Friday, October 3, 2008

in awe of my hubby's mad skills!

This semester, Mike's project for school has been for the plaster students to photograph, document and duplicate one of the ornamental plaster ceilings located inside Drayton Hall here in Charleston.

It's the third ceiling for this house, dates to the 1870s and is beautiful and massive. Each plaster student chose a particular element to replicate from the decorated ceiling:

To give you an idea of scale, each star around the outside is I think, about the size of your hand. In the picture you can see spots where the stars are missing around the outside and a portion at the bottom middle that has been repaired without all the decoration. These decorations are what they are trying to replicate.

If you look closely, you can barely make out the part Mike chose - it's the very center medallion piece and looks like a sunflower with a large middle and small petals:

This is the type of work he wants to do when he graduates, so he's been working really hard to get it just right. To replicate it, he had to draw it all out in proper proportions and then carve it out of clay. The clay is then used to make a mold to cast the plaster piece in. (If you really want to know more about how the whole thing works, look at his website - he explains it all there).

Here's what he started with, which is about the size of a small Frisbee:

And then carved away, ending up with this beauty:

Not bad for his first ever clay sculpture. Puts my knitting to shame eh?


Scarlett said...

you are a pretty good knitter to pull off those hats, but that is kicking A awesome. I took a clay/pottery class and barely pulled out a bowl.

Stacy said...


JC said...

That is gorgeous! I have a real appreciation for working with plaster now that I've tried it. My sculpture kept breaking- plaster, at least the type I was working with, was a lot more delicate than I realized. Next time I'm going to add horse hair, I don't care what the art teacher says. *wink*

I really appreciated your comment on my blog. It struck me, because I'm from up north (I go to college in the south). However, my boyfriend (who is southern) is spending a semester up north, and he constantly says how he's not able to enjoy fall up north because it's so cold compared to down here. Now for me, I feel like something is missing from fall... the crisp, cool air isn't quite coldly bracing enough for me. I suppose it's what you grow up with. I look forward to hearing more from you!