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ELVEN DANCER

1999, sculpture, mixed media, 14" by Chris Wayan

Started as a test figure for the more elaborate dream-sculpture Cambodian Girl, but then it went off on its own...

An Elven dancer leaping, in blue cloak; a hanging sculpture. Click to enlarge.
I'd been reading Francesca Lia Block's wonderful I WAS A TEENAGE FAIRY, and it definitely influenced me.
close-up of Elven-dancer in blue cloak; a hanging sculpture. Click to enlarge.
The cloak is silk of course, but for the body...

I used a technique invented by Dawn Z., a sculptor friend of mine: coathanger bones, tinfoil for deep muscles, then plasticine for a smooth surface. Wash it in cold soapy water to strip off the surface oil, then paint with thickened wood glue or Elmer's glue, which becomes a hard shell around the softer clay. Then you paint a few layers of acrylic skin. The result ain't bronze but it's smoother than papier-mache, cheaper than Paperclay, and needs no firing like ceramic (tougher, too).*

Only after I finished the piece did I realize it looks a bit like Dawn as well...

Elven-dancer from the back; a hanging sculpture
* Avoid this technique; the oil-based plasticine are unstable, longterm. Another figurine, Raise Yourself, leaked rusty oil and stained under the acrylic skin, as if bruised. My most durable sculptures are Fimo or Sculpey (sometimes over a chopstick skeleton). Paperclay and real clay are easier, but dry weaker (unless, in the case of real clay, fired). Matte acrylic varnish/medium will strengthen any of them. It's a tradeoff. More trouble, more permanence.



LISTS AND LINKS: dancers - elves and fairies - babes, hunks & sexy creatures - portraits - Dawn dreams - dream sculpture - two sister sculptures (same odd materials): Cambodian Girl & Raise Yourself!

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