Over the last few weeks I’ve interviewed and shared work created by professional artists, amateur artists, pumpkin carvers, photographers, street artists, the list goes on and on … But there is one form of art I haven’t had a chance to really focus on and it’s arguably the skill I find most impressive of all … Sculpting.
I find it so impressive because I simply don’t know how people do it? To take a lump of clay and turn it into a perfectly formed replica of something or someone recognisable is just mind boggling to me.
I tried it once, in school. I was 14 years old and instead of our normal woodwork lesson some bright spark decided to give us two weeks of clay sculpting instead. We were told to make something for our parents that they would appreciate and love … So I made my Dad an ashtray. (What!!? He loves smoking!)
He still has the horrific end result of my efforts, covered in flaking green paint with my initials underneath. You’d think a damn ashtray would be easy enough to make, NO. I had two one hour lessons to get it right and it still turned out looking like a crushed tennis ball!
The subject of my article today has no such problems. Anna (redtrackz), comes from Sweden and is producing work that will make your jaw hit the floor. I made contact after seeing her gallery on DeviantART and was thrilled when she agreed to let me share some of her work and answer some questions.
1. When did you first start sculpting and why?
“I started sculpting in August 2007. I remember this because I bought my first Sculpey-Clay when I was visiting Stockholm for a Dir en grey concert. (That concert was held on the 7th of August I believe.)”
2. Do the subjects of your work reflect your passions and favourite characters?
“The subjects I sculpt aren’t always chosen by me… So no, they don’t always reflect my preferences. Some happen to be a part of what I fancy and some are not. I’d like to say though, I very much feel that I’m sometimes limited by what skill I posses and the amount of time I have at disposal.”
3. Can you briefly take me through the process and give me an idea of how long a piece can take to complete?
“The process varies a bit depending on what I’m supposed to make. Busts require less planning than full body sculpts (that sometimes need to be in parts due to limited height of the oven etc. Troublesome!). It also depends on if I just sculpt for my own entertainment or if I’m doing a project for someone else. For the latter I’m more thorough…”
“Simplified, the stages are:
Idea (or instructions…)
“When sculpting I do both the methods, “add” and “cut” to get the shapes I want. Also, besides using my fingers I use tools when I need to make smaller details. The tools can be whatever. I do (for example) have some metal dental instruments, but for detail-making I actually quite often use toothpicks… It’s like a pencil, right? Drawing…”
“The time it takes to finish something, again, depends on what it is. It takes a lot longer than people think though. I really mean it. I try not to count hours for things I make so I can’t give you a number there. (It’d be way too embarrassing to realise how much time I’ve spent doing this.)”
4. Is this something you would like to attempt professionally in the future?
“I’ve given up the idea of being an employee of the “art-industry”. I’m actually a medicine student and my profession in the future will undoubtedly be in that field. I do feel moments of sadness due to having left the “dream” behind but that’s how it is.”
5. Do you have a favourite horror movie or at least a favourite ‘type’ of horror movie?
6. Finally, is there one character or creature that you would love to sculpt but you haven’t had the time yet?
“Oh, there is more than one character/creature that I’d like to sculpt… Sadly my list is quite long! Hmm… Well, I’d really like to sculpt a full body of Agent 47 from the Hitman games.”
Here are a few more of my favourite images from Anna’s gallery, I think they perfectly demonstrate just how insanely talented she is. Some of her pictures come with small comments from the lady herself and when available I have included them as well. Enjoy …
“The “helmet wings” are baked but the rest isn’t yet. Will take care of that in a couple of days I think.
(It’ll be separate pieces.) Had to finish it up because there was no space on my desks. (EDIT: All baked! No cracks!)”
“This is the second one (out of four) of the Dredd statues I’ll make. I’ll get to the other two, someday, eventually..”
“Mason Verger. The design is that of the movie and the book merged I suppose… Hence the longer hair and the base featuring a moray eel of the type gymnothorax kidako. It has importance in the book. (Just google Mason eel…) The sculpt is about 18 cm or so.”
“It´s about 30 cm high. Have to start making smaller things to be honest.”
“Finally … I have no idea how long sculpting it + painting it has taken. Very long though!”
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