A daily dose of creative suspense.

Sculpture

Audrey Hepburn

You just can’t get more perfect beauty.

My next sculpt is Audrey Hepburn. I’ve almost got her head done which is the hardest AND the most fun part. I started out doing it in super sculpt because I got this great new book.

“Doll Making- One artist’s Approach by Robert McKinnley.
Great book BUT I found out I hate, hate, hate sculpt now that I am spoiled by porcelain. So I scrapped that first head and reworked her head in luscious porcelain.  Now that her head is done I really have to decide what pose and outfit she will be wearing AND how much of her will be jointed. Decisions, decisions …I also hate making decisions. They are so, ummm, final. Sigh. But there comes a time when it must be done and now is the time.

The wonderful thing about Audrey, and there are many wonderful things about her, is that she knew how to wear clothes. I so admire that since I am a totally failure at clothes wearing. But Audrey is , well a star in that department. Let me show you what I’ve narrowed it down to and maybe you can help me decide?

1. Breakfast at Tiffanys- which has been done by everyone but there is a reason for that.

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

2. Roman Holiday-

I wonder if I could make a Vespa Scooter from clay?

3. Sabrina-

Fresh back from Paris, Sabrina turns heads in this suit by Givenchy. This is a lovely scene where David Larrabee offers her a lift, failing to recognise her.

The camera pans up, first taking in her rather stylish luggage and dog with a sparkly collar:

See, poodles are very chic! (I have a standard poodle).

 

I could make all the little suitcases and everything.

 

Could be good? What do you think?

The suit is quite boxy across the shoulder, with a nipped in waist. It appears to be double breasted. Kick pleat in the back of the pencil skirt:

Isn’t she adorable?

Close-up of the hat, which although appearing to be a turban of draped fabric is actually rigid.

4. Funny Face

This is a very classic look for Audrey. But is it the right one for me to do?


Frida is painting

She is finally done- the magnificent Frida! She is sculpted with movable arms which hold a palette of paint in one hand and a hand-made brush in the other. She is wearing a white slip underneath a full brightly colored skirt. Her blouse is stretch black with tiny embroidered roses. I mad everything by hand including her bamboo easel. I painted her little painting. I love her! Now I just have to figure out how much to charge and I will be putting her up for sale on Etsy.

Presenting Frida, the painter.

Frida quotes (you know how much I love quotes and she said some cool one)s:

described Kahlo herself as a “ribbon around a bomb”.
“I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”
 “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”

“I suffered two grave accidents in my life…One in which a streetcar knocked me down and the other was Diego.”
Once when asked what to do with her body when she dies, Frida replied: Burn it…I don’t want to be buried. I have spent too much time lying down…Just burn it!”
Her last diary entry read: I hope the end is joyful – and I hope never to return – Frida.”.
“I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.”

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly” 

Who was Frida~ you say?

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán.  Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo’s work is remembered for its “pain and passion”, and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

FRIDA’S BIRTH & CHILDHOOD

July 6, 1907 Frida was one of four daughters born to a Hungarian-Jewish father and a mother of Spanish and Mexican Indian descent. She did not originally plan to become an artist.
A survivor of polio, she entered a pre-med program in Mexico City.

FRIDA’S HORRIBLE ACCIDENT

On September 17, 1925, at age 18,Frida  was riding in a bus when the vehicle collided with a trolley car. She suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident.

  • a broken spinal column,
  • a broken collarbone,
  • broken ribs,
  • a broken pelvis,
  • eleven fractures in her right leg,
  • a crushed and dislocated right foot,
  • a dislocated shoulder.
  • an iron handrail pierced her abdomen and her uterus, which seriously damaged her reproductive ability.

The accident left her in a great deal of pain while she spent three months recovering in a full body cast. Although she recovered from her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, she had relapses of extreme pain for the remainder of her life. The pain was intense and often left her confined to a hospital or bedridden for months at a time. She had as many as thirty-five operations as a result of the accident, mainly on her back, her right leg, and her right foot. The injuries also prevented Kahlo from having a child because of the medical complications and permanent damage. All three pregnancies had to be terminated

During her convalescence she began to paint. Her mother had a special easel made for her so she could paint in bed, and her father lent her his box of oil paints and some brushes.

FRIDA’S HEALTH

1913~At the age of six, Frida developed polio, which caused her right leg to appear much thinner than the other. It was to remain that way permanently.

FRIDA’S ART

Her paintings, mostly self-portraits and still life, were deliberately naïve, and filled with the colors and forms of Mexican folk art.During her lifetime, Frida created some 200 paintings, drawings and sketches related to her experiences in life, physical and emotional pain and her turbulent relationship with Diego. She produced 143 paintings, 55 of which are self-portraits.

In 1953, when Frida Kahlo had her first solo exhibition in Mexico (the only one held in her native country during her lifetime), a local critic wrote:

It is impossible to separate the life and work of this extraordinary person. Her paintings are her biography.”

