Okay I'm finally back to working on the custom commission piece that I accepted many months ago. I hate to think of how long it's taken me to get started, but in my defense the client said they were in no hurry. Plus I actually have been making other pieces in between...okay, enough excuses!...here's where I'm at now. I'm FINALLY getting a solid, clear vision of what I want this piece to look like. It took me a long time and a lot of mulling over because, as I said before, I've never done a piece that depicts a certain city. Below I've listed the steps I've gone through so far. Next step is to actually roll out the clay and begin sculpting! Oh boy:)
What helped me most was finding the "stage". Many thanks to my friend Eric for bringing this wonderful old barn door over. I just love the thick, chunky bolts in the top! We had to cut it in half and add a small shelf at the bottom for the city to sit on.
Next I researched on the web-the pics I have here are an amalgam of many photos that I pulled from Flickr, real estate websites, etc. I cropped in tightly on these photos to get the detail of the wrought iron that is so specific to the French Quarter.
After looking at the research and building the stage, I started sketching the piece to scale. I don't have tracing paper large enough so I had to tape several together. I wanted to have the words "Vieux Carre" in there somewhere as that really says French Quarter to me in a romantic way. I also didn't want a realistic depiction of the Quarter-instead I wanted to give the flavor of it by focusing on the swirls found in the ironwork and the shapes in the peaks of the roofs, etc. I also wanted to get the large palm leaves in there as they are ubiquitous to that city--I ended up placing them within the context of the buildings, as when you walk by a courtyard gate and see nothing but a proliferation of palm fronds.
This is showing the trapeze couple that will hang in the upper right hand corner. This piece is to celebrate a 25th anniversary so I wanted to have two lovers flying over the city.