Constructing the Armature
Creating a good armature is essential, not just to capture the design of the figure from the outset, but crucially to provide strength and stability to support the clay sculpture. Andrew welds steel bar, cut and measured to scale, onto a moveable dolley base. A pre-made foam head is added and thick aluminium armature wire is used to create the flexible arms. Polystyrene is applied to the metal armature to bulk out the body and then carved into shape – this saves on the amount of clay used and makes the sculpture much lighter. (The rectangle on the back of the figure will form the bulk of the soldier’s back-pack).
This photo shows the Soldier 1 maquette with the measuring tools Andrew uses when scaling-up for a life-size figure.
Finding the Dynamic Curves.
Andrew applies the clay using the Rapid Sketch Technique, establishing the Dynamic Curves in the clay outline, which are essential for imbuing life and dynamism within the sculpture. Throughout this process he is continually using measurements, working to scale to perfect the figure’s life-size proportions.
The Rapid Sketch Technique– is a method of clay application designed by Andrew. Essentially the clay is applied in linear strokes, in the direction of the muscular anatomy it represents. This method keeps the clay surface loose and is used until all the measurements and the figure’s design are perfectly mapped out.