Marco Cochrane: Live Sculpting Of A Female Dancer
In front of a live audience Marco Cochrane sculpts his life sized figure of a female dancer working from his premade armature made from steel wiring.
The video begins with the finished sculpture rotating on a circular platform to show all the intricacies from every angle. It is a truly beautiful clay sculpture which depicts the female form in an elegant light. The armature of a sculpture is like a lattice network of steel wiring and serves as a skeleton which sculptors can work from. Armatures can take anywhere from hours to weeks to create and create a stable foundation to apply clay, putty or other forms of sculpting medium.
Personally I feel that Marco Cochrane is trying to capture a real sense of movement in this sculpture, promoting the flexibility and agility found within certain female dancers. With a huge curve in the spine and hyper extension within the arms and shoulders he encapsulates this movement perfectly and leaves the audience in awe of his sculpture.
Marco Cochrane begins by applying the soft clay to the diaphragm and lower rib cage in lines which outlines the major components of the muscular make up of the dancer. He then moves lower down and with the same procedure puts more clay down the thighs and the base of the back. It isnít too long before he is filling in the larger areas of flesh carefully smoothing it down to replicate the large surface areas of the major muscles. The clay he uses is beige and extremely pliable so as he moulds the muscle groups and protrusive bones together the three dimensional form of the sculpture quickly takes its form. He holds a lump of modelling clay in his left hand to keep it warm and more malleable and rips off chunks to apply to the armature. The sizes of the clay vary depending on the area of the sculpture he is tackling.
Once the larger areas are covered and the all the muscle groups and intricate areas are in place Cochrane then uses a series of sculpting tools to bring his sculpture to life and produce an essence of realism. A large flat spatula is used to smooth down evenly the areas like the thighs, removing any excess clay left over from the cruder early stages of his sculpting. It is clear that he understands the complexities of the female form and has a way of emphasising the curvaceous qualities of her midriff which is extremely important for him to capture movement within a stationary sculpture.
Cochrane moves quickly around the sculpture making sure he doesnít focus in on one area for too long. As you would expect from a professional sculptor his pace is quick and his application of the clay is accurate and deliberate, so to just watch this is an art form in itself. There are areas around the ankle and knees where you would believe that you were looking at a real female dancer with the amount of focused detail and precise sculpting.
Marco Cochrane is a master of his art and this video serves as a source of inspiration for what can be achieved when you work at something for years. Take note of how he composes himself and how the clay is applied as every sculptor has their different ways of working. To see more of his work I recommend you visit his website at www.marcocochrane.com.