Still in progress HOME

This page is to show what I'm currently preoccupied with

At the moment, its been relief sculpture. I've been admiring the artwork on late 19th century and early 20th century French medals, those gorgeous Mariannes etc.

I've been doing the sculpting in reverse on a clay slab. Its a strange way to work, but when you train your eye to it, you can see it inside-out, and it really is a better way of working in a lot of ways - basically, it is more straight-forward to make dents than to make bumps. I think the method is called intaglio. To check the thing's progress, I paint wax over it, let it set, peel it off and see it how it all really looks in positive. Of the photos below, three are positives taken from the originals and three are the originals which of course are just voids. But the eye is willing to be decieved and you will most likely see them all as raised. Which three are not?

now look, I'm still practicing and there's a lot of technique to get under control.


aww, but it isn't finished. Anyway, I'm getting the hang of clothing a bit more now. With this intaglio method, clothes have this transparency and way of clinging. Things like that strange headgear (which at the moment is totally lopsided) is dead easy to knock up in intaglio. This is the most recent one and it came together so much quicker than earlier ones. Still needs work from the neck up.

this one nearly finished. And yes, you're looking at the clay "negative" but your eye refuses to see it that way. Note how the fingers, toes and other tricky bits are conveniently underwater, making the sculptor's life a little easier.

This gave me hell, and I'm far from pleased with it. This was an early try, one of those ongoing never-enders that I could never get quite how I wanted, but I learnt a lot in the process. And how about the decor? The thing is that the woman is meant to be sitting up in bed and lifting the blind to see the world outside her window. The blind is a special kind of pom-pom fringed venetian blind and the walls have textured flock wallpaper. Outside there are half-eaten plants of an unknown variety. Thats it, no more interior design from now on

It is uncanny how the eye works. Is the Positive the picture above or the one below?

This was my first try and I was still a bit bewildered at the prospect of making clothes in reverse. None of these are very big, and so things like fingers and facial features become very small and fiddly. The tiny work is much less fun and more of a struggle for me, and it probably shows.

But yes, this lower one is the clay original, and you are just looking at a void in the shape of a woman. Because its a photo, you cannot tell which direction the lighting is coming from, so your eye decides for you. You tell yourself that it is being lit from below and suddenly you can only see it as raised. As I'm working I do it by shutting one eye, using my hand to blinker out my peripheral vision, then telling my brain to believe that the light is coming from the opposite direction.   The down side to this one-eyed inside out way of working is that you can sometimes overlook some screamingly obvious boo-boos.   I just thought I'd share that with you because it's Really Weird! 

Enquiries:    Post:  Kim Devenish  PO Box 213 Foster Victoria Australia 3960