Monday, January 21, 2013


The first mermaid is now fleshed out and gotten ready to fit onto the side of the boat.

Tail is shaped and scales carved into the clay.

The tail is colored with embossing powders on the raw clay.

Next time: finish the first mermaid and start the second.
Have a great sculpting day!

Monday, January 14, 2013


Today we will take a look at how we are going to support this monster. The main support for the boat, sailor, and two mermaids will be placed inside one of the mermaids.
 The armature for the first mermaid is a simple 14G wire form which can be found in earlier posts. The lower wires are left longer so she has more length to the tail. The three parts of the armature are foil taped together.

The main support for this piece will be a 3/16" steel rod. The rod is bent to fit into a base, follow the curve of the mermaid's tail, bend at the mermaid's waist then proceed into the body where it will exit the figure where one breast touches the side of the boat. The rod is left long at the top so I can run through the boat for support.

A hole is drilled through the boat hull just under the seat support.

This image shows the rod passing through the boat under the two seat supports.

And out the other side. The second mermaid will be hung on the end of this support rod.

The rod is secured into the armature with foil tape.

The armature in place.

The armature is padded with foil and wrapped with masking tape to keep the clay clean.

Some heads are waiting for their bodies. Next time we will look at the sculpting of the first mermaid.
Have a great clay day!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Welcome to 2013!
I want to thank you all for staying tuned in while I got the gallery up and running. Now back to work on sculpting.
The first piece I will post this year  was suggested by The Mertailor
It will be a re-creation of a scene from a well known movie but I will be altering it as not to infringe upon copyrights
 Because the sculpture will be very complex, I will need to draw it out to get the armature correct. 
Here are the things to be considered during the design stage:
1. How will the mermaids touch the base?
2. How will the boat be suspended?
3. How will the third mermaid  be supported or attached     to the set? 
4. What will the base material be?

This sketch shows what the final piece should look like.
There will be two mermaids leaning on the gunwales of the dinghy. They will be the supports for the rest of the sculpture. Their tales will touch on a base of green marble which will have enough weight to keep this from tipping over. The boat will be supported by rods in the armatures of these two lovely ladies. The boat will then support the last mermaid and the sailor will sit in the boat. 
I start this piece by finding a wooden dinghy model which has the look I want. A few hours (and quite a few dollars) later, I have the majority of the model built so I can make the armatures for the figures to the proper scale. Note that parts of the boat are not in place yet since the supports for the boat and the last mermaids will need to be shaped and installed under the gunwales before it is finished.

The armature is made following my basic armature layout which can be found in an earlier post on the blog. The armature is three 14 gauge wire pieces which are wrapped together with foil tape.

The armature is padded with foil to bulk out the armature so the over laying clay will be about 3/8" thick.
The foil and wire are then covered with masking tape to keep oxidation from being transferred to the clay.

Clay is applied to the armature and detailed. The sailor will just sit in the boat so there is no need to add set pins to tie him into it.

More to follow. Have a great clay day!