Saturday, July 5, 2014


So recently I took an Ecorche class at Pixar, taught by Alicia Ponzio.  The class was amazing - we started by sculpting a full skeleton, and then on half the skeleton we built up each of the major muscle groups (I'll post pics of this sculpt soon).  It was an intense class, a 3 hour session each wednesday for the last 4 months.  I worried that I'd forget most of it if I didn't practice, so I decided to create my own ecorche at home, and try doing a female figure instead of male.

So I set forth creating a polymer-clay skeleton - and after about a month of trying to do free-floating ribs, I gave up and did a solid ribcage as you'll see here.  I also struggled with making mistakes in my initial skeleton (the spine didn't arc forward enough, the spinus processes (processi?) were far too exaggerated, fat 'cankle' bases to her tibias) and since polymer clay is a far less forgiving medium I had to compromise a few times in order to finish in reasonable time.  I did hack in and shave down the cankles to a less egregious state (still a bit fat, perhaps) but the lower leg muscles and ankle details are sadly mushy due to this late-game fix.

She also ended up more muscular than your average female - even than the average 'athletic' female - this one is a body-builder \ long-distance uphill cyclist.  But I'm alright with that, it will be useful for future reference to see more exaggerated muscles.

As an aside, this is the first sculpture I have cured using my brand new labcorp oven - it's a forced-air convection oven that is PERFECT for polymer clay.  It bakes at a perfectly even temperature throughout, and even tiny extremities don't burn or even discolor after extended baking.  It's perfect.  Did I mention it's perfection?  After years of dealing with damaged or ruined sculptures cured in conventional kitchen ovens, I am thrilled to know that from now on I have something that won't wreck hours and hours of painstaking work.

1 comment:

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

This is really impressive work, Jon! I am so happy you have the right oven now. All too well I remember the teenage tragedies of sculptures you'd put all that love into, only to have parts scorch or crack or fall off.