Gentle Angles of Grief

Searching for Expression

This past weekend I finished the above sculpture, entitled Gentle Angles of Grief. This is my third portrait sculpture outside of class and the first to meet my goal of expressing emotion. Inspired by the image of a man in the first throes of grief as he was told his father had died, I wanted to capture at least some of what I felt when looking at this man’s reaction. Sadness, longing and a kind of letting go of the heart.

The technique I used in this sculpture was different from the rest. Yes, the basic forms and measurements were done but when it came to building up the shape of this particular person, I did something different. I went fast. And I mean, feeling like I’d had too much coffee, fast. I worried less about the finer details of shape and nothing about the smoothness of the texture. Rough and ready – the clay was just going on! (Hopefully there won’t be an air bubble!)

In 4 or 5, two hour sessions I went from the basic bones to the finished piece. Working in short bursts allowed me to progress and contemplate, progress and contemplate. The texture I achieved at the end wasn’t quite what I had hoped. It was in between the entirely smooth feel I’ve done so far and the very rough feel I wanted. So I am happy with it. Perhaps a subsequent sculpture will go there but this one just wanted to be what it is.

This piece now has to dry a bit before hollowing. I pick up Little Walter Tell from being fired later this week so I’ll set about painting and finishing him. And think about what’s next to come.

I love sculpting. Love it. Love.

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