Ada's Wiry Bones

I've started a new sculpture project and I've committed this time to try and take some exciting in-progress pictures. One of the last things I made before leaving school was a maquette of an animal character I created as part of my final semester project. I had no idea what I was doing at the time so inevitably the whole process was loads of fun. And you know what? It turned out brilliantly.

This time around I decided to make something a little more ambitious, a standing figure model of Ada, the little pig-tailed scientist girl from my animation project.

I've started with an armature, basically a loose skeleton of wire that can be affixed to a base and will give the model a bit of support. Here's my initial armature.

The base is made from a blank wood round I bought at the craft store. I simply drilled 2 small holes and ran my leg wires through them. On the bottom I took a chisel and made some channels for the loose ends of wire to sit in so that the base could sit flat.

I used 2 sizes of wire. One heavier gauge for the main shapes and one much lighter to tie things together. If you look close you can see that in places like the arms and legs I've wrapped bits of the smaller wire around the larger structural wire. Becuase the large wire is smooth it can be hard for the clay to stick to it in places like this. Wrapping the bare wire like this gives the clay something to hold on to.

You'll also notice that I've added in some balls of aluminum foil to form the major masses. By using the foil I don't have to use so much clay, so the final model is lighter and less expensive. I use foil because it can be baked in the oven right along with the clay.

More progress shots to come so stay tuned.