Last spring, one of my senior students wanted to sculpt a clay bust as an art enrichment activity. At first, she considered the idea of trying to make it look like someone in particular. I assured her that based on my experience, I was just relieved when my bust ended up looking humanoid, let alone like anyone I knew. Truly, focusing on mastering clay construction techniques and structurally valid features gives one plenty to chew on in a first pass.
Things can really go south when building a bust, from collapsing heads and structural cracks to total annihilation in the kiln. A dear friend of mine experienced a sad result when her bust completely shed it's face overnight. Like icebergs calving baby icebergs, the face simply slid off in it's entirety and, with some creative salvaging, became a mask. Undaunted, my student maximized her chance of success by paying close attention to honing construction skills and techniques. As a result, it took a little over three months for "Thane's" completion, but he came out of the kiln in one piece with only one small crack. We think he may be part Elf, but definitely humanoid!
|Meet "Thane" by Anna7742