Hey there, I got an interesting question from a Honeysuckle last week. It was in reference to the Astronaut fella and I thought I’d highlight it for the benefit of all. Honeysuckle asks:
Looks like the wire for his feet is simply stuck in holes on the wood. I am assuming you intend to eventually remove him from the wooden platform on which he currently sits. Will you bake it still perched on the wood? After baking it, how will you deal with the extra wire that protrudes beneath the astronauts feet?
You are correct about the wood, Honeysuckle. I drilled some holes in the wood to jam the wires into. This way it’ll hold the little fella steady while I sculpt and pose him. I’ll bake him with the wood attached; the clay bakes at such a low temp for such a short period of time it shouldn’t affect the wood (but it is best to keep a watchful eye anyway). After it cools I’ll remove him from the wood.
The wires sticking out from his feet will give us a couple options: We can simply cut them off with wire snips or leave them there and use ’em to make sprues in a mold. I don’t foresee making a mold of this one, but I’ll probably still leave the wires attached to secure him to another base.[divider style=”thin”]
Another tip I’d like to impart while I’m thinking about it has to do with “symmetry”. No matter what your subject matter is or whether you’re drawing or sculpting, sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with symmetry. I struggled with it for the longest time. There were times I’d stare at a piece for hours comparing the left and right sides, with something inexplicably “off” about one side or the other. It’d drive me crazy until I learned a simple technique:
Turn it upside down. It’s easier to do with a drawing but if you turn the piece upside down, your brain will have to “recalculate” what you see, making the irregularity jump out to you almost at once. In fact, if you haven’t tried it already, the next time you get a chance to sit and draw from a picture, turn the reference picture upside down and try drawing it that way. You may find that your observational skills will improve just by making your brain work a little harder to decipher the image.[divider style=”thin”]