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L’atelier de sculpture

De l’argile au papier mâché, les aventures d’un tête ou d’un masque.

L’atelier de sculpture travaille en petit et en grand

C’est dans l’atelier de sculpture que professionnels et amateurs, français ou sud-africains élaborent les bustes qui serviront de maquette pour les têtes géantes de marionnettes.

Terre, aquarelle de Sarah Letouzey

Une fois la tête choisie, à l’issue d’un débat et d’un vote, on la réalise en grand, en argile, puis on papiète, on laisse sécher, puis on vide l’argile pour obtenir une tête en papier mâché à peindre.

Sifiso Zimba, romancier et dramaturge a écrit cette description (en anglais) du travail de l’atelier de sculpture.

Sculpture workshop

Another room stuck on the 19th floor of the Wits university corner, this is the only room that separates the other rooms despite which direction you are coming from, one small door leading to the elevator that is not to far from the stairs, another small door opposite from the first door leading to our small kitchen and a hall. The room in the middle of everything, that’s where we are.

Here we take through the head protocol copy free, another journey of creating our 28 Giant Match- meet my in laws.

Sculpt artists in few small groups standing next to prepared iron crosses, film it and started putting the iron top. Sculpt the skull with bubble wrap and masking tape, then site it regarding both the plan and maquette (model). Later film the bubble to protect it, keep it from falling and having loose ends. Put the chicken wire were the clay can fall including the chin, neck and e.t.c
Sculpt it with clay from bottom to top, keeping the dimension of the model, after our second day of hard work, “This is a sign of a collective and creative team” Christophe Evette commented.

Thobile, our Juliet, clay, photo Mauricio Moretti
Beginning of the next day, one head of clay was found damaged caused by the weight of the hanging nose and chin. This was the first learning and development curve for all of us.
Our journey continued with the next step, we call it PAPER.

Place one layer of good kraft with wall paper glue, a one layer of 3 X layer of newspaper with wood paper glue. Dipping and pasting, from the skull to the neck, you could fill the tension and determination developing inside the room. We did not waist time, started to band the wet fabric with pure wood glue, take the paper one more, start hiding the fabric with more of the 3 layer newspaper and before you could think about it, pass the hot rabbit around.

1 One layer of good kraft, big words spelled in black on a brown board attach on the wall
“ Attention : More glue with no more than 50 % of water” so the same measures were followed. From the 19th floor of corner Wits, not even a single sun raise could come through the thick glass so that caused the process of drying to take longer than expected. That did not break the high spirit and determination inside the sweating room, after a the first week, “We are taken by the moving spirit of the team, two heads had fallen and that did not take us down instead we are more determined to finish” Bobo commented.

Pascaline and the ghost
photo : Wessels/Moretti

Head of the ghost grandmother, photo Wessels/Moretti
Now we take you through our second week, detailed days of the journey. Here we focus on the details, working hand in hand with the writing department consulting relevant measures, clearing characters according to the actual size (big puppet or small puppet). We look at what needs to be reconsidered in the process of the two parties in relation to the project. From the slow process of models drying, we then took the working force to another level, here we applied sand paper to all the heads and deduct it. ½ of 1 layer of Acrylic basis with 20% of water including another ½ of 1 layer of Acrylic pure basis. Under such determination and hard work, within our second week more than 11 puppets heads for our in-laws were finished. But with more than a half of the remaining models to create, more was still to come and the journey goes on.

Sifiso Zimba