Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Uncle Sweeter's body is not a standard vent figure's body. He is stoop-shouldered. Seeing him on a conventional body reinforces the need for something differnt. Consequently, his shoulder piece must be more than just the typical oval piece of board with a neck hole. I'll sculpt it from clay, make a plaster mold, and cast it in fiberglass. The procedure is similar to how I built the head.

  1. Draw the shape on a board and build a fence of clay that defines the outer perimeter of the shoulderpiece.

  2. Fill the fence with aluminum foil and form it to the shape of the shoulder piece.

  3. Using the foil as an armature, sculpt the shoulder piece in clay.

    Here's a picture from the side. The body front is toward the left in this picture. You can see that the neck hole is forward of the piece and sloped downward, and the rear part of the piece forms Uncle Sweeter's stooped shoulders.

  4. Put the model in the mold cabinet, seal the seams, grease it up with petroleum jelly for a mold release, and prepare to make a plaster mold.

After this, the procedure is exactly like making the cast for either half of the head.


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