Monday, August 31, 2009

Clean, clean, clean!

For the last week my brother-in-law and I have been cleaning out our garage and basement, where I will be setting up my studio space. So much stuff! It's taking a long time, but it will pay off when everything is neat, tidy and well organized. 'Till then I'm working on sketches and maquettes for the Liberty. I just bought a mannequin on ebay who standing in a similar pose. Perfect for modeling drapery further down the line!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Date with the Bridgeport Fire Dept.

So, back in May, before starting anything, I needed to get some measurements. This required getting up into the monument where the sculpture would be. The platform where the sculpture will stand is 15' off the ground, so luckily I had the BFD available to get me up there! Boy, was that tons of fun :D.

Yeah, that's me up there. Taking the picture. Those firemen were so nice to give me a lift ^_^

       (Above) Here is a close up of where she will stand, with her platform at eye level (you can see the round base she will stand on top of)...

     (Above) And here is a shot of the base under the arches...

So, after gathering measurements and doing some simple calculations, I came to the conclusion the she will stand 6' high atop her base, in relation to the soldier and sailor who stand 9', and the crowning figure of 12' high.  

Reference Photos continued...

Most of the pictures available are from that left (her left) 3/4 view, like the image in the previous post. It has been the toughest finding other angles; when we find them, it is usually just a tease. The shot is usually blurry as all hell, or just shows a slice of the figure, i.e. Joe found a postcard with a view from the left of monument; all that was visible of Liberty was an arm and some cape (But trust me, every little bit helps) . I received the below shot a few days ago; it is the best alternate view yet (Once you find where she is :D)!

Along with that picture came a great shot of the sculpture on the ground after it had fallen. Although broken, this shot definitely gives me a much better grasp of what she's wearing. Finally, some detail!  

It's actually kind of fun when you don't have a plethora of references. It makes you work harder, and it is that much more exciting when you actually find something useful! It's like I'm slowing putting together the pieces of a puzzle (no pun intended :p)!

Reference Photos

Here are are few of the reference photos I've been given to work with. Many of the pictures I have are old low resolution photos from post cards, which were then blown up. Because of this, the images do not explain much in terms of detail. They are mostly good for gesture, stance and the general masses of the figure. Because many of the postcards available were printed in the early 1900s, the color in the photos was painted on, distorting detail even more when blown up. Also, some of the postcards are not photos at all, but illustrations of the monument (which can be useful in other aspects because the drawing uses line to explain form that may not be readable in photos!)

My New Project

So, I had this great teacher at Lyme Academy, named Jim Reed, who hooked me up with a commission for a sculpture. The gig is to recreate the central Figure of Liberty (Left: the white figure under arches) on the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Seaside Park of Bridgeport, CT. The monument was erected in 1876 in commemoration of those who died in the Civil War. 
All the sculptures on the monument were sculpted and cast by Melzar H. Mosman of Chicopee, Mass. The figures are all bronze except for the now missing Liberty, which was carved in marble. In 1969, the marble figure was knocked down by vandals and was broken into several pieces. For more information about the history of this monument, go to this site:
Since then, the whereabouts of the original pieces is unknown, and the Friends of Seaside Park have decided to commission a new Liberty. It is now my job to re-sculpt this figure with the reference of existing photographs. Unfortunately, there are very few visual records of the figure, but I do have a few to work from, thanks to the Friends of Seaside Park, and my friend and research expert, Joe Shea of Krieble Library :D. On the other side of that coin, given the fact that there are very few images of the original (and very few people who remember what the original looked like!) I will have a great deal of freedom with the overall design of the piece. However, I will still do my best to keep it as near to the original as possible, by closely analyzing similar work being made in this genre and time period.

A little about me

I just graduated from the Lyme Academy college of Fine Arts with a BFA in figurative sculpture. For awhile, the focus of my sculpture was children, and for my senior thesis is sculpted a life-size self-portrait as a 12-year old girl (Which is currently on exhibition in the Sill House Gallery, at the Lyme Academy)  

Now that school is finished, I've moved home to Vermont, where I grew up. My family is kindly allowing my to set up a studio space at home to complete my new project.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Getting Started

I'm back home in Vermont where I am getting ready to start my sculpture. I have a commission to re-create the central Liberty figure on the Soldiers and Sailors monument in the Seaside Park, Bridgeport. On this blog I will be posting pictures and descriptions of my progress as I go along. Right now I am preparing my studio space, and within the next few days I will be welding together my armature. I will have some pics in a few days!