When Clays Collide

This afternoon I pushed aside my little Morgan sculpture on my main work counter to make way for the other sculpture in the works this winter, and as I stepped back I realized that gee, it looks like things are actually happening around here! And they are!

In my November post-vacation blog entry when I got back from Budapest, I mentioned an idea for a new sculpture that came to me one sleepless night in the hotel. Well, you can see it there. I’m sculpting a winged horse. I know… that doesn’t sound very earth-shattering compared to how enthusiastically I described this mystery project. But here is how I see it:

Winged horses are a fantasy, a myth, which means that there are no rules for them. How liberating for a sculptor! Just the perfect thing for me to break out of a realistic sculpture rut yet not give up on horses all the way. The enchanting part (for me anyway) is that I want to make it believable. In fact my idea is not to sculpt just another heroic, grandly depicted winged horse or Pegasus. This one is going to be just standing there, hipshot and weight off the one hind leg, eyes half closed, idly preening the feathers of one wing. That is what I am going for anyway.

The other enchanting part of a winged horse for me as a ceramics finisher, is there are again no rules about color!! Just imagine all the art-glaze colors and real horse combinations just waiting to be played with on this piece. I mean, who says a winged horse has to be white? Mine won’t be. Mine are going to be… dappled black-bay with an incredible array of russets and browns and reds in the wings. Cobalt blue tobiano pinto with black points… palomino, with subtle purple in the wings and shadings… sea-aqua teal blanket appaloosa… oh BABY what fun this will be in the kiln! I want it in my hands RIGHT NOW!

Oh, drat, I still have to sculpt it first. That is how I felt that night in Budapest: I wanted it in my hands right THEN! My working name for the sculpture is “Imre” which is a name that pops up a lot in Hungarian history. (I might re-spell it “Imri” after a favorite fantasy-fiction book character of mine…)

I have been studying wings a lot lately, of course. That is going to be the hard part!! I’m still in denial about it; just working on the horse part for now. I do know that I am going to use Heron wings as my starting point of reference. I built-in wires for the wings on the armature, but I haven’t decided yet whether having even just the wires there is going to impede getting the horse sculpture right. They might just get in the way. I have a real need/desire to do this sculpture all in one piece to really get it to be one work, rather than finish the horse and cast that in resin and then add the wings I sculpt in epoxy or some other material. So, I am just feeling my way along at this point. I have a feeling this is going to really test my mold-maker over in England, though! Wheee!