Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sculpture and Finishing the Hat

(With thanks to Steven Sondheim)
But now the problem becomes what to do with the hat.
Too many visitors have said that she looks like one of Rein Poortvleit's gnomes.
(I was thinking more along the lines of ancient Egyptian crowns. No one gets that reference. Sigh.)
 On the original hat, the little one just drew scribbles and randomly put on small stickers. This carving is the jump from life to art. I didn't want to carve something so delicate as a paper crown so that frees me to invent my own decoration. I chose a rose rinceaux, an endless vine pattern.  I've draw and studied these patterns for years, they fascinate me.
This was the first time since I began carving this statue that I doubted my choice. Was the ornament  prettier than it was true? Should I have made the pattern more of a contemporary scribble?

Friends visiting said this pattern was what she'd have made if she'd been able to create it. I let that decide me.

Time for another line from Sunday in the Park with George:
"The choice may have been mistaken,
The choosing was not
You have to move on."
  So having chosen the pattern, I began to carefully build it up with gesso.
More in the next post.

There's a part of you always standing by, 
Mapping out the sky,
Finishing a hat...
Starting on a hat..
Finishing a hat...
Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat


Theresa Cheek said...

Well...I never thought gnome...I like the Egyptian reference. The gesso is so sweet, it mimics trapunto to me. I just love it!

Sherrie Y said...

Amazing! From these photos I thought she was much larger...a peek at the video was a surprise! Particularly in profile I think of Nefertiti (but then I live in a house with someone who is completely weirded out by gnomes so they are not in my usual frame of reference). Lovely to watch you work and to hear your voice. Thanks for sharing both.

Patrick Gracewood said...


I'm a sucker for white on white. It's so beautiful. This gesso is ok, but I really love the real rabbit skin glue and marble dust. Nothing else can touch it.

(stinks tho, which may be the reason no one wants to touch it!)

Patrick Gracewood said...


The way I carved her, no projections, is old school, which reads as monumental. (It's also easier to mold)
The juxtaposition of intimate and monumental feeling is one of the things I'm exploring. It is possible to have both in the same work?

I've found that it's easy to get into people's heads with doll/toy scale work. EVERYone has played with toys, so they aren't afraid of it as "Sculpture".

Now the trick is to create a base large enough to hold it's own outdoors. I have a plan....which will be seen in due time.....