Knowing Her Strength bas relief nearly complete


Knowing Her Strength ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

I'm about 95% finished with my new Bas relief "Knowing Her Strength". This measures 18" x 24" x 3.5" and was sculpted using Chavant LeBeau Touche, which is a very soft and smooth oil-based clay.

Knowing Her Strength bas relief of Native American Girl and Wild horses ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy

I have found that while wonderfully responsive and tactile, this clay is a bit too soft and sticky for some of my work. It sticks to tools and everything else. In one way it's great, because it will stick well to itself and the armature and it is easier on your hands as it is soft, especially if warmed.

On the other hand, it can by very annoying when using tools as it gums up the tool and coats everything. My takeaway is that this clay is wonderful for expressive hand work more than tools.

As an artist grows and becomes more experienced, they learn what works best for their needs. While I really like this clay, I would use it again for much larger works or wildlife and less for smaller pieces or portraits, simply because it is a bit too soft for me. At least during the summer when it is warm. I'll stick with firmer clays for portraits and small details - especially since I tend to use tools a lot.

One thing that I did learn is that 91%  alcohol seems to firm the clay up a bit while very mildly acting as a solvent for little stray bits or crumbles of clay. Lighter fluid or turps were simply too aggressive and oily for my needs - in addition to being toxic. Wish I had learned that sooner as I found that any minor touch or bump really moved the clay and I was concerned that it would be distorted in the mold-making process of applying the rubber. 

I'll refine a few things and then move on to the mold-making process next.

Knowing Her Strength bas relief of Native American Girl and Wild horses ©Lori Kiplinger Pandy


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