I started attending a clay sculpture class in November 2008, the year before I started working on this picture book. I find clay a great medium to work with, especially for making models of characters. I’d made one sculpture of Knut already- the big-nose version- but I wanted to make an updated version.
Here’s the big-nose one:
and here’s the newer one, based on the ’round-cheek’ sketches:
The head isn’t very big, it fits into the palm of your hand.
Then I started making the body over three sessions.
Firstly, I got the basic body parts in there. No detail at this stage.
I hollowed out a hole in the bottom of his head so that it could pivot on his neck. This kept the head stable.
The next time round, I added a base to give him stability, and I put in the details of some clothes.
Then in the third session, I put in finer details- his fingers, the stitching and the wool on his ugg boots, and I shaped his shirt a bit.
I’ve left gaps in his hands to hold a sword and shield, and I’d like to make a model of Wolverine to sit beside him (that’s why the base isn’t symmetrical).
I’m glad I made his head separate, because I’d like to redo it. His face is a bit flat, and his nose and eyes are too high on his head. He also needs his viking helmet! Perhaps I’ll also make some cardboard armour.
So, that’s how the character of Knut developed. From next week, I’ll look at some of the other characters in the book.