Dawn asked me to make her an elephant. I have been working on creating pieces for an “Asian” series. The influence of the work so far has primarily been eastern asian. The Asian Elephant was the first finished work. I think there may have been a Horton influence, but I was not thinking that at the time. I just wanted to make a “balloon” shaped Asian style elephant. The ears are smaller on Asian Elephants.
I began with 50 pounds of basic sculpting clay. There is a 1in pipe with newspaper and tape going up about 3/4 of the way inside the elephant. I cut sqaure sheets of clay from the bag and layered them on. I did my best to pack the clay together as I applied it to keep it from separatign later on.
I then began to slowly pull clay from the bottom up to the sides of the the elephant, rounding out the body as I narrowed the legs and feet.
The body began to take shape and I pulled clay forward to create the head and eventually the trunk. I kept thinning the legs out and separated the legs from each other with slight indentations. The feet flared out slightly at the base.
Eventually he was smooth and ready for details. I tried to make all of the features subtle and slightly abstracted. The only parts of the elephant I wanted to be suggestive of a real elephant were the ears. Asian elephant ears are smaller. I tried to capture the actual shape and main points of the ear, although I kept them close to the body as to not break up the roundness of the body. After a couple of weeks in class he went in the kiln and came out pink, with only minor cracks.
With some help from my instructor, I began to apply an acrylic faux finish. The idea was to acheive a cast iron appearance. I finished the elephant with a coat of clear.