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Anatomical Andrews

“Supported by a bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company”.

Day five and I feel the end of the course looming. Not a welcome thought, as I want to stay and learn so much more. Today with the skilled guidance of Eleanor Crook we created little wax torsos from the form of professional life model Andrew Crayford. These were in the style of an early Roman portrayal of a god or athlete. These headless, truncated forms, modelled over the day, were made by observing and replicating his physically fit male form. Starting with a vertical stick coming out of a small wooden platform, plus 2 horizontal sticks wired on for shoulders and hips, we added coloured wax to form tiny Andrews. His defined musculature was perfect for us to be able to build up a representation of a dynamic twisting figure, very much in the style of historic sculpture. His strength in maintaining such a pose over the period of the day added to the narrative of the sculpture, making them testaments to endurance and endeavour, not simply aesthetics.

Learning to work with a new medium is always tricky and wax is no exception. Eleanor handled her materials in the familiar way that an expert can and encouraged us to explore the process. I must admit to having been simultaneously delighted and frustrated by the material. More accustomed to clay I found it differed in several ways, both good and bad (but mostly good). It softens as it warms (sometimes problematic for the cold or hot handed folk among us) but it is much less messy (great to not have to worry about dusty particles).

It was a day full of learning and a day I would happily repeat again and again. I think the material has me hooked. I am also looking forward to the next opportunity to learn from the brilliant Eleanor Crook, whose direct approach and honesty make learning so thoroughly enjoyable. (Photograph curtesy of Psalm Kivinen)

#Professional Development Bursary.

Andrew poses for torso models

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