A Tale of Two Sculptures, Part I: Woman of the Deep

Woman of the Deep
Berkeley, 2015: She is about 40 inches from hip to toe. Cone 10, porcelain, and it took months to build her from the bottom up.
At one point when I got to the upper part of her body, I was afraid that the wet clay might be too heavy for the dry clay. Another sculptor suggested spritzing the entire piece and covering it in plastic. I should have trusted my own instincts and not done that because the next morning one of the thighs that had cracked off at the hip. I propped her up in the back with a bag of clay and put the broken thigh under the other leg. If I hadn't done that, the next morning the whole torso would have fallen forward and been in pieces.
In the midst of this project, the time came for me to leave for my residency in Europe. The studio was gracious enough to let me store the piece upstairs for several months. When I returned, I built a new leg, and she dried remaining intact through the bisque firing. The final firing is Cone 10 -- hot. She slumped (as clay is wont to do), and her limbs broke off. I could have left her in pieces, like relics of old statuary, but no, I was determined to put her back together -- unlike poor Humpty Dumpty. After reassembly, she went through several "different looks" with paint and wax, ranging from rather plain to fully tattooed, and finally to this.
And then there was the tree branch she is holding: What to use: Wood? Tree branch? Brass. I cut thin brass leaves and started soldering them onto the brass rod -- impossible given the different thicknesses of the rod and leaves. With some research, I found another way to attach them and finally distressed the assembled "tree" with a copper patina. . . . I just love process.

While she could sit in the front seat of my car, she sits in hiding. Let me know what you think about her.
See smaller clay sculpture here: norlynnecoarfineart.com/collections/clay-sculpture
and at the show, Norlynne Coar: UNFRAMED.

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