My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dust to dust

Normally, I can complete an initial clay portrait in a matter of days.  However, my portrait bust of Jessica has been slowly evolving since late last year.  The long gestation period came about through better knowing my sitter as the weeks and months slipped by.  The more that I saw of the soul, the less convincing was my modelling of the bodily features. 

Had not a mutual friend visited my studio and declared the bust a true likeness of the sitter, the clay would turn to dust before it was finished to my satisfaction.    

While buoyed up with our friend’s positive response, we declared the portrait finished and began taking the “waste mould” from the clay, the first stage of which involves taking courage in both hands and throwing wet plaster over the clay image.  The term “waste mould” is apt, for if it goes wrong, all is lost.  Hence, dust to dust!

Jessica’s smile says that, regardless of my doubts, she has faith in life hereafter.

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