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  #1  
Old 04-17-2008, 05:56 PM
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Alfred Alfred is offline
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Resurrecting a sculpture

Well, I decided to try and save a very old sculpture of mine. I did this piece ten years ago, it was my first standing life size figure. I later cast it plaster, in a 15 piece waste mold. Before I could finish chasing the plaster cast, the ankles broke and I had to cut them off. Soon after, life got in the way (as it tends to do) and I found myself working construction to pay the bills, leaving no time for sculpture. So the piece sat unfinished for a while, then we moved and my mother-in-law said she could store it for me in her patio. That was 7 years ago, and it's been sitting under a blanket, exposed to the elements for all this time. I finally decided to either throw it away or do something with it. I went over there this morning and took the blanket off. He did not look to good. One leg was already broken at the hip, the other had cracked at the upper theigh. His face had worn down and he was missing his nose and the better part of his chin. He was still a bit heavy for me to move, so I did a little triage, removing the two broken legs. I was able to haul him into my truck and get him over to my house. I then proceeded to remove the head, since it too was pretty damaged. I decided I could save him and turn him into a torso sculpture. He's going to need quite a bit of parging and in some areas a full reconstruction. Very little of the original texture remains. I toyed with the idea of leaving him as is, but I thought that was the lazy way out. It was always my intention to finish him, so I felt I needed to take him all the way. I'll be posting pictures in this thread, updating my progress on this piece. I would like a little input on termination at the base. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but perhaps some fresh perpectives could lend an idea I hadn't thought of. I have also come up with a few working titles... Lazaraus, The Resurrection of John (John was the models name), or simply Resurrection. That might change as the piece develops and his new look starts to become more apparent.

Well here are the photos of the somewhat cleaned up "John". Dirt removed and limbs cut. No repair work so far in these photos.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2008, 06:01 PM
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Alfred Alfred is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Here are some photos of the uncleaned head. I'll probably turn this into a garden sculpture and let it keep weathering down.
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2008, 06:25 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Looks like it belongs in Blake's Fragments exhibition!
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2008, 07:07 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Alfred, I've done only one lifesize full figure, probably my third "semester" in an independent art school that ran 3 classes a year. One of the more experienced students recruited about 6, maybe 8, students to do a standing female in a somewhat similar pose. We were given instructions on building a sturdy, wheeled stand with about 2 in. galvanized pipe up and through the back so each could move around the model, and the instructor helped us attach rebar for the basic framework: legs, shoulders, arms and head. We attached small x-shaped crosses of wood throughout to the basic frame, to hold clay in place.

I was the only one finished in time to go on to a mold and plaster for the next student show. My plaster internal frame was about 1 1/2 in. galvanized pipe, attached at angles through the ankles to a sturdy square wooden box-base with 2-piece removable top, so I could anchor the pipe within this base and/or remove it, and then slip the box top in place under the feet. It won second place at the student show, after a beautiful lifesize collie done by a very talented older woman. The school's owner bought the collie, and I won first student place the following year, with a 3/4 lifesize seated female.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2008, 05:37 AM
furby furby is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Thats a real nice torso. Its a shame life got in the way for a while. Best catch up..
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2008, 11:48 AM
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Fritchie, I've done a couple life size figures since then but never liked them enough to go through the mold process. I've also done two twice life size portrait heads (casting on;y one of them). I don't know what it is about me that I don't like to keep a lot of my sculptures. I see them as practice and so when I'm done sculpting I simply tear them down.

I too was the only sculptor to finish this piece. In fact, the other students didn't even come close. It was my most complicated mold to this day. I had already graduated and was auditing the class, so I couldn't win anything. But there's an opportunity this Fall for this guy to win a prize. The annual Alumni Show gives me a chance to show off my works to important collectors. If I work fast, I can submit this piece into the show. It will have to be the rescued plaster, because I won't have time to make a mold and re-cast. I'll have to come up with some kind of base base for this piece too. Something large I think, so as not to be diminished by the sculpture...... I guess I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.

Well, I'm off to buy some plaster!!!

