Cakes, showers, dresses, flowers, planners, favors, chairs, tables, invitations, and rings…
What do all these things have in common? If you put the word “wedding” in front of them, it increases it’s cost substantially. It’s incredible to me how much wedding paraphernalia costs. Believe me, I know first hand.
My wife and I planned a small get together on the beach for our wedding. My grandmother and I made the wedding cake, my uncle cooked for us, my little brother did the ceremony, the table cloths were plastic and we decorated with paper streamers and seashells from the beach,… oh!… but there was so much more and it still cost us thousands! It’s just one of those things: wedding stuff has always been expensive and it’s expected to be expensive, so… it is epensive.
Although it’s become customary to price gouge certain events, it doesn’t mean EVERYONE has to do it. I charge based on supplies, shipping and time invested. The time invested relies almost entirely on the size and complexity of the design. This wedding cake topper took me months to complete and most of that time was spent on deciding how specifically I was going to sculpt a motorcycle and how to make my wife sitting side saddle in a wedding dress.
I hope to shed some light on how I build armatures. As with everything I show you, it’s just how I do it . I encourage you to experiment and share any new methods you might discover. I have searched for some time now for visual direction on how best to utilize both wire and foil inside a clay armature. I haven’t found anything yet, so I’ll just get this puppy rolling and quit the belly aching!
I have never before used wood as part of an armature but as you can see this 1/4″ plywood worked as a flat stable base that could survive a 20 minute trip through the oven. It also worked out as a good way to stabilize the motorcycle (I had been wondering how I’d ever get it to stand upright). I drilled holes in the wood to attach the wire for the basic positioning of the riders. There’s also a thinner gauge copper wire that can be seen wrapped around certain spots where the larger wire needed to additional security. I then added crumpled foil all over to give the clay a surface it could stick to. I also wrapped foil around the bare wire. A technique I use to secure the foil onto difficult areas is to wrap a smaller gauge wire around the foil to hold it in place (regular tape will work in a pinch).
As I mentioned earlier, deciding how to sculpt the motorcycle was a tough decision. I had never sculpted a piece of machinery before and was a little intimidated to try sculpting something so angular. Ultimately, I chose simple shapes to give the impression of the complex parts of the engine. Similarly, I chose to sculpt the riders without faces.
I knew from the start that I would sculpt the riders without faces. I did this for a few reasons:
- If I chose to sculpt the faces and didn’t get them – just right – it would have ruined the whole thing forcing people to lie, “Oh yea, wow, looks just like you.”
- If I sculpted beautifully detailed faces, i would have to go back and make the motorcycle engine more detailed.
- Without faces, anyone viewing the piece could picture them in all the glorious detail of their own imagination.