Wednesday, June 3, 2009


When starting a new sculpture I usually head to the internet to look for reference photos, since, unfortunately, I don't generally have the luxury of the animals in the studio. Here are a bunch of photos of newborn rabbits that I'm using as reference for a miniature ocean:

I'll also do a few very quick, very rough sketches to help figure out the overall look of the show or installation:

Sometimes I do a slightly more detailed sketch before starting the sculptures:

Within the past year, I've started doing maquettes for installation pieces, which is really helpful in the beginning. I can make all my changes in the maquette, before the sculpture is too far along. This saves me a lot of time and a lot of headache. For a miniature ocean, since the backdrops for the sculptures are two 4 x 8 foot "oceans", I decided to do a life size maquette made out of cardboard. The actual piece will be constructed out of plywood and 2 x 10's, so having a chance to make a pattern before I get to the actual cutting and drilling is great. This is the cardboard mock up:

This piece is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. The finished "oceans" will be the same size and about 10" deep (this is to accomodate the larger rabbit that I'll have "swimming" along the top of the panel.)

I also started playing with placement of the baby rabbits, using actual size cut outs and moving them around until I get something I like. I'm still not sure abut the number and placement of these so we'll see what happens...


Dees said...

This is so fascinating to invite us to take a peek into your working process,thank you for sharing Darla!!aww those wee little bunnies are so fragile,wonderful how you capture that on paper and in clay!looking forward to your next posts!!wishing you a great day from a gloomy looking holland(rain)xoxoDees

Darla said...

Thanks Dees! I love process oriented things so I thought it might be interesting to post some of that on here! Glad you're enjoying it! Wishing a great day right back at you from rainy Philadelphia! :)