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The Sculptor’s Apprentice is a how to sculpture site. We want to show you tips that we have learned to make it easier for you to create your work. So, watch a video, check out our resources page, post a comment, or send us an email about what you want to learn. And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss any tutorials!

William Inge Bronze Commission

In January of 2013 we were commissioned to create two larger than life bronze statues for The William Inge Memorial, at Riverside Park in Independence, Kansas. The two figures are Turk and Marie, characters from the William Inge play “Come Back, Little Sheba”.

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Mel Hancock Portrait, Hall of Famous Missourians

It was an honor to participate in the creation of Mel Hancock’s portrait for the Hall of Famous Missourians in The Missouri State Capitol. Now that the unveiling has happened, We want to share this time lapse video with you.

Take a look at 3 weeks of work compressed into a little over 3 minutes. As soon as we have them processed, you will be able to see photos of the unveiling and the final bronze portrait here.

Jacob Loose Bronze, Sculpted by Rudolf Evans

Jacob Loose Bronze, Loose Park, Kansas City, Missouri

Jacob Loose Bronze By R. Evans #5There’s nothing like a chilly, post rain spring day!  So, in honor of that occasion we had a picnic in the park. Loose park to be precise. I thought I would post photos of this sculpture of Jacob Loose, by Rudolf Evans, as a way to talk about a sculpture that was done “right”. Rudolf Evans designed the Thomas Jefferson sculpture in the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., as well as the Robert E. Lee statue in the Virginia State Capitol and the William Jennings Bryant in Statuary Hall in the Nations Capitol. Read more

Tutorial #2, Proportional Enlarging Calipers

Fun with Proportional Enlarging Calipers!

Imagine all of the HUGE sculptures you could make if you only had a set of Proportional Calipers…wait for it…We’re gonna show you how!!!

Update: By popular demand, we edited the video, and now we offer calipers for sale on! So make them if you can, buy them HERE at a discount if you can’t.

To access the show notes, please view the full post …

Drill Press Speeds

ESSchubert Drill Press Header

Revolutions Per Minute, Anyone?

After the post the other day about drilling holes in stone bases I realized that it might be good to go a bit further than “slow” with regard to what RPM your drill should be running if drilling through stone. So…To clarify that, the MAXIMUM speed you want to be running when drilling a 3/8 inch diameter hole is 350 RPM, and for 1/2 inch Diameter is 200 RPM. Slower is almost never a bad thing. Read more

VFW Memorial by Jim Brothers

JimBrothersVFWMemorial#5I just thought I would share a few photos I took last week. This is the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial in midtown Kansas City. It was created by Jim Brothers in the early 2000’s.

Jim and I were recently two of four sculptors who worked on the William Inge Memorial in Independence, Kansas, each completing a separate scene from Inge’s plays.

Jim had been struggling with prostate cancer for a decade or so, and soon after he finished the rough stages of his full size sculpture of William Motter Inge, he died. He had planned for that outcome, and so his student Lori Norwood finished the clay work. She did an excellent job, both capturing the essence of Jim’s style, and making choices about the sculpture that had not yet been decided. Read more

Tutorial #5, Drilling Stone Bases

Tutorial #5, Easily Drilling Holes in Stone Bases!

Almost every sculpture we make is mounted to some type of base. Sometimes wood or steel, but usually granite or marble. You could send a template to the stone base company, and pay them to drill the holes, but in our experience, it is easier to drill them yourself, and be sure they are in the right spot. Check out the video to see just how easy it is. All of the materials and resources will be in the show notes below. Now Drill Baby, Drill!

To access the show notes, please view the full post …

Quick Tip #1 Sculpting Clay Storage

Today on The Sculptor’s Apprentice, a quick tip about sculpting clay storage.

We use Chavant Brand clay, and the type that we use is NSP Firm in the color of green. NSP stands for Non-Sulfurated Plasticine, and that is important because the sulfur in some oil based clays can inhibit the cure of our silicone mold making material.

One of the great things about oil based sculpting clay is that it doesn’t dry out. But … that is only mostly true. It will dry out, but the timeline is much longer than water based clay. What that means for us is that we can leave our clay sculpture uncovered when we are working on it, and even well after we are finished. But at some point, usually when the foundry has a finished bronze casting, we need to cut the clay sculpture up and put it in an air tight container. Check out the video below to get the details.

To access the show notes, please view the full post …

Tutorial #1: Sculpture Boards

Welcome to the first session of the Sculptor’s Apprentice! Today’s post is about sculpture boards and bases. Whatever you call them, these are the things that you sculpt your clay on. There are lots of different ways to approach this, and this video shows you how we handle it in our studio. We would love to hear what you do, so post in the comments to share your tips with the community, and if you use our tutorial to get started, post a photo in the comments so we can be proud of you!

Below you will find the show notes with all the products that we talk about in the video.

To access the show notes, please view the full post …

Featured Project: Bill Snyder

The Bill Snyder Statue project came together over the first half of 2013. For five weeks between May 1st and June 5th, we had one goal – to complete and mold a nearly eight foot tall clay sculpture of Kansas State Football Coach, Bill Snyder. After a frenzy of clay, photos, scaffolding, and ladders we delivered the mold to the foundry in early June, where we oversaw the waxwork, casting, chasing and patination of the final bronze. After two and a half short months, our installation crew picked up the statue and headed west on I-70 to Manhattan, KS to install Coach in his new home, Bill Snyder Family Stadium. We are so thankful to the entire K-State Family for choosing us to create a monument of their beloved Coach Snyder. Read more