I keep a flexible tape measure* handy so that I can continually check measurements. This is especially important when working in pairs such as arms and legs. Not only do you need to make sure that the right and left arm measure the same from wrist to elbow in length and so on, you also need to think in terms of the diameter. In this case you can see that I am measuring around the lower leg. I then measure the other leg at the same location and verify that they match. Of course, you must also take into account muscle flexing. In this sculpture the legs are both neutral, therefore the measurements equivalent. However, for an example, if I did a sculpture of a person with one arm relaxed and the other lifting something heavy with a bent, flexed arm - the biceps wouldn’t measure exactly the same as the one arm would have the muscle contracted (bunched up and fibers working) so there would be some degree of variance. (*when measuring smaller things I find using the metric side to be easier to read and more accurate than fractions)


You can see that I am using a fairly large serrated loop tool. I’ll work with the largest tools first and then progressively smaller tools when refining or working on smaller areas. The serrated loop (or rake) is an equalizing tool. It cuts down high areas and helps redistribute some of the clay into low areas. But it does make a bit of a mess with small crumbles of clay shavings.


Getting closer - the shapes are starting to come together and the forms are in place - that is as far as I take the detail in one area at this time. I will work my way up the sculpture bringing each area up to this level of finish. Then I will review everything as a whole for balance and to check if there are any areas that need to be cut back or brought out more. Then I will go back for the final details and cleaning up.


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