Heroic Size Statues Sculpted Using Foam Armatures

With the foam armatures assembled and cleaned up, it is time to start putting the clay on! The clay is put on in a fairly thing layer of all of the statues. it is then applied heavier where more mass is needed. At times there is some carving back of the foam to make corrections which did not manifest themselves on the smaller models.

The most enjoyable part of the entire process is sculpting the final product.  It is a lot of fun to apply your hand at something which has been a concept in your brain, and turn it into a 3 dimensional piece of art.  The clay work on the Big Nativity project was extensive.  Over a 1,000 pounds of clay was used to produce the final sculptures.

For the most part, there were not many serious deviations from the foam armatures during the process.  However there were a few.  Such as chopping off one of the Kings arms, not once, but twice because I wasn’t happy with it, redesigning Mary’s left arm, and re-carving on the CNC machine a couple of animals.  The clay modeling stage is the final stage to make adjustments, so you simply do what you have to do in order to get the sculptures where you want them.

Doing the clay modeling on a project of this magnitude requires not just one sculptor, but a team.  Justin and Byron played a considerable role as they applied their sculpting talents to the nativity project.  It is enjoyable to work together and create together at the same time. As the sculpting advances into the detail work, there are parts which can become tedious at times, such as application of wool or fur to an animal, or a texture to clothing.  Good music can keep you moving through this stage.

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