Soapstone and Clay Sculpture - Course Description

Friday, August 22, 2014

In this course students carve animal forms from blocks of soapstone or alabaster. We examine animal sculpture created by Inuit artists of northern Canada for inspiration. The goal was not to reproduce a naturalistic representation but rather to shape the quality of movement. This is difficult work because it challenges our ability to enter into the dynamic of an animal’s movement and mood rather than relying purely on external details. It asks for accurate perception of proportions and shape while developing the gesture form.  Students select their stones, model the shape of their chosen stone in clay and begin to imagine animals hidden within. Once they have chosen their animal form they carve it out of the clay. As soon as they are ready they began carving using a variety of rasps and carving knives. The finished work is sanded and waxed to seal the finish. Students take photographs of their work at different stages in the process so they have a visual record of their progress.

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