She  was influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her use of bright colors and dramatic symbolism. She frequently included the symbolic monkey. In Mexican mythology, monkeys are symbols of lust, but Frida portrayed them as tender and protective symbols. Christian and Jewish themes often are depicted by her work

This observation serves to explain why her work is so different from that of her contemporaries. At the time of her exhibition opening, Frida’s health was such that her Doctor told her that she was not to leave her bed. She insisted that she was going to attend her opening, and, in Frida style, she did. She arrived in an ambulance and her bed in the back of a truck. She was placed in her bed and four men carried her in to the waiting guests.

Today, more than half a century after her death, her paintings fetch more money than any other female artist. A visit to theMuseo Frida Kahlo is like taking a step back in time. All of her personal effects are displayed throughout the house and everything seems to be just as she left it. One gets the feeling that she still lives there but has just briefly stepped out to allow you to tour her private sanctuary. She is gone now but her legacy will live on forever….

FRIDA’S LOVE & MARRIAGE

At 22 she married the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, 20 years her senior. Their stormy, passionate relationship survived infidelities, the pressures of careers, divorce, remarriage, Frida’s bi-sexual affairs, her poor health and her inability to have children. The streetcar accident left her crippled physically and Rivera crippled her emotionally.


FRIDA’S POLITICS

Both Frida and Diego were very active in the Communist Party in Mexico. In early July 1954, Frida made her last public appearance, when she participated in a Communist street demonstration.

FRIDA’S DEATH

Soon after, on July 13th, 1954, at the age of 47, Frida passed away. The official cause of death was given as a pulmonary embolism, although some suspected that she died from an overdose that may or may not have been accidental.An autopsy was never performed. She had been very ill throughout the previous year and her right leg had been amputated at the knee, owing to gangrene. She had a bout of bronchopneumonia about that time, which had left her quite frail.

In his autobiography, Diego Rivera would write that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic day of his life, adding that, too late, he had realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her.

On the day after her death, mourners gathered at the crematorium to witness the cremation of Mexico’s greatest and most shocking painter. Soon to be an international icon, Frida Kahlo knew how to give her fans one last unforgettable goodbye. As the cries of her admirers filled the room, the sudden blast of heat from the open incinerator doors caused her body to bolt upright. Her hair, now on fire from the flames, blazed around her head like a halo. Frida’s lips seemed to break into a seductive grin just as the doors closed.

Her ashes were placed in a pre-Columbian urn which is on display in the “Blue House” that she shared with Rivera. One year after her death, Rivera gave the house to the Mexican government to become a museum. Diego Rivera died in 1957. On July 12th, 1958, the “Blue House” was officially opened as the “Museo Frida Kahlo”.

Frida has been described as: “…one of history’s grand divas…a tequila-slamming, dirty joke-telling smoker, bi-sexual that hobbled about her bohemian barrio in lavish indigenous dress and threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda, Nelson Rockefeller, and her on-again, off-again husband, muralist Diego Rivera.

 

Frida, self portrait 1940 oil


Jeff, my little brother , memorial sculpture

Its finished, the memorial sculpture I did of my recently decreased little brother who died of a massive heart attack at age 51. Very sad but somehow making this little sculpture of him helps- a lot. I’m thinking that I might start doing this for other people too. It would be a very nice way to remember a loved one.








Frida Kahlo de Rivera , the Artist. My sculpted doll.

Frida, what a woman! Something about the way she defiantly stares into the camera made me want to capture her spirit in a sculpture. I am using white clay (stoneware), I usually use porcelain but for some stupid reason I grabbed a hunk of clay and just started pushing it around to make Frida emerge from it. I remember now why I like porcelain when doing the small detail I like to do. It just figures that a tiny lump of sand will come to the surface right where i don’t want it. Sorry, Frida, sometimes I do things without thinking. Imagine that, me impulsive! But still I think she is coming along nicely. It always amazes me how my hands can take a blob, a lump of clay and just poke and pinch until a person is born. I couldn’t decide weather to use real hair or sculpted hair. I asked Ana, she said- “sculpted”. I am so glad I listened to her because Frida’s hair is magnificent. So far I have spent 7 hours on her.

Frida

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter,and is perhaps best known for her self-portraits.

Kahlo’s life began and ended in Mexico City, in her home known as the Blue House. She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Kahlo had allegedly wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico. At the age of six, Frida developed polio, which caused her right leg to appear much thinner than the other. It was to remain that way permanently. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

Mexican culture and Amerindian cultural tradition are important in her work, which has been sometimes characterized as Naïve art or folk art. Her work has also been described as “surrealist”, and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo’s art as a “ribbon around a bomb”.

Kahlo had a volatile marriage with the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. She suffered lifelong health problems, many of which derived from a traffic accident she experienced as a teenager. These issues are represented in her works, many of which are self-portraits of one sort or another. Kahlo suggested, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” She also stated, “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.”


Sending jellyfish off to Japan!

I’m so excited ! Today someone in Japan bought  my little jellyfish bowl.It’s such a thrill to have people all over the world buy my art! Fun! Fun! Fun!


