Terra Cotta Portrait Study

Jan 2014 

Finished a Terra Cotta portrait of my friend and amazing ceramic artist Brooks Oliver!  

After sculpting the head and facial expression, I needed to hollow out the head.  Inside, I had an armature consisting of a pipe, toilet float, expandable foam, and wire.  I cut the top of the head off with a wire, avoiding the ears and face.  Once hollowed out, I punched plenty of holes into the clay to allow moisture to escape more easily from the clay when it is fired.  Thanks to my friend and inspirational artist Roberto Lugo, it is being fired!  Hopefully it doesn't explode...

Once I joined the two head pieces back together with clay slip (I scored the edges of the clay first), I finished off Brooks' fabulous hair texture, added his very identifiable glasses, and placed wax on the thin parts to keep them from drying out too fast and cracking.  The wax is the white stuff that you can see on the glasses.