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Einar

carving clothes

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I am working on a project that is a woman wearing a dress. The dress is to be blowing in the wind, so it will be quite animated. Does anyone have tips or techniques to carve folded fabric? I have carved the main shape of the dress, but I need to add the detail that makes it look realistic. I would ideally want the result to look somewhat like the attached picture. The carving is to be cast in metal, so I am carving it from polyester mastic, which means I can add more material, it is in a way like working with clay.

 

Regards Einar

post-2221-1252014137.jpg

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Hi Einar,

 

I find that it often helps to have a piece of thin fabric, such as a sheet, right next to the piece that I am working on. This gives you a good feel for the subtle folds, and you can manipulate the cloth however you want.

 

Modeling the form in clay first also helps to get a feel for the shapes, and how the fabric falls.

 

Also, keep in mind how gravity and tension will affect fabric. All longer pieces of loose fabric must fall in the same direction, or blow in the same direction as the case may be, and will cling to the body more as the fabric becomes thinner.

 

A good book for tips on modeling fabric, which is not expensive, is Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure, by Lanteri, Dover Publications

 

Phil

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Hi Einar,

 

Just to add to Phil's post: The Dover website is www.doverpublications.com.

 

In Carving Magazine issue #11 there is an article titled " The Laws of Drapery" by Ivan Whillock. It has basic information on folds. This is a back issue and you would have to order it from the publisher. Their website is www.carvingmagazine.com. I cut the article out a year or so ago for my reference.

 

When your project is complete, please, show us a photo of it and, if you have time, write a short post on what you learned about folds.

 

Have fun carving.

 

E George

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How odd, Phil! When I was a child that statuette was a favourite of mine and I think I visited it most Sundays for some years. Actually, it looks better preserved than it did when I was small; perhaps some conservator has been to work on it. I remember it as looking very dry, certainly unpolished and with more than some dust in the crevices. I still think it's a great piece of work, though.

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Very interesting, Freda. What was it that drew you to this piece?

 

Here are a few other related pieces by Tilman Riemenschneider at the Met: Met Museum, another great sculptor of the late Gothic/early Renaissance period.

 

Phil

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It was Mary's expression, Phil; she looked human and not very holy. I also thought that the wind was blowing on only one side of her, which accounted for the drapery looking so tumbled. The 'man in the moon' figure at the bottom used to intrigue me and I puzzled about it for years. As an adult, I discovered it meant that she was above what Renaissance poets and writers called the sublunary sphere, material life, as well as it referring to the quote from Revelations. Then there was the quality of the wood; I use to puzzle about why that material was used and not stone. There was lots to fascinate a child, though my staunchly socialist parents thought I was a bit odd.

 

The Met's certainly got access to a lot of great pieces! Many thanks for posting the link.

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Hi and thanks for the help.

 

I was working in London in october, and I studied the work in the V&A and much of it is incredible well done, and I raised the bar for myself considerably. I think I want to go for a dynamic shape that is maybe not realistic, but more composed and wild. I still have a long way to go, but here is my work so far. I have not done any fine detailing, i want to get the general shape done first.

 

Please let me know if you have any suggestions, I have done big changes to the dress many times already, so a few more changes is probably the way to go.

 

Einar

 

post-2-1261863205.jpg

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The brown material is called prolab 65, it is a woodlike polyurethane foam used mainly to make models and prototypes for product designers. 65 points to the specific gravity, there are more dense foams that have a specific gravity of 1 or more. These have almost no bubbles, and can be sanded shiny. that foam would be better for this model, but I did not have it. I found the foam glues well with cyanoacrylate glue

 

The light brown / grey material is a two component polyurethane mastic used for repairing cars. This one is called Isopon P38 and can be bought from Halford in the UK, but there are many brands, and other types I have tried are the same. It carves like birch wood when fully hardened and soft wax when half hardened. It is easy to mix in small bubbles when you mix in the hardener, but the mastic itself is solid.

 

The dark grey is just paint primer.

 

I think dust from these materials is harmful so sanding should be done with a dust extractor.

 

They are best suited for models that are to be cast or painted, because the material itself is not beautiful.

 

Here is a link to a datasheet for the prolab: (http://www.tmi-slc.com/uploads/6_PROLAB_65_z0406.pdf)

 

Einar

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