Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 14 Project planning & problem solving

This morning i met with the new artist i residency, Bissan Rafe, she's a Palestinian born painter came from Texas, USA. She has her own studio in USA, and already had exhibitions in some foreign countries. She is here to complete her series children fairytale book from her exhibitions in different countries. Wow, it's so interesting to meet new artist with different background and experiences. We talked a lot and share our own stories, she's a also fun person to hang out with as well. It's great to have another fellow artist, welcome aboard!

After breakfast, i went to studio to start mapping out the plan for my project which left about 2 weeks more to go. I've got some alternative sketches for the Samurai armor, which i made when i was visiting the Museum in Tokyo and on my way trip to Fukuoka.
I choose to make samurai sculpture though i am a 3D modeller artist, i wanted to do something different rather than a 3D CGI. To make something presentable where people can actually see and feel in real life, is just something that i have never accomplished and wish to fulfill as an artist.

Japan combined live action robots with VFX, way before Ironman the movie

When i was a little kid, i always enjoyed watching most of Japan's anime television series and Tokusatsu shows. Tokusatsu is a Japanese term that applies to any live-action film or television shows that use special effects. Even though they all have a same idea, which is about robots or heroes that fights the space invaders, it's amazing how Japan can produced hundreds (or maybe thousands) of completely unique designs by its own. In the 80's, Metal Hero series like Gavan, Sharivan (Space Sheriff Series), Dai Sentai or Goggle-V, Kamen Rider, Kikaider, Ultraman, Mazinger-Z, are just some of my favorite shows that i can mention.

The Samurai mobile suit or armor that i'm going to make combines high technology features and ancient Yoroi / shogun armor design. The Samurai armor inspiration was actually referring from crow or also known here as Karasu. The idea came to me while staying here in Itoshima, i spotted many crows nearby. Crows have long stood as a symbol of power in Japanese mythology, but nowdays they tend to be seen more as a menace as they tend to steal, disturb and also trick people.

Based from references that i had, i constantly re-draw and modifying my sketches until i feel happy with the result. After i got the desired design, i made the blueprint for the sculpture with actual scale in front view and side view.

Some of my early designs for my sculpture

However, there is one problem that i am facing during my sculpture production. Since we don't have an oven here at the studio, i need to figure out a way to bake the clay. The clay that i'm using is an opaque color original Super Sculpey, it's an oven based clay type so if you heated up the clay it will become hard.

Looking for possible alternative way, i found an article about an experiment of baking the clay with water and microwave! I give it a try and finally it turned out pretty good, the clay has turned into solid!

Before i put inside microwave
Set around 6-8 minutes
Came out hard as rock!
All you need is just a microwave safe container, try to get the maximum size that can fit your microwave. Then place the clay inside the container then fill it with water, just enough until it covers the whole clay ( it needs to be fully drown because you want the heat to be distribute equally). Then you close it and put inside microwave, set it around 6 or 8 minutes (depending on the size of your clay), if you still think it's not hard enough you can always heat it back until you satisfied. 

Once i figured out how to bake it then, the next thing i need is to fit the size of clay into the container. To do that, i measured the height of the container, then i break the height of my sculpture based on it. In the end, i got 6 main separate parts which later i will construct them as the base mesh they are head, torso, 2 arms, and 2 legs.

Placing armatures on the base clay before i baked it

Hiro's kawaii cute baby, Noi-chan
Hiro before doing fire fighting duty

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