Things are going well so far. Horses have a striking anatomy, so researching the shop’s first horse sculpture has been a joy. All mammals share the same archetypical muscle groups, exaggerated or repressed according to the species’ adaptation.
Imagine, the upper part of the horse’s arm is analogue to our forearm, this means the lower part of the leg is an extension of the wrist, and the jointing of the hoof an adapted toe! Like ballerinas, they gallop around on tiptoe, carrying a respectable grazer’s belly mass at that! Think of the cow, whose stomachs are practically draped like a digestive hammock between a skeletal frame as stable as a coffee table. Although the horse remains a deeply contrasted cousin to ungulates like the cow, comparisons help cultivate an appreciation of the divergent developmental stages responsible for the myriad forms of life.
Despite their diminished presence following the industrial revolution, horses persist as integrated elements of social life and as one of man’s most intimate and diverse symbols. From concepts of freedom (the mustang), to theatrics and entertainment (circuses, dressage), nobility and money (fancy pet), to strength and work (farming, transportation, races, horsepower). Despite, and perhaps because of, their lines of incorporation into a developing human society, horses retain a mysteriousness and complexity. They are large, extraordinarily sensitive animals that have somehow become an extension of human activity. Conventionally understood as a symbol of spirit and freedom that needs force to conform to human ideas of duty, the tension produced in their bodies and faces can be fascinating, disturbing, and beautiful. I hope to do more sculptures of the horse in the future that penetrate the simultaneous and conflicting meanings of the horse.
If you want to learn more about horse nature, and will deign to let me try to influence your thinking about the horse, check out this wonderful exploration of the possibilities of relationship between humans and horses. —> Here!
anyway, back to business!
The clay is laid overtop a TruForm Equine Armature, 1/6 the scale. For reference I used anatomy books, and video footage of horses. The semi-finished sculpt is shown above, but we will be casting a wax from it in this stage, and finishing the detail in the wax before a final casting. This time around we are exploring the methods Tim Bruckner laid out in his book, Pop Sculpture.
Once things were satisfactorily sketched out in clay (and after the horse sat on the shelf for ~4 months for a long-term quality review), it was time to pour on the silicone.
A few coats of that, and its time for the fiberglass shell…
Filling that up with our new specialty wax recipe which should ensure not only a successful, detailed cast, but improved workability (although great for casting, microcrystaline wax is cruel to tools!).
To be continued…