The day starts with some quiet time in the studio alone with Dora Gordine’s plaster portraits. They have such presence. Like Dora, I have a love of plaster and its luminosity. In homage to her I will cast in plaster all of my sculptures created here. One will also be cast in bronze, thanks to Bronze Age Sculpture Casting Foundry – my reward for winning the Society of Portrait Sculptors‘ Masterclass Prize in 2012 with my sculpture of Adam Kirkham.
Mercy arrives, our eclectic music is on, so work begins on the new life-size portrait. I have the maquette to hand, with the pose roughed out. The inspiration for this pose comes from an image of Mercy taken by the talented photographer Nick Kane.
I add the clay to another armature with a wire cage. Using this means I can move the position of the head at a later stage. Only two days left. No pressure. Yikes.
Progress feels slow, but reviewing the photos I take at each break reminds me that we are pushing forward, step by step.
The barely covered armature, at the start of the day, has not yet become Mercy. But it looks human-like, and the bone structure is emerging, albeit a little lop-sided here and there. I want to establish the main planes of the face before bringing in the neck and shoulders. There will be frenzied sculpting tomorrow – at 4.30pm I will need to stop. Double yikes.