Friday, January 25, 2013


After coming home from day 2, I continued working on my sculpts. First off, I needed to create the body for the koala/drop bear figure. The face design had already changed from my initial sketch but I wanted to keep the proportions similar.

Initial design concept

Basic form sculpt of body with head.

Clip koala style body

I also started another body in the style of the 'clip koalas' you would find in an Australian souvenir store. Simple and a little cheesy, they are fun gifts for all ages. I didn't continue through with this body but I might complete it for a resin extra in the future.

By now, my mermaid head was dry enough to continue working on. The bar heater at Sunguts studio works perfectly to dry the clay, yet working from home, it takes much longer. If you are planing to work with air dry clay, I would highly recommend purchasing a bar heater.

Smoothed basic form body and head.

Day 3 was here and once again I was joined by Teresa to assist in translation. We were also accompanied by artist friend Benicco! One of the fantastic things of my adventures in Japan is being introduced to lots of talented and kind people! Today, both Teresa and Benicco started a sculpt, with all of us working in the workshop, it was lots of fun.

Teresa getting ready to sculpt

 Cheeeeese~~ Myself, Sunguts and Benicco pose for a photo.

Today I was focusing on the symmetry of my sculpts, something that is quite hard to achieve. Thankfully, Sunguts gave me a sculpting tip that drastically helped. Personally Sunguts doesn't use this technique himself but demonstrated how looking at the reflection of your sculpt in a mirror, you can see mistakes in the symmetry. It really works! It must have something to do with visual perception but once you see the mirrored reflection, it is really obvious where the are mistakes are in the symmetry.

Using a mirror to check symmetry

The bar heater is perfect for quick drying Fando. 

As my sculpts were reaching the next stage and moving beyond 'basic form' sculpts, Sunguts and I discussed the aesthetics direction I wanted to go. Sunguts thought his guidance might focus towards his own aesthetic too much and wanted to know if I was happy with the direction. I wanted to represent my mentors (Sunguts) style in my work but I still wanted the design to be of my own vision. From here, we decided Sunguts would continue to guide me on the form but at times I would go my own direction.

Continuing on, Sunguts pointed out that the body needed to be extended, I agreed. I was attempting to make my character slightly chibi/SD but she was still too compressed.

Poor girl, we cut her in half!

This is where working with Fando really shines; it is easy to drastically change the form with ease. Fando is quite soft so it is easy to saw; spread on some water to the connecting surfaces and add the extra clay and you are good to go. I wouldn't work with Fando for a customs but it is perfect for sculpting original work used for casts.

Sunguts inspecting the new extended form. I got it spot on this time.

I continued on the form, cleaning up the hair and smoothing the hips. The day was wrapping and I asked Sunguts for some advice on creating the arms. I wanted the arms to be folded over each other, covering her breasts; it would be the only asymmetrical part of the sculpt and I wasn't too sure about the best way to approach it. At this point, we had a bit of a laugh as Sunguts female characters are all bare. I demonstrated on myself how I wanted the hands to be placed - no photos - and Sunguts advised and sketched on my sculpt the best place to add and remove clay. 

Simple addition of lines by Sunguts to assist my sculpting

As mentioned before, Teresa and Benicco were also working away on their own sculpts. Sunguts would give them advice and discuss toy work with them too. This was great, as their sculpts, questions and answers were different to my own and the discussions extended my understanding beyond my own sculpts.

 Stage 1 sculpt by Benicco

Benicco's sculpt next to another sculpt with a similar cheeky form.

 Final basic forum sculpt by Benicco.

Teresa's basic from sculpt - still very wet clay.

Teresa's kimono sculpt next to Sunguts yukata sofubi body.

I was very excited by their sculpts! Both Teresa and Benicco are interested in continuing through with their sculpts but as resin only. It might not be their normal artistic field but I highly encourage them to follow through; I am waiting to add them to my collection!

Totally two different characters but they look really neat together.

This was my last session before the Xmas/new years break. Before the next session, I need to smooth the surface ready to start detailing on my return. I packed everything up and we headed to the train station. To wrap the day up, we grabbed some Taiyaki and then all headed home.

Teresa and Benicco had strawberry and I had chocolate! It was delicious!

If you haven't already clicked and checked out their work from the hyperlinks, here is Benicco's and Teresa's web pages for your viewing pleasure:

Teresa -
Benicco -

Till next time~

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