The Ascent of Icarus



01

The selection of a 6’5” model meant improvising a molding table. “Jeff” strikes the pose.

02

Alginate covers the areas to be molded. Both arms and the torso will be taken in one piece.

03

Although another man’s visage will provide the face of Icarus, the base of the chin is taken as a reference point.

04

Cotton is embedded into the wet alginate.

05

More cotton is pushed into the impression material.

06

Excess cotton is removed.

07

Enough fiber is left to “grab” the plaster bandage.

08

Plaster gauze creates a “mother mold” which gives the whole thing contour strength.

09

Ribbing further reinforces the mold.

10

To de-mold, the edges are loosened first.

11

The model examines the mold.

12

The finished negative mold can only be used one time.

13

Several layers of Ultracal 30, a US Gypsum product, will create the positive casting.

14

The “raw pull” doesn’t look like much, yet…

15

The wall-mounting device is attached to the back of the sculpture and the piece hangs vertically.

16

Jonathon was chosen as the face model for his refined, classical features.

17

Straws ensure the subject can breathe during the 12-minute process.

18

Alginate covers the entire face, throat, and both ears. Jonathon holds his straws in place.

19

Cotton is applied and excess is removed when the alginate has set. The leftover nap creates a mechanical bond between the alginate and plaster gauze.

20

Plaster gauze hardens into a strong mother mold.

21

The finished negative mold often can create a 3D illusion!

22

The face mold is cast in Ultracal-30.

23

The raw pull is delivered from the mold.

24

The face is fit into place on the torso.

25

The seam is fully blended.

26

Photo references are used to create a scale drawing of the figure.

27

A wooden armature will be fabricated to hold the feathers.

28

The first row of feathers is drawn to scale, showing attachment points.

29

A second and third row of feathers are drawn. This drawing will be the guide for feather construction.

30

The armature design is rendered to scale on plywood and they are cut out.

31

The armature is built in two pieces and is removable.

32

Corrugated cardboard is cut at an angle.

33

A dowel rod will be added to indicate the feather’s spine.

34

The longest, outer feathers are inserted first and glued into place.

35

Feather detail.

36

Primary feather construction and assembly is complete.

37

Wing detail.

38

A second row of feathers is added to both wings.

39

Feather/ wing detail.

40

Tertiary feathers are added to both wings.

41

Feather detail.

42

The wings are removed and the harness, armbands, and modesty breech are added. The sculpture is given two coats of gesso.

43

Harness detail.

44

Armband detail.

45

Modesty breech detail.

46

Hair/ headband detail

47

Handle detail. Wings are returned to position.

48

Wings are returned to position and fully primed.

49

The base color is painted.

50

The base color is painted and umber shadows are worked into the piece.

51

Highlights are pulled back out.

52

Highlights and three coats of satin clear varnish seal and add depth to the stone finish.

53

The finished sculpture, “The Ascent of Icarus.”