Monday, 20 July 2009

Dem bones, dem bones

Dem wire bones !

I have an armature almost complete :-)

I will share the steps I took here for 2 reasons. Firstly because I think this is a good way for me to document my progress. And secondly...if I do anything really stupid I am hoping someone will shout out and let me know.

As I think will be the case with this entire sculpt, I am picking and choosing methods from various tutorials and books I have read over the years.

Each sculptor has his or her own way of doing things and, rather than blindly following one style, I am going with the methods I feel are the best for me.

Budding sculptors...please do not see all these pics and think it is a tutorial....I have no idea what I am doing :-)

Firstly I took an image of a skeleton and scaled it down to 8 inches...the intended height of my sculpt. OK, in writing this down, I have just realized the first mistake I made...the first of many I am sure :-) For my finished sculpt to be 8 inches the skeleton should have been smaller to allow for the additional height of the clay.

Bummer and I thought I was doing so well. Oh well, no foul in this case as size isn't a huge deal. However if I were trying to make a 12th scale figure it would have been a problem.

Once I had my basic wires shapes I took a thinner gauge wire and secured the joints...very tightly to ensure no moment.

I then wrapped the thinner gauge wire over the upper arms and legs and the torso. This will ensure that the epoxy putty I am using will have something to grab onto other than bare wire.

Then I added epoxy putty to the upper arms and legs and torso. I used a putty called Magic Sculpt which seemed to work pretty well....a little sticky for my liking but not that big a problem.

Once this had dried I cut a piece of brass tubing for the lower arms. Now the original method for this was that the hand would be sculpted on the brass tubing and then inserted onto the arm. However, I want some wrist movement and I couldn't see that happening with a solid brass tube.

So I glued the brass tube on the arm. The main wire only goes into the brass tube halfway. Into the bottom half of the tube will be inserted the wire hand and wrist armature you can see here.

Now, I know he looks like Freddie Kruger right now but those fingers will be cut right down. As will the wrist joints...I am leaving them long until I have finished sculpting the hand so I have something to hold on to.

As for the lower legs, not sure what I'll do yet so I am not going to go rushing into anything until I am sure. Same with the neck....I don't think the brass rod will give me the neck movement I want so I'll leave that a while too.

As for the fabric....thanks so much to everyone who has helped me out on this...especially Marsha.

I bought some printable cotton least that's what I thought it was. In my excitement I didn't read the instructions....yeah you print on cotton but then you have to iron it onto something. Not sure if that'll be of use to me yet.

I need to make up a few flowers this week. I have done all my commissions and it is time I get some things up for sale...have to justify me staying at home playing somehow :-)


  1. I'm looking forward to seeing your creation from start to finish!!!

    You're very welcome! I'm glad I could help once I could finally get my emails to go through, LOL


  2. Jayne I wish you every success with your first sculpt. Really looking forward to following this. x

  3. Nice work! You're figuring it out as you go - I bet you're having fun!

  4. Hey you have done a great job so far Jayne xxx

  5. Hi Jayne...

    You did a terrific job....that is perfect to build your armature around a printed skeleton or form... I always recommend that in our classes. Looks to me as though you have done a super job...
    Something is in the mail for you...


  6. It is looking brilliant already Jayne! Ive never used the epoxy putty is it very heavy once dry?

  7. I am sorry....I was having real internet problems yesterday. Today at least it is on but it is as slow as anything. And I've had emails from people telling me they couldn't leave comments :-(

    Anyhow.....thanks all so much.

    I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in seeing me do this....good for a laugh if nothing else I guess :-)

    We got there in the end Marsha lol.

    Thanks for the encouragement Debbie.

    I am having fun is exciting to be trying something new.:-)

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Debie.

    I didn't know you taught this way least I started right. And thanks for the mail...whatever it is :-) I am all excited now.

    Nicky...thanks. Epoxy isn't heavy at all, probably no more so than baked clay I'd say. I am heavy handed so having this as a base will really help me I think.

    I am feeling a little stuck at the moment...I am not sure what to do next and which bit to tackle first now lol.

  8. Jayne, This is looking like a first class armature! :-)

  9. Just to let you know, this is a good post on making an armature even though you don't intend for it to be a tutorial. Just from the pic, I can tell the process quite clearly. I always said I will never make dolls but after reading this post, I am not sure now. Thank you Jayne, for sharing this. Please keep it up.

  10. Give it a go Sans :-)

    I said it wasn't' a tutorial because I have no idea how it will hold up after baking. I'd hate someone to do it and it all go to pot.


Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment :-)