Part of the challenge that was put to me during my mentorship this year was to work in three dimensions, to pull the pieces off the wall and perhaps add the ‘body’, whatever form that would take, to help the works take up more physical and emotional space.
A few ideas about what this might look like came to mind so I started a few 3D heads. While working one of these pieces, I found I liked the way the neck wasn’t finished and defined and decided to add hands rather than shoulders to continue the statement the face was conveying. The body did not need to be physical; it could be ‘suggested’ by the placement of the hands.
Truth be told, when I started out, I had not worked out how the piece would stand, let alone a separate head (surprisingly heavy for a wooly creation) and hands. These had no armature, and were left quite loose to allow me to tighten them into shape with needling once I decided how to place and attach them.
I trolled through the house and yard and stores looking for possible stands – nothing is sacred when I’m looking for something to add to an art piece. I finished the head enough so that a stand could slip up through the neck.
At some point I settled on a shoemaker’s stand but then, my sister left me alone in her house. Did I say Nothing is sacred when it comes to art? I was doing the breakfast dishes before packing to leave and spotted a paper towel rack. Hmmmm. That would work well for a stand… I assured my sister via text that it was definitely the only thing I was taking from her house.
The next questions to be worked out: one or two hands? and how would they be placed and attached? I spent the rest of the morning trying to figure that one out. My mind couldn’t hold all the possibilities that day.
Lately I have been taking photos of works in progress to keep a record of how they have developed. I took out the phone and started taking photos of the different hand positions and found this to be a great tool for comparing and eliminating. I had fun with it. These are only a few of the many trial set ups from that morning. I’m digesting them and waiting for the face to speak. You’ll have to wait for a future post to see the finished product.
I usually trust ancient digital technology (my 10 digits) to help me decide on the sculptures. I’ve now added digital photos to my arsenal to give me a different perspective on the work. Photos taken from different angles or in different lighting, can help me decide on a number of things such as hair colour, positioning or even framing.
When I’m away from the unfinished pieces I can review them and sometimes resolve a problem before I can get back to working on the piece.
My buddies are never far away for the conversation to continue.