Once I’ve made the first sketches and have some idea of how the design might look the next stage is make drawings with my model’s help and check out whether my ideas of pose are realistic and possible. I then scale-down these large studies and make tracings from the scale-down drawings. The purpose of all this is to discover a way to link the poses together to create an overall pattern. Having cut out all the traced figures individually I lay them out on a white piece of paper to see how they could relate to one another. It’s only then I have a notion of how it’s all going to look. If it doesn’t look too bad I can try this strip of paper round the bowl. (The way I am thinking at the moment is that the figures will encircle the bowl) If it’s too big or too small then that is bad news! Back to the drawing board!!.
It’s a case now of assessing everything and deciding if if looks ok or do I need to make changes; replace some of the poses or do I need to start again????.
When Caithness Glass went into liquidation I bought as many bowls as there were available at the time. My stock is now running low!. This photo shows Jim blowing some trial pieces from the old mould with a view to producing some more. The smoke is the mould coating being burnt off. It looks a lot more dangerous than it really is: let me assure you Jim didn’t get burnt!!
Jim with the blown bowl, looking unusually serious!
With every trophy there are several things I have to decide about fairly early on in the design process. These decisions are flexible though, because as the work progresses I might very well have a complete change of mind. One of these choices is how to organise the figures round the bowl. It’s a matter of creating a satisfying pattern. In the first place the figures really need to be seated as standing figures mean they must perforce be quite small and then when it comes to engraving the faces that means trouble! If all the figures are drawn in the same sitting pose it makes for a desperately boring frieze and that is where Gail’s help is invaluable. If you do not have the help of a real model it’s so easy to end up with really stilted and unnatural poses. But I also have to find ways of “knitting” the figures together to achieve a design that leads the onlookers eye round the bowl without awkward breaks. Here again a model is very helpful.
Here are some of the hundreds of quick sketches I made in my search for the best approach to this year’s bowl.
The next stage is to firm up on these first drawings and decide on the exact poses that I’ll use
This blog is just beginning and there’s a lot to learn. In the coming days and weeks progress on the 2011 trophy will be covered here. I hope it will be interesting