- Lesson details
In this series, you will learn how to create your own ecorché sculpture from scratch with artistic anatomist, Rey Bustos. Rey makes the challenging but rewarding subject of learning artistic anatomy easy-to-understand and fun. In this first lesson of the series, Rey will get started by going over the first steps in the process. First, Rey will share with you all of the necessary materials and tools that you will use throughout the lessons to create your sculpture. Then he will get started with the building process by creating the wire frame for the ecorché.
- Art Alternatives Armature (Aluminum) Wire – 1/8″ Inch
- 24 Gauge Steel Wire
- Super Sculpey Clay – Original Beige
- Shop Cloth
- Super Sculpey (II or III) Chocolate
- Zap-a-Gap Super Glue – Medium CA+
- Baking Soda
- Electrical Tape
- Circular Wooden Base
- Small Wooden Clay Tools
- X-Acto Knife
- Flexible Metal Modeling Palette
- Petroleum Jelly
- Staple Gun
- Krylon Color Master Spray Paint – Almond
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Slip Lock Pliers
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a 3-D model of the human body. But the first thing we need to do is actually make the armature
wire frame together. Once we finish the wire frame, you’re going to see that you basically
will have a metal version of the skeletal system. From then on, we’re just going to
have a lot of fun actually sculpting each section, and each lesson is going to be one
step further to finishing this up. So, let’s go ahead and start.
our materials. I know it looks a little overwhelming because I have everything on the table right now.
Basically, the first thing you need is armature wire. This armature wire can be bought
at most art stores or maybe online. There aren’t too many alternatives to armature
wire because this is actually created for sculptors. It’s easily bendable. I suppose
if you really had to you could find steel wire or other alternatives, but if you can—please,
this is one of the most critical parts of this ecorché, and that’s the armature wire.
That is basically what we’re going to be building everything upon. This happens to
be 1/8 inch armature wire. There are different brands, so don’t worry about the fact that
this label is as such. There are different brands, just like potato chips.
So, we start with that.
The other thing you’re going to need—and you’re going to find that certain things
we’re going to find at craft stores. Certain things we’re going to find at art stores,
and certain things we’re going to find hardware stores where you by nails and hammers. This
particular item here is steel wire. Now, when it comes to this—it comes in different gauges.
All that means is the thickness of the wire. In case of steel wire, the lower the gauge
the thicker the wire. So this happens to be 24 gauge wire, so it’s easily bendable.
In this case you’ll see that it’s green. Don’t worry about that. This just happens
to be specifically green so that you could tie floral arrangements together or whatever.
But, it’s still steel wire. More often than not, you’re going to find that it’s steel
colored. This is a pretty easy item to find. You could probably switch this over if you
have any kind of stiff wire of some sort, but this happens to be 24-gauge, and it’s
my favorite gauge to work with the ribs and some of the smaller items.
Even for wrapping things.
The other important item, of course, is the clay. This is another thing that you can swap
this out. You can use like plastiline-type clays, oil-based non-hardening clays, but
I prefer this. This is Super Sculpey. The reason I like this is a polymer clay, which
means that you can put this in your own oven and heat it up and harden it. When you open
it up you’ll notice that it come in layers or tiers. I haven’t even opened this up.
This is brand-new. You can see it’s very kind of peachy color. It’s very beautiful
clay. It is a polymer clay, which means it’s non-hardening until it gets exposed to heat.
Which reminds me—you have to be careful where you keep this because you don’t want
it to become a brick. Like, you don’t want to put it on the dashboard of your car or
top of your roof or in a window or anything like that. It’s very heat sensitive. It
basically won’t get cured until you put it in your own oven.
What I have done for you is I’ve actually taken some of this clay, flattened it out,
and I have another set here that’s been firming up. Why I do this is because right
out of the box I feel that the clay is a little too soft. By putting it in between paper towels,
and I purposely did this for you. I used blue paper towels that I got at a car supply place
because you can actually see the value change. You can see that it looks like a pizza box.
It’s oily. That’s exactly what we’re doing because polymer clays have oil in them,
and when you put it in your oven, you bake the oil out and it gets hard. What this does
is that it starts to firm it up but without any heat. Don’t let anybody tell you that
you can put it in the freezer. You can put it in the freezer. It’ll fit, but all it
will do is get your clay cold. Once you start playing around with it, it gets soft again.
Don’t try to heat it up a little bit. The best way to do any kind of firming up of this
type of clay, if you’re using this like am, is to put it in between paper towels.
Then I leave it alone for a while with books on top of it, and it starts seeping out the
oil. You can see the oil on the paper towels. If it gets too oily, you swap it out. You
get new paper towels. This is something I really wanted to show you because it’s one
of the most important parts, believe it or not, of making this ecorché is making sure
that your clay is firm and not too gummy.
