Close

The Ascent of Icarus: Step by Step

see the full creation process

Icarus: Finished

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 1

Many poses were considered for “The Ascent of Icarus.” Here the figure model, who will pose for the sculpture body strikes the final pose.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 2

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 3

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 4

Cotton is embedded into the wet alginate.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 5

More cotton is pushed into the impression material.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 6

Excess cotton is removed.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 7

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 8

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 9

Ribbing further reinforces the mold.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 10

To de-mold, the edges are loosened first.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 11

The model examines the mold.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 12

The finished negative mold can only be used one time.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 13

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 14

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 15

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 16

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 17

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 18

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 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.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 20

Plaster gauze hardens into a strong mother mold.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 21

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 22

The face mold is cast in Ultracal-30.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 23

The raw pull is delivered from the mold.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 24

The face is fit into place on the torso.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 25

The seam is fully blended.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 26

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 27

A wooden armature will be fabricated to hold the feathers.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 28

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 29

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 30

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 31

The armature is built in two pieces and is removable.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 32

Corrugated cardboard is cut at an angle.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 33

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 34

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 35

Primary feather construction and assembly is complete.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 36

A second row of feathers is added to both wings.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 37

Tertiary feathers are added to both wings.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 38

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 39

Wings are returned to position and fully primed.

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 40

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 41

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

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 41

The Ascent of Icarus: Step 42

The finished sculpture, “The Ascent of Icarus.”

Icarus: Finished