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
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