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Tony: Step by Step

See the full process

Tony: Step 1

The pose is determined. The model, Tony, is placed as the artist would have gravity effect his body. A vertical sculpture requires a vertical pose. The selection of the model and pose is arguably the most creative and artistic part of the process.

Tony: Step 2

Ordinary eyebrow pencil serves as a guide for the artist in determining where the mold starts and stops.  These lines happen to transfer onto the alginate!

Tony: Step 3

Cold water is sprayed on the model. It a) puts him on alert that the process is about to begin, b) lowers the skin’s surface temperature, slowing gel time, and c) minimizes the formation of bubbles between the alginate and the skin.

Tony: Step 4

Philip Hitchcock mixes the alginate. He uses a 6-8 minute formula.

Tony: Step 5

Alginate is applied directly to the model, who remains focused on his pose.

Tony: Step 6

Hitchcock covers the mouth last.

Tony: Step 7

An even coat of alginate covers Tony’s torso and lower face.

Tony: Step 8

Cotton is pressed into alginate. Since nothing sticks to alginate, a mechanical bond is required between the alginate and the plaster gauze mother mold.

Tony: Step 9

The cotton is left in place until the alginate thoroughly gels.

Tony: Step 10

At this point, all the excess cotton is removed, leaving only a fuzzy nap, just enough to catch the plaster gauze.

Tony: Step 11

Plaster gauze is applied

Tony: Step 12

Ridges in the gauze create greater structural integrity for the mold.

Tony: Step 13

The plaster sets.

Tony: Step 14

The mold is carefully removed from the model.

Tony: Step 15

Model and artist show off the mold.

Tony: Step 16

An illusion of reverse 3-dimensionality is created. The negative mold appears to be in positive!

Tony: Step 17

Ultracal-30, a US Gypsum cement product is layered into the mold.

Tony: Step 18

Hemp is used to reinforce the second layer of Ultracal.

Tony: Step 19

The hemp and Ultracal mix is carefully applied. Upon set, a third layer of Ultracal is applied.

Tony: Step 20

The mold is broken away from the sculpture. The mold is used only once.

Tony: Step 21

The artist continue to de-mold

Tony: Step 22

Hitchcock displays the “raw pull.”

Tony: Step 23

Tony poses with his matrix.

Tony: Step 24

These are the raw materials that will become the sculpture base and pedestal.

Tony: Step 25

All hardware has been aged and oxidized using a reactive acid.

Tony: Step 26

The “boxes” are glued, nailed and assembled.

Tony: Step 27

A worn look is created on the pedestal by beating and scratching the wood with hammers and files.

Tony: Step 28

The box base, by contrast will be smooth. Here it is shown in primer gray.

Tony: Step 29

The first layer of black paint is applied at the edges before a dark stain and resin mix is applied. The effect will look like a worn, old trunk.

Tony: Step 30

The pieces are placed to check fit. Hardware is attached.

Tony: Step 31

The hardware receives some final “antiquing!”

Tony: Step 32

Mounts are sculpted on the back of the trimmed and refined sculpture. Imperfections have been re-sculpted.

Tony: Step 33

The first layers of metallic paint are applied.

Tony: Step 34

Additional colors of metallic coppers and bronzes are sponged onto the sculpture.

35- Color details are added.

Tony: Step 35

Color details are added.

Tony: Step 36

A wash of “Liver” and “Verde” is applied. Highlights are pulled back out with dry brushing.

Tony: Step 37

Nine colors are used in this finish. 3 coats of satin varnish seal the deal.

Tony: Step 38

The finished statue of “Tony.”

Tony: Step 39

The finished  statue of “Tony” detail.