With the decision made on which pose to sculpt, the go-ahead was given. I started to sculpt the ‘final’ maquette of Sir Nigel, 35cm in height, for casting in bronze. Back came my ever-patient model, and on went the tweed suit, for some more detailed modeling in clay instead of wax.
Rather than making yet another armature, I reused the armature from one of the wax maquettes. But I needed to think more about making the armature for the Mallard.
The original wax maquette was always at my side for reference, along with my large workbook of photos of Sir Nigel and the King’s Cross site.
I was under time pressure. So each night after a tiring sitting, I would drive the clay maquette home and station it in my kitchen so I could constantly review it while away from the studio – while cooking, resting, chatting to friends. It becomes an obsession. What is working? What isn’t working? What is my priority for the studio tomorrow? Time with a model is always precious.
I am used to working at life-size, so a 35cm model is rather a challenge, especially to get any sense of a likeness. My model was great for the figure of Sir Nigel, but the head had to be based on photographs of the man. I decided to sculpt a 20cm terracotta wax head of Sir Nigel, purely to help me sculpt the tiny head of the maquette.
The Mallard was sculpted separately – incredibly hard to sculpt on such a tiny scale, in clay.