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  #1  
Old 02-10-2006, 10:27 PM
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RCFA-Raven RCFA-Raven is offline
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Question Is bigger better?

I have been sculpting for a while now and am being nudged by an instructor friend to go larger. The size I currently do is “table top size” ... maybe 16 to 18 inches long or wide and I have been pretty happy doing them in that size.

Basically I wanted an opinion on what everyone thinks on the subject. Is BIGGER necessarily BETTER? Are others conformable doing smaller size works or is LARGER the way to head?
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2006, 11:29 PM
BMBourgoyne BMBourgoyne is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Raven,
Ultimately, no. What scale is best is something that is determined by many factors, including subject matter, site, viewing conditions, material, tools and methods used, and artistic preference.

Having said that, you should always push yourself to try working at different scales, especially as a student. Its easy to get into a comfort zone and not realize that you are working a certain way out of habit, not because it is the best approach. Working very small for instance will force you to think in terms of general forms and basic masses. Working large will let you begin to develop the smaller forms within the larger, and will force you to work more loosely-- "table top" scale often lets the student tighten up too much to really experiment.

Also think about changing the scale of the tools you use-- for instance, using the largest tool possible for a task will force you to ignore details and focus on the basic forms. Think in terms of the scale of your tools-- and the movements you make with them-- in relation to the scale of the forms you are working on. I personally work at a variety of scales on the same project-- from very small (a couple of inches) to life-size, back and forth. The rythmns of each are very different, and the relationship between my hands, their movements, and the forms they make create very different possibilities at each scale. Some of my most successful pieces were originally modeled in my hands at a small scale, and enlarged many times over to a larger scale.

Remember, although you may ultimately end up working the way you now prefer, you must try other ways to really know why.

good luck,
Brad
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2006, 08:37 AM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

I checked the school's site you posted in your signature area, and it looks like a fine place to work. I agree basically with the previous post - you should challenge yourself to work on different scales, mainly larger, as a way of "growing" artistically. I'm sure that's also what your friend had in mind.

I've been sculpting over about a 40-year time span, though mainly only over the last 20. Everyone at the various places I studied said about the same thing on trying larger scales. Unfortunately, larger scales are more expensive as well.

You don't say what materials you use, or what subjects. How about telling us more about your current work?
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2006, 11:17 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

I think it is useful to gain experience making bigger sculptures. An artist may not be respected and not asked to do bigger sculptures if he/she cannot show this past experience.

But bigger sculptures cost more to make. And it is easier to sell desk top size sculpture.

So this means some of would do a variety, sometimes bigger ones, sometimes desk top size, and sometimes even smaller ones as maquettes to explore new ideas.

For simillar reasons, some of us gain experience making use of other materials to broaden our portfolio.
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2006, 02:18 PM
G. Murdoch G. Murdoch is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Raven,

Greetings, go big if you can! There are many reasons to do so, and I agree with the previous feedback. Larger sculptures are more expensive to make, and require more consideration of engineering and logistics, but the feeling of standing back from something you have created which is larger than yourself cannot be equalled by smaller works. I have carved stone sculptures ranging from several ounces to several tonnes, all of them present challenges and rewards. Currently I am working on 4 marble sculptures. The original rocks each weighed 250 pounds or so. Large table top size. I am lovng it, just as I love working bigger and smaller, for different reasons.

Graham
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2006, 07:35 PM
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RCFA-Raven RCFA-Raven is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Thanks all, for your opinion on the subject. My instructor friend that is recommending I go larger is “way out there” and has trouble communicating why. Lol! I will head larger and see how comfortable I am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie

You don't say what materials you use, or what subjects. How about telling us more about your current work?
Fritchie--Thanks for your comments about the school. Yes, it is a wonderful place to expand your limits.

I work with figurative, fired and glazed clay sculpting and am branching out into contemporary conceptional. My goal in the distant future is to work with stone. I have really admired the beauty and grace of the stone sculptors I have ran across.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2006, 10:57 PM
Lucia Lucia is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. Murdoch
Raven,

Greetings, go big if you can! There are many reasons to do so, and I agree with the previous feedback. Larger sculptures are more expensive to make, and require more consideration of engineering and logistics, but the feeling of standing back from something you have created which is larger than yourself cannot be equalled by smaller works. I have carved stone sculptures ranging from several ounces to several tonnes, all of them present challenges and rewards. Currently I am working on 4 marble sculptures. The original rocks each weighed 250 pounds or so. Large table top size. I am lovng it, just as I love working bigger and smaller, for different reasons.

