Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cincinnati Virgin

I recently received a private commission to create a 7' tall Virgin Mary.  It will be installed in the Cincinnati area when it is finished.
 I began a couple weeks ago by drilling and splitting a large piece of stone to get the basic dimensions that I needed.
 I laid the design out on the flat side of the block by gridding the drawing and the stone to scale.
 I also split off a small piece off the end that I didn't need.  Then I began to remove extra stone from the side in order to reduce weight.
 At this point, it weighed about a ton.  I was able to move the block into the studio with my old crane truck.
 I laid the design out on the surface and removed the excess stone from the sides.
 I stopped working on the stone until I had all of the design worked out in 3D models.  I began that process by printing out the design to a 1:4 scale.  This template helped my to get a clay model built up fairly quickly.
 This is the front view...
 .... and a 3/4 view...
 ... side view...
 ... and the back view.
 Then, I made a full sized model of the hands.  This photo doesn't do this justice as I really liked the way they came out.  I'd like to see this 9' tall... and I may do that on speculation because it will have a lot of impact in the monumental scale.
 I made this full-sized clay model for the face, but I wasn't exactly fully happy with it. I need to make it more stylized to go with the feel that the figure has.
I made this second model to give the face more dimension, but this piece got even further from stylization and so I need to back up and take another swing at it..  What I plan to do next is make one or two full scale studies in stone because the clay is sticky and it doesn't allow for the subtleties and finish that I can get in stone. The smoothness of the polished stone should help me get the stylization that I'm looking for.

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