Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thinking about all that you have touched.

How much does one life play against another? How has Evelyn influenced those that have been in her life?  It is very interesting to think about. I sculpt her hands and think of her children's hands that held hers, the work that she did, the things she learned. Did she like to get her hands dirty, work in the garden?  How about holding the hands of her grandchildren.

I'm noticing her hands, they are as much a part of her personality as her face is.  They seem strong, not necessarily slender and delicate.  They remind me more of my own.

As I work on Evelyn's hands and look at her nails I am reminded I have gone back to wearing nail polish, not as an influence of Evelyn, but due to the fact that I am working so often in the clay it is almost impossible to get all of the dark brown clay out from under my nails.

Evelyn's shirt is complete. I like it, her waist band on her skirt is complete. I want to move to the sweater, but first I must place her hands, place them on her hips in this wonderful pose.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coming together

Pieces coming together.
The sculpture has been coming together.  I have put the legs on with my sculpted high heels. I was afraid they would get splattered with clay and foundry wax and so I have given Evelyn some tinfoil slippers. The skirt was shortened, and this means some work will need to be done with the legs, but I have decided to work from the top down.  The entire sculpture is covered with foundry wax and then with clay.  A former student who has come to learn mold making helps me by covering the rest of the sculpture with clay.  When I see the skirt and most of the sweater covered with a thin layer of clay the sculpture becomes more intimate to me. I have only worked on the detail of the blouse adding depth and clay. The foam armature, though very helpful still needs adjusting and I often cut into it, put wax upon the foam opening and then more clay.
The clay coated sculpture feels more friendly.

Details of blouse

Friday, February 17, 2012

Putting my best foot forward.

I guess I'm starting from the ground up.  Or putting my best foot forward.  I had the foam legs and feet with heels on and thought it might be good to start here. I found a pair of my own high heels as reference and have been sculpting for the last few days.  It is funny to have the feet almost done and the rest of the body has not been started.

There are other motives for sculpting the  the feet off of the main body of the sculpture.  I have worked on them for about 2 days and it is much easier having them on a table than to be scrunched down on the floor.

working on feet that are detached 

Now that they are done I have wrapped them in saran wrap to prevent any foam from getting on them when I put the entire piece together.  I have created a pipe armature that will enter Evelyn's back.  This way the weight of the sculpture does not have to set entirely on the foam legs and ankles.  It would be great if there was a pipe going through her leg and heel, but I'm not sure that can work.  I can't wait to put the foam pieces together and see her as a whole.  First, to hem that skirt a bit.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Photographs of the milling of Evelyn

Synappsys Digital Services sent me photographs of the milling of Evelyn. I'm including them here so others can see. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sculpting foam-getting connected with a sculpture

Digital Sculpture and processes with Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Carving depth into the foam 
I am so excited to have my foam pieces created by Synappsys Digital Services so that it will expedite my process of creating the sculpture of Evelyn Rubenstein for the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center.  There is still some work to do on the foam before I can cover it with clay. I can revise the piece and create deeper cuts into the sculpture.  This give the sculpture depth.  I love the sweater that Evelyn is wearing in this piece and I can hardly wait to put the texture into it in the end, but that is a long way off.

Digital Sculpture and processes with Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Covering foam pieces with hot foundry wax.
My foam has been put together and now I must carve and sand. Carving is easy as the foam is like butter.  However,  this is a dirty job requiring masks and a nearby shop vac, but it is not nearly as bad as the carving process of the 11 foot panther for Prairie View A & M.  This is an intimate time with the piece, I can feel more connected.  

Once I feel that I have carved or sanded a piece as much as necessary I cover the foam pieces with hot foundry wax.  This is so that the grit of the foam does not get into my clay. I'm amazed at what a tactile person I am, having grit in my clay makes me a rather irritated sculptor.  My sense of touch is disrupted.  Therefore the wax coating, and continuous vacuuming is necessary.


Pulling pieces together-Part of the sculpting process.

Digital Sculpture and processes of the creation of the EVelyn Rubenstein Sculpture with Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Yes, believe it or not this will be Evelyn. 
Digital Sculpture and processes with Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Using a bit of water on the foam helps with the curing
process. I try to keep the foam away from the edges as
dried spray foam on the cured foam is annoying at
later steps
If you have been following this blog on the Evelyn Rubenstein Poject you have seen how the 3d image was created in the computer and then sent to Synappsys Digital Service for milling. This gives me my armature.  However the foam armature comes to me in pieces. Now I must put these together. I do this using Spray foam and secure the pieces with skewers.  Some pieces I might not put together yet, such as the arms/hands. I may want to play with their placement a bit after the clay is put on the armature.

Digital Sculpture and processes with Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Repairing the fingers by using hot wax as glue
Digital Sculpture and processes with Houston, Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Putting together a foam
torso and shoulders
However, I feel confident in putting together the skirt with the bodice and I can begin to see how she is coming together.  The hands are very fragile and I also attach broken fingers and sand the foam.  We are a long way from completing the sculpture, but I'm excited to get my hands dirty and I look forward to meeting Evelyn in the process. __________________________

My armature is delivered to my door.

Texas sculptor sculpts portrait of Evelyn Rubenstein
A box with my foam
armature of Evelyn

Texas sculptor sculpts portrait of Evelyn Rubenstein
Here is a visual description of how the milling process is done.
Depending on the amount of axis or rotation of the sculpture and the
bit, finer detail can be created.
I had been away and out of the studio for a week and while gone I was happy to see that Synappsys Digital Services, took the digital work that I had done and created and milled out my pieces.  Here is a bit of technical information for any artists seeing this blog post. Synappsys has  two CNC milling machines, a 21inch z axis,   and a custom one that they designed and built— a 3 axis- with a 8' rotary axis. besides  milling Synappsys Digital Services, offers 3d rapid prototyping. They are in Norman Oklamoma which does not pose that much of a problem for me as a Texas artist as I can send them my files and foam pieces are light and will fit in a wardrobe box.
Digital Sculpture and processes with Texas sculptor Bridgette Mongeon
Milling in pieces
with Synappsys Digital Services

The process
Foam is put on the milling machine and the machine mills out the digital file that I have sent to them.  The entire reason for this process is that it saves me time in creating an armature. I also can figure out some details of the process, and design which has been discussed in previous posts.

I'm thrilled to have the pieces here when I get home from my trip and I absolutely can't wait to get my hands dirty.  Getting ready to open the box.