Monday, August 8, 2011

What is Art Lounge Like? Part 3....Sculptures

For inspiration for our air-dry clay sculptures in Session 2, we looked at the work of DoubleParlour on Etsy. It was fascinating to see their work, so we decided to interview them. 
 You can see more of DoubleParlour's artwork on Flickr.
Here are a few of our favorites: 

1. Amia, 2. maiya, 3. leona, 4. group, 5. lydie no.1, 6. birthday ghost no.2, 7. Carrieanne, 8. Sabelle, 9. Fletcher #1

Doubleparlour Cassandra and Ernie Velasco San Francisco, CA

1. Where do you find inspiration for your sculptures? Are they based on real people, self portraits or aspects of your personality? Do you take commissions?

We find inspiration for our sculptures from all sort of places....including natural science, architecture, music, decay, humor, social norms and deviance. Some of our characters are based on aspects of real people from photos in news clippings, movies, acquaintances, and strangers. There is always something unique about every person, even if that person appears to be dull, normal, or blends in with the crowd. However, more often then not, our characters come directly from our imaginations...probably a kaleidoscope of images and thoughts we have throughout the day.

We sell our artwork online, in galleries and at local craft fairs. We do commissioned work, primarily requests from on-line collectors. Some commissions are requests to make a sculpture similar to a piece that has sold. Once in a while we receive requests to create a sculpture of a loved one based on photos with particular elements such a favorite animal or dress. Those pieces are difficult as it is hard to know what the requester has pictured as the final outcome.

2. Tell us a little bit about your process, do you draw the characters before you make them? Do all of the drawings become sculptures or paintings?

Although we collaborate on a few of our sculptures, generally we work separately, creating most of our pieces individually from start to finish. I would say each sculpture starts with an idea and sometimes a quick sketch. We prefer to do little planning and to let each piece evolve. We do more detailed drawings for paintings or illustrations...some of which become prints. A sculpture begins with an armature of aluminum foil and wire. The armature is then skinned with polymer clay for small parts with delicate details (i.e. faces), baked, and then skinned with an air dry two-part resin. The majority of the sculpture is usually formed with resin, as it is less fragile.

3. It is awesome that you collaborate on some of the characters. Most of them appear to be ambivalent, sad or they have forced smiles. Is that some thing you do intentionally or do they take on a life of their own? What do you want your audience to feel when they look at one of your sculptures?

Our characters generally have a contemplative look, like they are lost in thought or hiding something. I suppose we want our audience to feel curious or sympathetic to the character's personality or perceived emotional state.

4. My favorite sculpture is Doreeh.

What is your favorite?

Cassandra's favorite piece is "Can't see the forest for the trees" was one of my most difficult pieces to make, I love it! 

 Ernie's favorite is Bezz and Dezz.

5. Where do you live? Do you have another job or do you get to make art full time?

We live in San Francisco, we have live here for about 16 years now in the BEST neighborhood...Lower Haight. Cassandra works full-time at a hospital and creates art part-time. Ernie quit his job as a pastry chef about 2 years ago to do art full-time.

For the ART LOUNGE sculptures, we first created sketches that represented some aspect of our personality.

Then we created wire armatures using aluminum wire and foil for the base of our sculpture.

Once the armature was complete, we started to cover it with the air-dry clay.

 After the wire and foil was completely covered with clay, we waited for the clay to harden into a shell. This was where we had some trouble. Some of the clay cracked. We tried to patch it up a bit with bondo....but in the end, a couple of sculptures didn't make it.

Once the clay was dry, the sculptures were ready to be painted. 

And here is our Ninja Warrior!

Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed the interview and the peek at our sculpture production process.

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