Building Sculptural Character
September 24-29, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Frank introduced himself and then told me that through a clerical error they had never told me which piece to bring as every artist is evidently going to have one piece in the show. He asks if I could hang around until his coordinator John showed up and then they would decide.
After John showed up, I walked away so the two of them could adjudicate without me prejudicing the decision. Here is where it got weirder--they decided to take two which I think means I will be the only artist with two in the show. It is embarrassing a little but on the other hand my huge ego made me grab the rejected third piece and I ran for the door.
So now I am able to turn my attention to getting to Mineral Point for the workshop meet and greet tonight. Since it is about noon at this point and I don't have to be to Shake Rag until 4:00 p.m., I decide to blue highway it a bit by driving directly west on 60 and then turning south on 23 which gets me there around 3:30 p.m.
Jackie was in the office at Shake Rag called the Coach House. I am sleeping in Room One upstairs and it is easy to unpack. Then I went over to the Smeja Studio building which is across Hwy. 23 from the Lind Pavilion and meet Kate Church.
Kate Church has been making art doll for more than 25 years. She lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. She has worked for Mermaid Theater and created art for Cirque de Soleil that was based on their characters from their shows and sold as art during the productions. Here is a picture of one of her works, Ryder and Crow, from her website:
The workshop starts at 4:30 p.m. with an orientation and welcome discussion. We all got to introduce ourselves.
Next we walk to the home of two Mineral Point residents and friend of Sandy Scott, one of the owners of the Longbranch Gallery. Laura has prepared a wonderful chicken dinner for us and we all dig in. This entire night bonds the group to each other and makes in clear that Kate Church is going to fill our week with cool thoughts.
Here is the class description for Kate Church's workshop: "She will show YOU how to have fun building unique character, sculpting with polymer clay and cloth over lively wire armatures, producing a figure with a unique life of its own. You will learn her method of placing energy into a figure and focusing on the sculptural form and how to get inside it. You will create TWO interacting figures in this 5 day workshop."
Above is one of Kate Church's class samples. Our first goal is to learn to sculpt faces in polymer clay.
It took me a few to get going but I really like these face that I call The Dead.
Kate provided us with pre-sewn pajamas for our characters.
I would work at night on an extra for the class--an assemblage stage for my characters. This guy got his own grave to dance on.
The grave gets a coat of paper so it can be painted
Here is the paint and some nails
Each costume has an internal structure that allows the characters to stand on their own
My quartet of heads
My Flesh is a Grave With Nothing Inside
When I got this piece home I decided I needed to add some things to the mix. I felt like the piece needed a backdrop so I added a metal fan to give it a backdrop.
I added a nail fence with wire to compliment the nails on the side of the box.
Here is the quotation on the front of the box which reads "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
I decided to enter My Flesh is a Grave With Nothing Inside into the 2017 Museum of Wisconsin Art Once Upon a Members' Show where it won Best Sculpture.