I was feeling discouraged and frustrated the other day with the paper mache technique, and then the thought of having to build intricate armatures for these clay heads was making my head hurt, so I decided that I had to take a completely different approach. It then occurred to me that it was premature to even think about armatures, as I haven’t even planned out what I want to do yet with the clay heads. This was a huge relief, so I got out some plastilene and started sculpting some small maquettes of heads. Sketching in clay is one of my favorite things to do in sculpture, so it was wonderful to just experiment and play around, especially after feeling so handicapped by the limitations of the paper mache.
I’m thinking today that it might be a good idea to sketch out all fifty heads in advance, so that I get an overall sense of the entire scope of the project. In the drawings I went piece by piece, and in the end a number of pieces ending up sticking out like sore thumbs, and perhaps that can be avoided this time.
One aspect that I hope to play up a lot more in the sculptures than I did in the drawings is the neck. In the photo above, there’s one head on the lower right corner that is dramatically leaning back, exposing and stretching the neck. If I can maneuver the neck in all different ways, there will be endless possibilities in terms of how the neck can affect the head.