Traditional V Digital Sculpture techniques?

Hare sculpture created using traditional sculpting techniques

I’ve been a traditional sculptor for more than 30 years. I enjoy the relationship I have with the medium I use, and also the close interaction with the reference materials I choose, both of which combine to help me create the sculptures I produce.

Close up of a Hare sculpture created using traditional sculpting techniques
Close up of my Harriet Hare sculpture created using traditional sculpting techniques

I am rather resistant to change, and have tended to view ‘digital’ sculpting as… cheating! Well, to some degree any way! However, a figurine designing company recently contacted me after they began following me on Instagram and they commented that they were impressed by my ‘sensational fur sculpting skills’! (?) They went on to ask me to sculpt a type of Tiger for them, even though they employ several digital sculptors. It seems that perhaps fur can’t easily be replicated using a computer and that the hand and eye of a traditional sculptor might still be useful in this digital age! 

I was thinking about how I was going to approach this project and I had an idea about how to incorporate working ‘with’ digital sculptors which would save the company time and money and still produce the finish on the sculpture which they came to me for.

I admit to feeling slightly apprehensive when I emailed them my idea… I know nothing about digital sculpting or 3D printing and was expecting my idea to be shot down in flames, but… the reply came back almost immediately hailing me as ‘innovative’ and a ‘genius’! (?) They also believe that they might have quite a bit of ‘traditional’ sculpting work for me in the future! 

So, traditional V Digital Sculpture techniques? You’ll have noticed that I haven’t spilled the beans on exactly ‘what’ my brilliant idea is (it isn’t always a good idea to give your best ideas away!), but I’m so pleased that after my resistance to digital sculpting I have found a way to combine it with the way I work to the mutual benefit of both me and the customer in a faster and ultimately a more satisfactory way. 

Hare sculpture created using traditional sculpting techniques
My Harriet Hare sculpture created in wax using traditional sculpting techniques

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