Fire it up!

I have a bunch of stuff cooking right now in the kiln.
3 narwhals
Father Ted
Father Dougal
Mermaid
Cat
Goat
Frog
2 houses
2mushrooms
Coffee mug
3 bowls
Donkey
Fox
Recline nude
Most are really small, like quarter inch. I’ve been on a miniature kick.


Little Donkey


Little Donkey propped up with Legos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m making a donkey for Dori’s birthday (my #3 daughter) and the porcelain was a bit wobbly in the legs to keep the      donkey standing upright. He’s poor little legs kept buckling under him like he had too much tequila. So I was trying to think off what to use to prop him up and I thought of using Legos! Perfect because they can stack to whatever height I need. Take a look at the donkey resting its little fat belly on the pile of Lego bricks. Shhh! Don’t tell dorian.


Irish Terrarium

I made a teeny flock of porcelain sheep and an Irish cottage just like the one we stayed in when we visited Ireland.

Steps to make your own:

1.Put pebbles in the bottom of a round clear glass bowl, but any glass container would work. One with a lid is best. I just used a small round plate to cover the top. It keeps all the moisture in so you hardly ever have to water it. I like that because I tend to forget to water plants and they die.

2. Put some soil on top of the pebbles.

3. add the SMALL plants. Well, unless you have a huge container. I dug up some moss so it would look like a grassy lawn for the sheep.

4 add the little characters to your scene.

5. Give it spritz of water. Don’t put it in direct sunlight or it could get too hot and cook your plants and sheep!

 


Automatron

I want to try to make a porcelain figure move by the techniques used in Automatons. I just finished reading the book Hugo and I want to see if I can create a simple movement. So the research begins. My right brain is highly developed but alas…my left brain is a shriveled up brown chewed up thing gathering dust under the bed.

Here’s some links to start my education of all things moving.

http://www.explainthatstuff.com/how-clockwork-works.html
– This one explains in very good detail how to make a wind up toy

To buy the overall gearbox already manufactured .Focus on the design of the toy and apply the gearbox assembly
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/320643465/gearbox_for_toy.html

However if you want to take the windup art to a higher level you can build the gearbox from scratch

To buy clockwork springs go here:
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/288058126/Clockwork_Spring.html

Gears:
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/369142234/Clock_Gear_Machine_Gear_Spur_Gear.html

 

Videos of Automatia:


Sculpting Eyes

I thought I had a good way to make eyes for my little sculptures, until yesterday.

  • I would hallow the head out once it was hard enough to do so without collapsing.
  • Then I would smoosh in eye bals from the back into the eye holes.
  •  I would lay down skinny, tiny srips of clay above and below the eyes to make the lids
  • Let it stiffen up a bit and then carve in the iris and pupil.
  • WaLa! A nice eye.
BUT
yesterday I was all done my latest sculpture, ALL DONE! and I just was refining stuff here and there . I was gently picking boogies out of her eyes and  then…..
POP! Her eye fell back into her empty head! Oh Shit!
I had to hack off her head and redo the whole eye socket, then reattach everything.
I swore to find a new way to do eyes. So here goes:

From Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis

Watch this guy do it. I bought his book. He is REALLY good. But he works much bigger than I do. Maybe I should work bigger? It sure would be easier.

Here’s some other eyes instructions by Gene Van Horne
:

Sculpting eyes is actually quite easy…

1. Create an eye socket using a ball burnisher type tool. Not too deep, not too shallow, just a nice little dent.

2. Where you want the corners of your eyes use a pin and poke in each corner straight in to the head. This causes the putty in the socket to bulge up some and creates your eyeball.

3. Use a sharp small tool, I use a .032 piece of brass wire that has been pounded out and sharpened and buffed smooth. See http://www.perfect-t…m/newpage11.htm and click on the SUPERFINE PRO METAL TIP TOOLS picutre. Look at SFP-4J Straight Spatula (fourth tool down from the top) and that’s basically what I use for creating the eyelids. Take the very tip of the tool and very carefully make four marks, each starting from the holes you just poked, angling up for the upper lid and angling down for the lower lid. Pull out a tiny bit of putty from each mark you make to create your eyelids. Like this… <> I usually start on the inside upper corner and work around clockwise. Don’t push in hard or you’ll sink in the eyeball. It’s all about pulling OUT the eyelids. Look at one of Werner Klocke’s figures and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

4. Finish off by pressing up and in lightly with either a clay shaper or a spoon type tool, a little above the eye to create the browline. If you want an eyebrow push in and down very lightly with the same tool, a hair above the browline to define the brow. You don’t need to deliniate hairs on the eyebrows unless they are bushy. If they are really bushy you’ll have to add putty and then texture them.

Eyes almost never stare straight ahead, but commonly look a bit to left or right. I find the informality of a slight sideways glance simplifies the overall problem and makes the eyes more attractive.

A video of making eyes by Joanna Mozdzen http://www.joannamozdzen.com