January 2010

This evening’s progress…



Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor


Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor


I already removed and hollowed out the head earlier in the week, and the ears are shaped and drying.

Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor


Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor


This evening I started the process of cutting everything into manageable pieces, hollowing them out, and re-assembling them, then re-cutting them apart. I know, it’s insane. This stage is definitely unnerving, and if not done well can lead to major headaches later (like getting all four feet to sit flat after firing).

Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor


Due to so many other irons in the fire, I’ve let this sculpture sit for over a month under plastic. Well, clay does have some organic matter in it…and lets just say I now have fresh incentive to finish it faster (although ‘fresh’ is definitely not the right word ).

Not much scheduled for the weekend, so I have no good excuse not to make progress on hollowing out.

Oh, I keep forgetting — I need to make the tail too!


1/30 update:

Hollowed out same parts as yesterday on other side.

Finished sculpting/attaching tail.

“Reprieve” in process


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"Reprieve," wet clay phase. Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor


"Reprieve" in process. Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor


These photos were taken about a month ago of a smaller hare sculpture which is now ready to bisque fire. It was the first sculpture done in my “new” (re-claiming previous sculpture space…long story) 10’x10′ sculpture-only work area. I’m now working on a much bigger hare sculpture, as yet untitled (his ears featured in yesterday’s blog entry).

Clay shavings



Ears for large hare sculpture in process.

Shaping these was an irrationally intensely satisfying experience. Pure joy came out of nowhere and hijacked my body for awhile. My hands took cues from an abstract love of form welling up from the deep. The leather hard clay came off in long curls, each stroke a privilege.

So much precedes such moments: years spent slaloming the learning curve; countless sketches that don’t end up in clay but over time contribute to a sense of what constitutes “perfection” for the ears; enlarging the sketch and building an elaborate armature to support the clay in it’s wet stages; catching the ears at just the right point in their drying cycle where I can carve them like wax, tapering their thickness just so… Why is it so satisfying to finally get to apply that inner conceptual idea of what’s “right” — reinforced by repetition in my mind and sketchbook — to the actual clay?

Wood armatures I made to help form the ears for a large hare sculpture. Steve Eichenberger | Sculptor

A World of Possibilities Awaits…

Oil sketch of Egon Schiele by Steve Eichenberger

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about giant rabbit ears.

(This was my very first test post during the “Under Construction” phase: two solid days of desk jockeying. It was nice having Egon to keep me company, so I’m keeping this post for nostalgic reasons.)

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