Lori Kiplinger Pandy sculpting life size

The first two hat armatures that I made failed. The technique of using paper clay and cardboard worked excellently for the maquettes and I tried two different ways of trying to recreate that method for the life size work. Unfortunately this technique was not at all suited to a large scale work for two reasons. First, the paper clay warped uncontrollably when it dried so the shape was unpredictable. The cardboard armature, even with wire attached to it, simply couldn’t support the weight of the clay. In order to mold and cast in wax and then bronze, the brim will need to be a minimum of 1/4” at the edge of the brim…which means a lot of clay on the hat - especially one that is flared up and not flat. Finally, I ended up having to make the hat armature using 1/4” fencing material. It was very hard to cut and time consuming but necessary. I cut two circles of the wire fencing and sandwiched the cardboard template the with wire before melting clay and applying. I have cut off the top of the head at the angle of the hat to facilitate working the head and hat separately. The hat, being heavy and in the way, is best worked separately and placed on at the end.


I’m getting the purse ready. I’ve applied the clay to the foam but have not detailed it yet. One of the practical facts about creating sculpture for the public realm is that there is always the chance of someone yanking or pulling on the sculpture. My sculpture “Waiting on the #9” has a purse that is dangling from one finger which is very effective for the ease and grace of the pose and works well in a private home, however that wouldn’t be advisable in a public setting. For this reason it’s important not to have any loose or only lightly attached items if it could be helped. So I have carved a wedge out of the purse and will end up attaching the purse to the body of the sculpture. This way the purse will be firmly against the thigh and will be poured in bronze as part of the main sculpture - impossible for a vandal to tear away. The handle of the purse will be put on too, of course, but it will only bear the illusion of holding the weight of the purse.


The hat is only just a shape at this time - I still need to add the hat band, ribbons and flowers. The purse is taking shape. I have pegged it onto the sculpture to test it out but it isn’t yet attached. I may not end up making the handle now as it may be harder to mold and cast - I may end up sculpting the handle directly in wax and attaching it then just before going to foundry. The hat is also not attached - just place atop the head now and then to check. As it is so heavy it will need to be securely pinned in place with very long stakes.

Life size clay Fannie Mae Duncan ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Life size clay Fannie Mae Duncan ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy
Sculpture and all images. Unauthorized use prohibited © Lori Kiplinger Pandy 2000-2021
All Rights Reserved  Site Map  Email: