Bronze Kudu sculpture, start to finish [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Bronze Kudu sculpture, start to finish

05-28-2015, 10:53 AM
I promised a while ago that when I began my next sculpting project, I'd post my progress. I've just started now and am posting the armature and first application of clay. I'll continue to post periodically as the sculpture develops all the way through to the end product, the bronze. Hope this is interesting to some..

05-28-2015, 11:14 AM
Looking forward to seeing your work.

05-28-2015, 01:27 PM
I tried to post the two photos but they didn't come through I guess!

05-28-2015, 04:03 PM
No they didn't. Are you using the "manage attachments" button. That works best for me.

05-29-2015, 11:47 AM
These photos Sis?

05-29-2015, 12:35 PM
Yes! I didn't think they had gone through! That's the armature and first clay; have a long long way to go but this is the beginning..

05-29-2015, 12:55 PM
This is wonderful work Kristikay. I have no idea how you can do something like that. I mean build up a clay statue from a frame like that. It is going to be fun to watch your progress on this.

I think David (Bushcraftonfire) took your photos from your album and loaded them to his post, the ones that you uploaded with your post did not come through.

Maybe we can help you figure out why they didn't load when you tried to post them. Which method did you use -- the picture icon or the 'manage attachments' link?

05-29-2015, 01:05 PM
This is very interesting.. I will enjoy this thread.. Great so far!


Susan Mulno
05-29-2015, 07:15 PM

05-30-2015, 12:18 AM
TerryCurley, I think the problem was that my pictures were too large so I had to resize them, make them smaller. I reposted and added the smaller pictures, all looks fine now. Thanks so much for your help! And thanks to everybody who has commented! I havn't worked on the kudu since I did the armature and first clay application. I've been so busy with other things but will continue next week.

Susan Mulno
05-30-2015, 09:56 AM
Looking forward to the next step.

06-01-2015, 03:20 PM
This is very interesting.. I will enjoy this thread.. Great so far!


Yup! Me too!

06-02-2015, 12:26 AM
Finally got back to my clay today, 2nd session working on my kudu. All together probably have put six hours into it so far with putting together the armature and two clay sittings. Today I did a little refining, adding clay, taking away clay...and will continue adding and taking away until it's a kudu! Referring to photos a lot since I've never seen a kudu in person so am trying to get it right. There will be lots of changes made to what you see in this photo since it's a work in progress. Lol! No sculpting tomorrow, root canal day!

Susan Mulno
06-02-2015, 07:14 AM
Root canal day! You must be so excited! :)

Kudu looks great. Does the clay stay pliable?

06-02-2015, 09:48 AM
Yes, the clay is pliable but hard, of course, when it's cool. I warm it up in an electric skillet, can have it from liquid to hard so there's a certain temp I like to set it at for different uses. Anyway, once i wasn't using my brain and set a finished clay, ready to mold, on the dashboard of my truck while I went in to visit my son and it was a hot day.... When I got back to my truck my precious sculpture was almost a puddle! Duh..wasn't thinking; oil based clay, hot truck... I was able to salvage most of it but it was back to the drawing board..or sculpture stand...for me!

06-02-2015, 10:32 AM
How interesting. I never knew how this was done. My exposure to art has been very limited in my life. Too busy with family and business but that is making my retirement all the more fun because now I have the time to discover what I've missed.

Susan Mulno
06-02-2015, 05:57 PM
Do you need to warm the clay to work on the shaping?

06-02-2015, 06:41 PM
Look up two posts above yours Susan :)


Susan Mulno
06-02-2015, 10:19 PM
Sometimes what sounds good in my head is not so clear in writing, to clarify...

I know she said it WILL soften when warmed, I am just curious if she NEEDS to soften it to work with it or can she leave it at room temperature?

06-03-2015, 12:59 AM
Susan Mulno, I use my clay when its soft but also use it when hard; it depends. There are times that I would use the Clay at room temperature for smoothing or for adding fine detail. It's good to use soft when you're adding large amounts. Best work on detail when it's hard…

06-03-2015, 10:05 AM
These are absolutely stunning! Cannot wait to see the progress. I dream of one day doing bronze, but I have only been sculpting in ceramics for about half a year now. Maybe one day!

08-21-2015, 09:08 PM
I got pretty busy with other things so haven't posted progress but managed to finish my kudu clay today and am posting the pics now. I had finished (I thought) a couple days ago (first pic) but the legs were bothering me. They were a tad too short it seemed. So I tore it all apart from the knees down, sliced it at the knees, took away the base and resculpted the lower legs and hooves, made them only 1/4 inch longer but enough to make a difference. Ended up with a thinner base but it works. Hate tearing something apart when I thought it was done! Better to change it in clay, though, than to be sorry you didn't when it's in bronze! Off to the foundry it's going to go in a couple days; they'll do a mold then cast. I won't get my hands back on it until November, most likely. At that time it'll be in metal and I'll go check it out, make sure all is as it should be (rarely is it without issues that need fixing), oversee any metal work adjustments that need to be done, then instruct my desired patina, then comes the basing. I'll post foundry pics in a few months!

08-21-2015, 10:18 PM
This is totally fascinating. What a wonderful sculpture. I can see the difference in the legs after you pointed it out. You did make them better. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Melody Jeoulex
08-21-2015, 10:46 PM
Woah! That's so cool...I love it.. :D

08-22-2015, 06:48 AM
I'll be watching too... Interested in techniques. You're using clay but said bronze so assuming you'll paint the bronze color. Not real metal which would require lost-wax or molding. Since you're using earth clay will you fire it? Will the pipe create a prob? Guess I'll find out, eh?

08-22-2015, 06:51 AM
Odd... The final pics posted at the same time as my comments a moment ago.
Anyway, so you use a foundry for molding. The piece came out well.

08-22-2015, 09:44 AM
thank you for the great comments! Yes, I'm taking it to a foundry for mold and casting, lost wax method. I use an oil based clay, never dries out and can be reworked at any time if needed. It's a commission so I'll do two, one for the buyer and one for me. The patina will be an interesting one to do..

08-22-2015, 04:40 PM
Describe to the folks the process, kiddo, cuz many have no idea what lost wax is or the making of a mold capable of withstanding molten metal. They'll love it.

08-22-2015, 06:14 PM
Sorin, I provided a link a few weeks back describing the lost wax method of casting as well as the mold making. It does a good job of giving information about the whole process from clay to bronze. The link is Thank you so much for the interest! I'm going to title it Grey Ghost of Africa; the kudu is aptly referred to as the Grey Ghost because of it's remarkable ability to disappear quietly.

08-22-2015, 08:54 PM
That is so cool. I played with clay a lot as a kid, but never created anything as wonderful as what your doing. Keep posting!!! :biggrin:

08-23-2015, 01:16 AM
Kristi! We have missed you.. good to see you back. Excellent work here.. I love it

08-24-2015, 06:26 PM
Thank you Bushcraftonfire! Good to be back; it's been a busy summer so far. Just got back from the foundry, kudu is now in their capable hands. Due to their work load it won't be in bronze until late January! Oh well, I have another sculpture idea swimming around in my head and hope to start on it soon. I'll post progress on that one, too, but I feel like taking a few days off....I hope to post something next month!

08-25-2015, 06:58 PM
You really got it. It's tremendous!

08-25-2015, 07:02 PM
Thank you, FranKi!

08-26-2015, 11:03 AM
This looks awesome, great job on the details, I particularly love the horns :vs_closedeyes:

08-26-2015, 11:45 AM
Thank you, Erilia; I made the horns out of Sculpy, first time I've used the stuff. The rest I used my usual oil base clay...

08-26-2015, 12:28 PM
Probably a dumb question, but with oil clay and sculpy, does it get fired before heading to the foundry? I am used to working with high fire ceramic clay so I am trying to wrap my head around the process.

08-26-2015, 01:14 PM
karliejaye, oil based clay will melt if too warm; as a matter of fact, I soften it up by putting it in an electric skillet on the warm setting. When it's cooled off, it hardens and detail can be applied. So my sculptures aren't fired, they're molded at the foundry. I used Sculpy on the horns because I knew I had to do lots of detail while handling them. Excessive warmth from my hands destroys detail with my oil based clay so Sculpy was a better option. I made the horns starting with a wire then added the Sculpy clay, being sure to leave over an inch exposed at the bottom for mounting purposes. I then baked the horns in my oven at a low temperature for several minutes which made them hard enough to carve and even use my dremmel. After I finished with the detail on the horns I mounted them by sticking the exposed wire into the skull. There are no dumb questions, by the way! Lol! One can't know unless they ask! :-)

09-02-2015, 10:42 AM
Beautiful work. You are so amazingly good at this!

09-02-2015, 12:07 PM
Thank you Chanda95!

05-04-2017, 01:07 AM
your beginning is too good and I will pray to the god, you will be a great artist in future.

05-04-2017, 06:11 AM
Why do you keep digging up the dead? The original poster of this thread has not been on this site since 11/5/15, so they are not able to read your insulting reply.