Lesson #6- Fine Finishing The Head Sculpture

Sculpting the Head in Clay – Finish work


4 Hours   due Thursday/Friday Jan 21/22

At this point you should have created the basic form of the head, cut that in half and hollowed it out, and then put the two halves back together using scratch, slip and squish method of joining.  Now that you have a hollowed form of your sculpture it is time to finish it with the fine details.

I’m posting this video by Tip Toland on how to sculpt the head  (thank you Tip for this very instructional video).  She shows you a “how to” for every anatomical aspect of the head sculpted in clay.  It is a very thorough and informative tutorial.  It is an hour long.  The first 15 minutes of this video are somewhat redundant in that you have sculpted that part already.  You might choose to start the video at the 15 minute mark or to watch from the beginning.

I suggest that you watch the video through to the end before you sculpt the final part of your work.  Then you can refer back to parts of it for the details that you might have struggles with.

FYI- Tip Toland is still sculpting and showing her sculptural work throughout the world – she has a one-person show in Seattle this May.  You can check out her work on the internet.

As you are applying the fine details bits of clay to your sculpture be aware of any air that you might be trapping in the layers between the basic form and the outer fine details.  You want to eliminate those air pockets by piercing them with a fine needle (to allow the air to escape).

As you get close to finishing your work you want to be selective about what parts of the sculpture need to be smooth and refined and what parts you want to remain more rough and sketchy.  The viewer’s eye is drawn to the fine details so make us look at the most important parts of your work by the degree of fine detail that you give certain parts.

Sign your work by carving your name into it somewhere.

**Your finished sculpture should be MUST BE BROUGHT TO SCHOOL TO DRY – by Friday, Jan 22 **   Please bring back all clay from the inside and unused!

We are not painting or glazing these.  You can certainly do so after I have assessed it, but it is not required for your mark for this course.  If you have designed the work to have objects attached to it after it is fired you will need to add those objects before I assess it (since they will add to the “Concept” and perhaps also to the “Composition”)

* Here are the criteria for assessment of this sculpture:

(Be sure to check the assessment criteria through yourself before you call your sculpture “finished”)

  1. Concept: This is “what your sculpture is about”.  Every good sculpture needs a story, or a message.  What are you trying to tell the audience and how thoroughly and persistently (does the body language tell? Are there more clues?) .   

 [Did not do/emerging skills/very good skills/or excellent skills]

  1. Anatomical Accuracy: How much does this head look like a human head?  You may have some fantasy additions to the sculpture, such as pointed ears or three eyes, however how much do the eyes look like real human eyes, and how much do the ears look like they could be real?

[Did not do/emerging skills/very good skills/or excellent skills]

  1. Composition: How much of the TOTAL 3-Dimensional form of this sculpture is actively engaged in the “story” or message?  Does the viewer want to look all the way around the sculpture to get the whole story of it?  Is the back and sides important parts of the “story” or message?  Does something lead the viewer’s eye around the sculpture?  If your sculpture could “tell” just as effectively as a mask, without a back, then the whole 3-D form is not compositionally vital.

[Did not do/emerging skills/very good skills/or excellent skills]

  1. Structural: Does the sculpture stand?  Stay together? Not break? Not fall apart? Not blow up? On a very practical level, good sculpture has to be structurally sound.

[Did not do/emerging skills/very good skills/or excellent skills]

~Best wishes~

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