Friday, April 18, 2014


Hi all, today I got this post from a viewer on the blog: "I do trust all the ideas you have introduced in your post. They're very convincing and can certainly work.
Still, the posts are very brief for newbies. May just you please extend them a bit from subsequent time?
Thank you for the post."

Just so we all understand, I am an artist by trade. Creating art is my job. Developing new techniques is part of my job. Teaching is part my job. I offer the free blog in order to share some of what I know to help other artists. If you want or need more detailed information, there is a little box to the right of this post which tells all about my instructional DVDs which can be purchased. I have spent a great deal of time and money making these just to help other artists. Believe me when I say it is faster for me to just sculpt and not take time to shoot photos every step of the way or go back and remake something for the video.
I understand what it means to be a starving artist when you first start. That is why this blog is here. That is why I teach for ridiculously low costs at conventions. This is why I answer as many questions as I can about this art form.

I wanted to announce that I am working on a new blog/forum to be released in the near future.  On this blog ( which you are reading now) I try to give a feel for the flow of a piece with tips and information. Apparently some readers are wanting more details.
Here is what I have come up with: I will start a blog/forum by subscription. You are welcome to stay on my free blogger page and continue to read the basic information just as I have been offering. I will continue to post free info here with the hopes that it helps other artists.
For those who want to get deeper into the how and why, you will need to subscribe to get the more detailed info. There will be more images, more description, and more personal interaction. Posts will be both what I am working on and ideas or issues suggested by the members (you). Members will get discounts on all my products- DVDs and artwork.
There will be a yearly fee which I will keep low enough to cover the costs associated with hosting and running this venture.

I hope you will join me as we try this new adventure and become part of the madsculptor community!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Here are two of my newest Steamed Ladies for those who do not go to my Facebook page.


The face gets roughed-in while attached to the body in this case because the support rod for the figure   emerges from the skull.

Conditioned clay is applied to the skull to a thickness of about 1/8" thick. The eye sockets are kept open at this point and the main features are roughed-in. 

The features are refined slightly as the upper lip is attached.

The lower lip is attached, features are refined a bit more and beads are dropped into the eye sockets.

Using photos, the features are shaped and refined. You will get a better result by working all the features at once rather than concentrating on refining just one feature at a time.

Once the face is final shaped, the teeth are shaped in the mouth.
Have a great day of sculpting!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


For this set of observations, I will be using a different figure because I sort of jumped ahead. So  here it is.

The figure is covered with a layer of conditioned clay about 1/4" thick.

The clay is applied in large pieces and compressed onto the armature. 

A central dividing line is laid into the figure on both the front and the back.

The torso is divided starting with a line from shoulder to shoulder which will become the collar bone. The second mark is one head height down from the collarbone. This will be about the location of the  base of the sternum. The next mark will be a head height lower and will denote the waist. The last head height will end at the front of the crotch ( the back side will be slightly lower).

Depressions are made from the sternum to the side of the body even with the waist mark. This is the bottom of the rib cage. A depression is created from the crotch to the side of the body slightly lower than the sternum/hip marker. This is the leg fold.

The armpit is formed by pressing below the armature wire for the arm.  This runs from the armpit to the small of the back along the latisimus muscles in the back and from the armpit toward the sternum in the front along the base of the pectoral muscles.

The back is completed by depressing a line down the spine and between the buttocks. This depression will stop below the small of the back then start again after it passes over the sacrum or the base of the spine.

The main fat, muscle, and bone structures are defined with the sculpting tool.

Next we will do the smoothing of the muscles after adding the head.
Thanks for joining me, have a great sculpting day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


As you can see, the design of the piece is very simple: the armature for the figure need only support the figure's weight just as if it was sitting directly on a base. All we have done is add an additional support to this basic armature to raise the piece of the plane of the base.

The two sides of the armature are shaped and cut to match the layout. In addition, a longer piece of wire is added to the group to support the prebaked polymer skull.

All the parts of the armature are ready to assemble. I have switched from a steel rod to a brass rod for the support post and added the brass tube with a flattened end which will be installed in the spine of the figure.

The two sides of the armature are foil taped together. (These can be soldered if you wish however, the weight of the figure is less than one pound so that really isn't needed)

The body armature is shaped to the final shape of the figure with arch in the spine and twist to the torso before the support is added.

The brass tube is attached to the spine with the open end protruding from the armature far enough to allow for the depth of the finished clay.

The armature is padded with foil and taped to keep the clay clean.

Clay is conditioned and applied to the armature.
Next we will sculpt the figure.
Have a great day of sculpting!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Lets take a look at the armature for this piece:

The armature consists of three main parts. 
First there as a heavy base with a removable steel rod. The rod will be hidden by the bird's feathers.
The figure will be supported by a basic 14 gage wire armature with tubing placed over the wire for more stability. 
The support rod and the figure armature will be connected by a tube which will slip over the support rod and be attached to the the body armature at the spine.

This is my simplified proportions chart which. We will use the head to scale the rest of the body. The nice thing about this chart is that it is drawn to scale on a sheet of printer paper so by following the layout on a simple 1:1 scale, I can make my figure about 11-12" tall without the need of a scaled chart.

I will be using this armature for the figure. It is one I made for a sculpting class awhile ago. Again, it is drawn to the same scale so there is no need to measure and scale.
Next time we will build the armature.

Along with this tutorial, I will keep you posted on other work as I go.

This was yesterday's work as I am getting ready for the Quinlan show in Philly next month.

I will be teaching a class on sculpting the male head so had to bake a batch of skulls for the students. Still room for more if you want to join us!
Have a great day sculpting!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I was contacted by a fellow sculptor and asked if I would consider making my rendition of a Phoenix.
Well Luke, here is my concept:
      The base will be black marble with a pile of black/gray ashes.
      The tail of the Phoenix will be colored feathers which rise from the ashes with intermittent            
      patches of ashes.
     The body of the female will begin to form from the ashes coming up the tail as the feathers of
     the bird start turning into tattoos on the female's back.
     The upper part of the bird will be all tatoo as she becomes a woman with a tattoo.

Next time we will outline the armature.
Have a great day! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Hello my friends,
Last January I stopped blogging so Kelly and I could work on building clientele for the brick and mortar gallery in downtown Lancaster and help our sons move forward with their life goals.
 Since we were together last, our joy is that our youngest son has graduated from college and gotten married.
Sadly, we closed the gallery.
On the up side, we have released two new video sets: "Autumn" a 12" tall female full figure sculpt on six DVDs and "Old World Santa" a 12" dressed male figure on two DVDs. Both videos are shot over my shoulder so you see the work as it progresses.
 "Autumn contains over nine hours of real-time sculpting and sells for $160.00 in the US (170.00 overseas) with shipping included.
 "Santa" is over five hours of sculpting and dressing and sells for $60.00 in the US (70.00 overseas) with shipping included.
 Both sets cover the armature, applying clay, painting, wigging, and dressing of the figure.
If you ever wanted to attend a class with me but can't, this is as close as you can get.
You can order on our site: by clicking on the SHOP icon.