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The Making of Hannah

by Association Member Len Gifford

A fascinating, step by step, insight into the many varied and complicated processes involved with producing a life-size sculpture.

Len creates an armature (A wire & wood structure to support the clay) roughly to the shape of the intended sculpture.

Hannah is set to the correct pose & modifications are made to the armature.

The first of the clay is added to the armature, starting with the back.

Working visually from the model, more clay is added to the armature.

Using calipers, measurements are constantly taken & compared to the sculpture.

A rough outline of the sculpture starts to take shape very quickly.

As Len works, more clay is added & hundreds more measurements are taken.

Once a thick layer of clay has been added Len uses a block of wood to shape the clay.

By the end of the first session the sculpture is taking shape, but there is a long way to go yet.

Len uses a rope tied around Hannah to lift her to the desired shape.

The new shape required Len to take more measurements.

As we reach the end of another session the sculpture is really starting to take shape.

Len starts to cut and smooth out the clay in order to capture each and every muscle.

Hannah looks on patiently as Len continues the shaping.

Hannah is frequently released from the rope to allow her to relax and stretch her limbs as this pose is difficult to maintain for long periods.

As Len takes more measurements he decided the sculpture itself needed to be raised a few inches higher to match Hannah.

The sculpture was raised using a long piece of wood as a lever. If you look closely you can see the indentation this caused due to its considerable weight.

From this angle you can appreciate how the sculpture matches Hannah's form.

Len decided to create the head separately and here you can see the results being attached for the first time.

The end of another session. The sculpture is really coming together now the head has been attached.

Len works without Hannah, smoothing down the clay in preparation to adding the arms.

The arms quickly take shape as Len prepares for Hannah's next session.

At the end of this session the arms are roughly in place and a more realistic look created with the smoothing of the clay.

Working with Hannah again the arms are perfected and Len continues to work the clay making fine adjustments.

Constant measurements and observations are needed to ensure the sculpture is exactly as required.

Hannah takes a well earned rest and takes an interest in the modeling of the hair.

Len smoothes down the final adjustments. All over the resemblance is amazing.

One last look and the sculpture is declared finished. All Len needs to do now is create a mould from which to cast the final piece, but that's another story......

 

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