Monday, December 07, 2009

"Tolte" work in progress

This is the piece I wrote about before, when I was showing how I was doing a different kind of armature than I normally do.  She's a lot farther along now than these pictures show, but I haven't had time to take newer pics of her yet.

After working on her for a while, I realized that pushing on her to add clay was making her armature twist on its post.  I should've glued the post into the floor flange as well as the plumbing T.  Normally, wax should hold the T in place with no problem, but I'm pushing the piece pretty hard, so cold wax could crack and loosen.  Super Glue to the rescue!

I cut her belly open (not such a huge job since she's still mostly a silhouette,  not filled out much at all) to expose the bottom of the plumbing T and cleaned the wax off the metal at the bottom and up inside the T a bit so the glue would be attaching metal to metal, not metal to wax.  It wouldn't be as strong a seal if the glue attached metal to wax.  To get to the bottom of the T so I could put the glue inside the place where the T meets the pipe, I had to lay the horse over on her side.

Once I got the glue in place, using a toothpick to apply it, the piece could be set upright again and I could go back to work.  I think you'll see in the following pictures that I added clay to the wax around the bottom of the leg wires to help anchor them to the table.  There will be a whole patch of ground under the horse, so once I have that in place, the feet will be secure.  With my normal aluminum wire armature, I just staple the wires in place to be secure, but with this heavy copper wire, that's not possible.

I scraped back the clay at the shoulders and hips until I reached the wax so the wax I'm using to hold the leg wires in place will stay put.  Wax makes a strong bond to other wax, but its bond to clay is not as strong.  The legs are firmly in place now. 

The horse is still much thinner than she will be when she's finished, but I made sure I built the wax and clay up so her legs are coming out at the right part of her body.  They aren't set too far inside nor too close to the surface.  More clay will be added over the wax.  Here's how it looks:

I know it looks like the leg bones are too far back in the front leg that's on the ground and too far forward in both back legs, but I promise  you, once the muscle's on it, they will prove to be in the right place!  And if they aren't, I'll move them until they are!

Here she is after I covered the wax with clay:

She's still skinny, but we're making progress!  Here's how she looked a day later:

I've laid on enough clay to thicken her body quite a bit.  I know there are some proportions that are wrong for now, and the line of her back/loin/croup isn't the best, but I'm getting there!

I have clay down the length of some of her legs now.  I'll take more pictures and show you her progress again soon.


  1. Hi, Linda!
    I love the progress pics to "Tolte"! I think I find the preliminary work in sculpture to be the most facinating, so seeing how you evicerated your little horse to fix his, was both humorous and enlightening! I look forward to seeing this one finished...and all the steps in between!

  2. Wow! You must be very patient. That seems like a long process. I like the pictures, though. It's quite interesting to see it changing picture to picture.

    Straight From Hel

  3. I love seeing the change in them from the last time I took pictures until where I am. Glad y'all are enjoying the progress photos!

    And Kerry - he's not a "little" horse - he's the biggest one I've ever made full-bodied! I can't get my hands around his barrel, which makes smoothing him - oops, her! - a lot harder!