Sunday, February 10, 2013

 What’s the SkulpTools Tool Tinkerer up to lately?
I decided to get back to my first love for a while: sculpting. For me it’s kind of a Zen-thing. I get into the zone and don’t want to quit… until my eyes start crossing or my muscles freeze up and complain. It reminds me of why I began to craft sculpting tools in the first place, which I also enjoy doing. I love using those old early prototype tools, which still work just as well as the more handsome new versions. Plus it gives me a great chance to find new ways to use all of them. Sometimes I just can’t decide which is better or more fun – using or making them. I still come up with ideas for new tools as I’m sculpting, although some never make it off the drawing board of my mind – which occasionally may be a good thing. Others progress to the experimental or prototype stages, and some get fabricated and produced to sell [or maybe they don’t]. But it’s all good. I still work to perfect and refine what I make and find solid useful ways to serve the needs of sculptors, making helpful tools they just can’t find elsewhere.

It seems easier for me to come up with tool ideas but is often more of a challenge to decide on something I really want to sculpt. I’m not of the caliber of some sculptors who can create portrait likenesses in clay of most anyone. Although I had some measure of success with the busts of Hemingway and Twain, they each took me months to do, with many re-dos and “face lifts”.
So I thought it would be fun to get back to my favorite style of sculpting, which is character sculpting, because they can be as whimsical as I desire. Plus, with my quirky sense of humor, it gives me an outlet to express some sort of comic “hook” that will make folks smile or even chuckle when they notice it. I must admit that I get a kick of doing that.

I’m also looking for ways to stretch my sculpting abilities, to challenge myself to try new subject types and refine my skills and techniques. It’s strangely both encouraging and a bit troubling to look back on my earlier works and find myself thinking something like, “Yuck! I made THAT?” But then I realize we all have to start somewhere and not many of us can claim to be instant sculpting virtuosos. If our work did not improve and refine over time, I suppose we’d quickly get board and frustrated with ourselves for lack of progress. So in that sense, I guess it’s good to look back on what you used to make, once in a while, just to see how far you’ve progressed.
Having bought my first camcorder a few months ago, I’ve also been making some work-in-progress and tutorial videos and uploaded several to YouTube [Click Here to view them]. I’ve started sculpting a 1/12th scale character-style figure of a sculptor  who's concentrating on making a self portrait bust. My aim is to sort of poke fun at the hubris of myself and other artists. This one required some research to find the best ways to resolve some sculpting challenges, like making my first full-body pose-able armature, sculpting two matching likenesses, sculpting wire-armatured fingers, fashioning wooden props and [I hope] adding synthetic hair – rather than sculpted hair. I’m certain there will be other challenges I haven’t encountered yet though.
I’d like to thank my blog followers and other visitors who have stopped by to read various posts here. It’s still a bit new to me, but it’s fun to write about shared interests in art and sculpting with others. So, thanks to all of you for tuning in.

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