One of the first steps Clayton takes in creating a sculpture is to make an armature which can support the clay in place. Without an armature, the weight of clay can mount up enough to sag or distort from its intended position. Of course in order to make an armature correctly, Clayton must have the dimensions of the final sculpture in mind. The basis of the armature needs to be strong and unlikely to bend, such as metal pipes. Volume can be added by attaching Styrofoam® and appendages by adding twisted wire. Pictured is the armature for a life size turkey vulture Clayton has just started.
We are in the middle of a cold snap with temperatures below zero in the mornings. Prior to 2014, in cold weather Clayton would have to turn the heaters on full to get the studio up to 50 by the afternoon, and he had to heat the clay separately because it isn’t malleable enough at 50 degrees. Even then there were some days it was just to cold to work in his studio. Now it is a different story. Clayton totally rebuilt his studio in the spring of 2013, adding niceties such as insulation and sealed seams on the floor and walls. His studio is now balmy (in the 60’s) even at our frigid temperatures, and he can sculpt or paint as soon as the light is appropriate. He can even invite artist friends for breakfast!