Graham
Hi. I might make 2, 41 feet human sculptures in foam and I would like to cover them with fiberglass mesh and portland cement instead of fiberglass and resin. But I do not know If it can be done in such big pieces, and if so what is the best way to apply.
Thank you.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2006, 07:35 PM
fused fused is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Bigger is heavier, only better is better.

Working larger often requires more attention to details that didn't require your attention before because small pieces occassionally imply things that aren't actually there.

Last edited by fused : 05-01-2006 at 07:40 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2006, 10:42 PM
tobias tobias is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

if you want to work in stone bigger is very dificult!!!!
you need money for stone cause big stone weighs lots and cost lots to ship
this is only the first problem in a long list of problems i curently work on stone that is between 200 and 1500 lbs the smaller pieces (200lbs)are not to dificult to move but any thing over 800 is really tough and an 800 lb chunk of stone is not that big haha i started sculpting with stone taught my self made lots of mistakes i have found no book that really desribes how to move stone but i know how the construction industry does it and i have followed there lead also most of the tools i use are from the same industry. i have found that bigger is just what most have said ... bigger nothing else if you want to or need to go ahead but dont do it just because and if you do be careful
tobias
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2006, 10:10 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucia
Hi. I might make 2, 41 feet human sculptures in foam and I would like to cover them with fiberglass mesh and portland cement instead of fiberglass and resin. But I do not know If it can be done in such big pieces, and if so what is the best way to apply.
Thank you.
Lucia - Any human figure 41 feet long or tall would be very difficult and require special construction. If your figure is (the English way of saying it ) 2.41 feet tall, or about 2 feet, 5 inches, then it's much easier. We should have several posts describing either coating, and you can find them by using the Search button near the top of the page.

The kind of foam also is important, so you don't dissolve it by adding the wrong material.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2006, 10:15 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Raven - When I said it would be good to try a larger scale, I was not thinking about stone, but about clay for casting or firing. I think you might try a larger scale in those materials, but clearly if you want to work with stone, great care and planning are required.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2006, 11:22 PM
KeithBentley KeithBentley is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

You know, I tend to always think I need to create big stuff - crazy big stuff. But when looking through my portfolio, the small works are the strongest. When I walk through my the works I have collected over time, I always gravitate to the small pieces.
I think it all depends on your vision, your confortability, and ultimately, your skill. Big isn't always better. But it can certainly be fun.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2006, 06:59 PM
arcdawg arcdawg is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

I make stuff that I can move easily in my car and have material for but.....I feel that a large piece brings more attention to the artist. So the money that you would invest in more material would benifit you in the long run......

advertizing costs money right ?
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  #14  
Old 05-27-2006, 03:37 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arcdawg
.I feel that a large piece brings more attention to the artist. So the money that you would invest in more material would benifit you in the long run......
I very much agree with your sentiment Arcdawg.

Not only does it costs more money, it requires more planning, facilities and efforts to make larger pieces.

And I sometimes do it not only for bringing more attention, but also for gaining the experience. Without showing that you have such experience, sculptors would not stand the chance to be awarded commissions for large public artworks.

In a way, it is an investment of your money, efforts and learning.
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Last edited by Merlion : 05-27-2006 at 05:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2006, 01:03 AM
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David Aponte David Aponte is offline
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Re: Is bigger better?

Hi Raven. How do you see or feel, about Big or bigger? How do you feel, about what you want to say,or express in your work? How many pepole do you want to interrelate in your mind and heart? I personly belive that one as an artist must go deep in to the innerself, for the anwser. Only you can anwser this. but not all the wisdom on the face or the world, can do this for you. Thanks to the our fellow fiends on this forum, that have the wisdom of all, that at one time or another has not aks, this vary qusetion? to get you. On your way. So can I or any body get you to go Big! if big, is not in your heart and soul. I dont think so But you are aksing the right question, and you are at a tureing point in your life! And yes that the way to go. question? how did you feel when the man in the move planet of the apes. Come upon to the head of the satute of liberty? Inner wisdom come from the heart and soul of thetrue artist! David Aponte Resto
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