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Steveston Legacy Project Update

August 2007

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March 2007

Basic dimensions for the full size sculpture are scaled up from the maquette and from the models employed.

Once the spacing and proportions are determined, an armature is fashioned from bamboo and duct tape. (Red Green would be pleased) Most sculptors use welded steel to fashion armatures. Often pieces have to be cut into sections to ease the mould making process. Cutting through steel is much more difficult than cutting bamboo. The surface and details of the sculpture can be damaged if the cutting process requires too much force or vibration.

The bamboo armature is sprayed with foam insulation. This provides light weight strength and bulk. The foam is then shaped to a somewhat slimmer version of the final piece. Plaster is then applied. A base coat of burlap and/or gauze reinforced plaster gives added strength. The plaster is then carved and scraped into the desired shape. The figures are done semi-nude so that the skeletal and muscular ‘landmarks' are clear and the final clothed figures are more life like.
The hands and faces are tougher to carve in plaster. I will first fashion them in clay, make moulds, cast them into plaster and attach them to the plaster bodies.
The choice of sculpting material, like the choice of the materials for the armatures, varies from sculptor to sculptor. Modeling wax, oil and water base clays or wood are often used. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Each provides a slightly different “look”.

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