skills and learnt more about the way that the material works and the techniques behind doing a likeness.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Art and Display

Many sculptors are focused towards the fine art industry, producing installations and exhibiting their work to art critics and the public. Sculpting is an art form, highlighting talent, creativity and skill. However that art form can sometimes be lost in industry. I was told on a company visit by a sculptor that "it is always money that defines how creative you can be. If you cannot accept this then you fall in to the fine art category." This is where the art world and the commercial side differ as sculpting from a fine art perspective is more about a creative outlet and for those who want to express their thoughts, feelings and views. Although many of these artworks do make money.

This sculpture of Damian Hurst committing suicide was done by Eugenio Merino it is a comment on how he values money, portraying how the only way that Hurst could make any more money out of his work would be if he were to kill himself, which proved to be very a striking and controversial piece of art.

Friday, 4 February 2011

3D Sculpting

Some other examples of 3D sculpting software include Zbrush, blender, Sculptris and Freeform.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Designed and sculpted by 2 German artists these figures are made using traditional sculpting methods. Mark Landwehr and Sven Waschk began working together in 2003 producing a range of figures from small to large in size. The original sculpts get turned into vinyl toys which are made from resin and fibreglass.

In an interview with ArtBox magazine Landwehr says...

"My software is wax, silicone resin and fibreglass and my hardware includes a large range of sculpting tools, airbrushees, a micro motor - like the one dentists use - and a band saw. Oh yeah! Lots of sandpaper too. Honestly the figures are entirely handcrafted, even though it might look like they aren't. That's why I initially stated sculpting. I wanted to create things with my own hands."

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Design Works Revelations

After all the researching into tools and buying different things, I go on a company visit and find that most people for the small sculpts use a variation of a cocktail stick! Most stick to one or two small tools that they use all the time. For the small scale character modelling that they do the sculptors like to use the ball tool frequently to get into all the nooks and crannies. Tiranti number 46 is also one that a few of them like to use. I guess it depends on the individual and what they get used to and find helpful to them.

With digital technology coming into being such as haptic arms, freeform sculpting and 3D printing|I asked whether traditional methods are used less and about the type of skills that they look for in a sculptor. And although there are advances in 3D technology frequently, I was told that it is still important to have traditional hand skills. Programs like Freeform are still designed for sculpting. You could not put an engineer on it and expect them to create a good sculpt. There are projects that simply can't afford to use this technology so a sculptor must have the knowledge and practical handcraft skills.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Design works visit

To gain more insight into the sculpting profession I visited a company called Design Works. Design Works is a company that works with many different clients on an array of projects, ranging from product design, concept development, modelmaking and sculpting. The business has studios in London and Australia and a mass production unit in Hong Kong.

During the visit to Design Works my questions were focused towards the sculpting side of the business. The company is employed by production and advertising companies to make toys and figurines for Harry Potter, Doctor Who and other well known characters in the television and film industry. They also work with clients who want prototype toys sculpted. 

At Design Works it is estimated that it should take a professional sculptor around 5 days to finish hand sculpting a likeness for a toy figure. Not everything is hand sculpted though. Depending on the budget and the time factor 3D scanners can be used to get a turnaround of an actors head. This can then be worked on in a program called Freeform which is a computer sculpting program which uses a haptic arm so that the user is sculpting on the screen but can feel the virtual clay using the stylus. 

With the digital sculpting side to modelling it also means that a master copy is 3D printed. This is done using a photo polymer wax which then goes through a UV oven. A prototype is always made in England which then has to be signed off by the actor and or advertising company. The digital version and physical model, gets sent over to Hong Kong for mass production, where they put in the joints for it to move. Of course the sculptors and designers have to think about the manufacture when then are doing their job. You cannot make changes to a sculpt without knowing how it will be made. Hundreds and thousands of pounds go into getting a toy through mass production efficiently so that It can be sold for £7.99. It takes 9 to 12 months to get a figure in to store and on the shelf.

Friday, 28 January 2011


Aardman is an award winning studio famous for its model animations, short films and more recently feature films. Started by Peter Lord, David Sproxton who were lated joined by Nick Park, it has become famous through characters such as Wallace and Gromit, Morph and its series Creature Comforts. These films are all made using stop frame animation. Most of the characters are sculpted around a metal ball and socket armature so that they move but hold their position. Some models have pre-sculpted and cast parts to their bodies, for example the chickens in chicken run had lots of different mouths which had different expressions so that they could be changed easily.