Alfred
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2008, 03:13 PM
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Sorry for the late update on this piece, it seems as though life really doesn't want me to finish this one. However, I have made substantial progress despite life and all its little obstacles. Here are some pictures of the refinished surface and the design I chose for the termination at the bottom. I'm not completely happy with it, but it will do for now. I'm letting the piece dry completely before I paint it. Giving it an even tone of paint will make it easier to see any remaining imperfections. Still don't know if this one will be a keeper. Debating whether or not to do a rubber mold and recast the piece. I said I would do that, but now I'm wondering if this piece is worthy of taking it that far. Other than being a torso and the fact that it was brought back from the clutches of death, it really doesn't have that much to say as far as figurative art goes (not being sarcastic here). So for now, it'll sit on the waiting list and if things start looking better for this piece I'll do some more work on it and I'll keep updating this thread if there's anything worth updating on.

Alfred
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2008, 04:14 PM
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Berinje' Berinje' is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

I think this is a very striking piece! I don't know that I'd paint over that wonderful "natural patina" though. The plaster has aged beautifully and in such a way that it gives the piece even more character. Of course, I'm not seeing the plaster up close, so I certainly could be off base here. However, if it looks as good in person as it does in these photos you may be losing something very special by painting this piece one boring color.

Maybe get a few other people's opinions on it--people who can see it in person before proceeding? Just a thought.

Much creativity to you,
Paula
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2008, 04:39 PM
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Alfred Alfred is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Thanks for the comments Paula. What you're seeing in the photos is the original surfaces (what managed to actually survive) and the reconstructed areas (the stark white looking sections). As you can see, very little of that original surface actually survived enough to show through. I really like the weathered patina that has occured on the original plaster, but it makes it hard to read the surfaces because of the distractions it makes for the eye. If I were to re-cast the piece, I would patina it to look really old, following some of the same colors and paterns that occured naturally in the original. But to try and get this piece to look unified, I need to paint him and then do a faux finish on him. I normally don't paint plaster (I use various stains and absorbing materials to penetrate the plaster), but for this piece I feel it is necessary because it will most likely wind up outside again. The paper thin repairs in some areas won't stand up to the weather if it's not properly sealed ( a good paint job should do the trick)

The question that still remains for me is: "Is this piece worth taking any further?" I have yet to decide that one.

Alfred
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2008, 05:25 PM
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Alfred, I think this piece is well worth saving! I have used a paint that actually contains bronze. I have used it on some bisque heads that I had to epoxy back together after they blew pieces off in the kiln. I put them out in the yard and they have lasted for three years so far. Small pieces flake off in the freezing weather but easily touched up. I also put a patina solution on it that aged it. I think your piece would look good with this on it. I have some pieces in the house that stayed looking wonderful for years. No flaking. It only flakes if it gets wet and then freezes for an extended time.

If you are interested in the name I can go and dig it out. Let me know.... and no I don't sell it. Scout
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  #11  
Old 04-29-2008, 05:45 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Whattaya thinkin'? Save it ya fool! It's really nice!
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2008, 08:19 PM
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Berinje' Berinje' is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Yes, I absolutely agree, save it! It has a wonderful natural pose, it's not always easy to sculpt that almost slouchy natural body position. I also like what you have in mind for the aged looking finish, because it's similar to what can be seen in the photos.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2008, 05:00 AM
furby furby is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

From experience.... if you are hesitant about throwing it away, then its got something there you want to keep, so keep it. Even if you put it back where you found it for another few years.
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  #14  
Old 04-30-2008, 11:49 AM
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Alfred Alfred is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Thanks for all the kind words guys. I'll hang on to this one for a bit longer and hopefully when the "Paint-ina" is done, it will spark some more interest in me. There's also an upcoming show this fall that I might try to get this piece into, you never know... some of the pieces I've done which I thought were at the bottom of the list, have been the ones people respond to the most. Maybe I shouldn't be the judge of which of my pieces are worth keeping anymore.

Scout, I'm always interested in knowing about new materials. Yes, please send me the info.

If there's any more updates on this piece, I'll drop them in here.

Thanks again,

Alfred
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2008, 08:50 AM
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

Alfred, I found my bottle. (no the other one) The finish is by Sophisticated Finishes. A metallic surfacer. Comes in several types. Copper bronze, gold etc. It is intended for indoor or outdoor use. Triangle Coatings. I guess it's OK to name brands, since I am not their agent in any way.

One thing I have found is to coat (especially something as porous as plaster, with something first.) Black paint worked best for me. It saves on the very expensive metal coating. White specks show through otherwise. Scout
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  #16  
Old 09-24-2013, 11:33 AM
jscoop90 jscoop90 is offline
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Re: Resurrecting a sculpture

You should try this cool product called Plate All. Turn anything into a real living metal finish.

www.plateall.com
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