Tuesday, June 14, 2011

RAVEN - new work

Hi all, thought I would show a little bit of one of two new pieces I am working on. This guy is being made just for Ebay so I went a little out of my normal style to test the waters.
The piece is based on two Native American beliefs: one is the many stories of the Raven in their culture, the other is the concept of Shape-shifting.
I have combined them into a figure of Raven shifting into his human form as he alits upon a branch.
The basic armature of wire and tubing remains the same as we have covered a number of times. The sculpting however includes on arm sculpted as a wing and one led sculpted as a claw.

The sculpting is finished and the base skin tones are applied. The "bird parts" are painted black so any gaps in the feathers will not be noticed.
 Here you can see the holes in the wings which will anchor the calamus of each feather. They are set into the raw clay with a porcupine quill at the proper angle for the position of the finished wing.
The face is a portrait of a Native American model from the internet. You can see the same holes in the groin area for the base of the feather to insert.

The primary feathers are cut to length and the calamus is inserted into the hole and secured with super glue. The super glue will penetrate into the paint and get a better bond than other glues.
 The second course of smaller cover feathers is applied over the primaries.
 Additional layers of feathers are attached to recreate a facsimile of an actual raven wing. These are applied with Fabri-tac since they are applied to the surface and not inserted into the clay.
Additional feathers are used on the elbow of the right arm, the back of the head and nape of the neck, the tailbone,  the groin and raven leg to carry the theme of the metamorphosis of the raven to the man.
More to follow as I get him done. Thanks for looking, have a great day!


  1. Yeow! Excellent. I can't wait to see his face all painted. What height is this one?

  2. Awwww I love him!!!! You are so awsome Mark!

    big hugs,
    carla g. Incantostudios

  3. Wow, this is a wonderful figure! :)


  4. I can't wait for more! This wing looks awesome!:)

  5. I love the dynamic poses you do in these sculptures. =) I'm curious though... once you feather the wing, is the sculpture not difficult to transport about or to ship, being so delicate? Is there any recommendation you'd have for shipping sculpts with such delicate parts?


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  7. OMG...amazing work, what is the ebay link ... thanks, I am enjoying browsing your blog..have a great day, robin

  8. Amazing! AMAZING!! I just found you through facebook and am falling in love with your work!! Where do you source your feathers from? I have huge problems finding good quality feathers for my own projects and end up having to settle for whatever I can find in the bags of feathers I get from craft stores =^/ Not the best.

    Mu own work is mostly fine art and fiber arts (painting, knitting, sewing and soft-sculpt cloth dolls) but I am thinking must learn to sculpt in clay now... =^)

    (Also love love love your mermaid/sailor!)

  9. That is really cool. Thanks for sharing.-Tony

  10. Wonderful thing! Curious idea and art ... I see here a lot of good and excellent work!! I admire ravens...They're unique and very smart.

    Greetings from Poland.