Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When Pigs Fly

"When Pigs Fly"
I was going to post about a new 'scene' I made with gnomes and a chalkboard and glowing clay, but in light of the unlikely things happening around here lately, I've decided to unveil my latest faery sculpture to the blog instead. If someone had suggested that NH might fall prey to a blizzard that dumps 20 inches of snow and knocks out power to thousands and thousands - all before Halloween - they might reply with the title of this sculpture. I certainly would have! :)

This sculpture is seriously much more impressive in person. There's just no decent way to show the perspective of the piece with my amateur camera know-how. But, be that as it may, I've done my best. A rather adorable pig with wings is being coaxed to fly by a flying fae boy. He is in mid-air with no apparently visible support. And the miracle is he's rather quite sturdy up there! Whew!

This all came about when I found some brass rods at the little country hardware store down the street. I've been dying to work on a more difficult armature, something that would wow people. I'm pretty happy with the result. Why the theme? I was working with the television on and there was a commercial involving a dog on a roof with some flying pigs... and some canned baked beans too. Not sure where that came into it, but the flying pigs stuck in my mind. I thought, wouldn't it be nice to show just how you could get one to fly? Hence the faery and a way to try out an out-of-the-ordinary armature design.

The pig completely supports the faery. To make this design, I started with a basic (and I mean stick figure) sketch in full scale of the piece I wanted to create. Then I bent the brass rod along the center of gravity for both the pig and the faery, and then I prayed to the sculpting gods that I guessed correctly on the angle of the faery. Too far forward and he would have tipped. I got it just right! The bar runs through the piggy, up his wing, up the faery's arm and down through his torso. From there, I constructed the armature of the pig and sculpted the basic body of the pig before finally tackling the faery. This took a long while. I was so worried about the balance and center of gravity, that I put the finished pig with the brass rod sticking out on my "to do" shelf at the mill and didn't touch it for at least a few weeks. >.<
Aerial shot
When I mustered up the courage and repeated my little "nothing to it but to do it" mantra a few hundred times, I started working on the armature of the faery itself and then the clay. I was relieved that the finished piece not only didn't tip, but it was highly sturdy. You could actually push on the faery's legs (within reason, of course) and it wouldn't tip.
So I will definitely try more interesting armatures after show season has slowed down a bit.


  1. You have some fantastic sculpting skills! Are those just simple craft feathers?

  2. Wow!!! You have excelled yourself!! This is FABULOUS!