The other thing you’re going to need but not for a while is colored Sculpey. So this
Sculpey III. Don’t worry about the numbers. There is Sculpey II, Sculpey III. They refer
to the hardness or firmness of this, but I find that depending on what store you get
this form or where you get it from, sometimes one becomes the other. Meaning, one that’s
supposed to be form or the one that’s softer can actually become firmer if it’s been
sitting on the shelf for a year.
So, I don’t mind if you got Sculpey II or Sculpey III. That designation doesn’t mean
that much in our case. What I get is I get chocolate color. You can see it looks pretty
much like a little piece of chocolate. Now, this you just set aside. Now, this you do
not want to do the same thing I did like with the flesh colored or the original color beige
Sculpey because this already ready to go. The problem with this is to make sure that
it’s not too firm. You want to put this in a sock drawer or somewhere where it’s
going to be kept cool for a long time because you’re not going to use this until we finish
and entire skeleton.
Now, the other thing that you’ll need are cyanoacrylates, and that’s just a food for
super glues. I find that the best brand, if you can get your hands on this Zap product,
it’s called Zap-a-Gap, and it’s a fabulous superglue. Okay, so cyanoacrylate. There are
different brands, but I find that not all of the work the same way when it comes to
what we’re going to be doing with this. The two that I know will work is super glue
by Devcon and Zap-a-Gap. Okay, this is fabulous stuff. You can find this at any good art supply
store or hardware store or online.
Now, this little mystery powder here is baking soda. This I use as an accelerate for the
cyanoacrylate. Fabulous. Through my research of chemistry of all this stuff, I’ve found
that if you take baking soda and apply it to the glued area, it sets it instantly. It’s
almost like spot welding. It’s very cool. This mystery bottle is no longer a mystery.
It’s just baking soda. We’re only going to use a little bit of tape. Now, I happen
to have electrical tape because I like it stretchy, but any type that you might happen
to have around is fine.
The other thing is to get any kind of wooden base. I happen to have gotten this at a craft
store. Any piece of wood will be find. I’ve even used rocks that you could find, like
a little piece of slate that you can find at a pet store for terrariums for people to
have lizards or snakes. Wooden bases are just fine, and I like this one. It’s already
round so it’s already nice presentation-wise. So that’s a neat thing to have.
The other thing that’s going to be really obvious is you need some kind of clay tools.
Now, without getting into all this fancy stuff—you have to remember, I’m not a sculptor. I
teach anatomy three-dimensionally as opposed to two-dimensional as well. It’s more about
just learning anatomy through three-dimensional means. You don’t need to have all these
fancy tools. You can even make a lot of these. I’m going to show you some of the ones I’ve
bought, like these I bought at a local art store. It’s not like I picked specific ones.
I just look at them and see if they’re going to be useful to me.
I like this one. It looks kind of like a letter opener, but on the other end it has this kind
of curved little aspect to it. It’s almost like—somebody said it’s kind of like a
cuticle pusher. Which means if you have a cuticle pusher you could use that. I’m a
guy so I don’t know really what that is, but this fabulous little tool, letter opener-wooden.
I like the feel of wooden tools. Here are some of the little ones I’ve gotten. They’re
pretty inexpensive. These are just store bought sharpened sticks, but to be real honest, you
could take an old brush handle like I did here and just put it in a pencil sharpener,
for Pete’s sake. You don’t need to get into fancy tools or anything like that.
What do I have at the other end? A sewing needle. See that? All I did was just wrap
it around an old brush handle. And voila, you have a tool. You have to kind of MacGyver
this stuff sometimes, you know, and just use whatever you can just to make things work.
You could use toothpicks. You could use anything in your junk drawer. This is a store bought
needle, but like I said, I like it because it’s a little thicker, but you can find
needles of all sizes.
This is another one that I made, and all this is is a hairpin. Okay, so bobby pin, hair
pin. It’s nifty because I can make the shape of it, and then I could put it onto a brush
handle or whatever you might happen to have. These two tools have a very distinct look
to them. I’m not even sure what to call them, sickle kind of shapes. At the other
end they’re rounded. But the reason I have two tools that look very similar is because
the makings of the metal part are very different. One of them is a paper clip. It’s got round
wire, extruded wire, so it’s round. It cuts very differently into the clay. This one is
flat wire, kind of like the hairpin I told you about. I like having both of them. But,
like I said, if you don’t have access to really good tools don’t worry about it.
You could just look around and see what you can fabricate yourself and just be creative.
Sometimes you don’t know what you need until that moment arises where it’s like I wish
I had this. Well, make it.
The other one is an X-Acto knife. This is just a regular No.11 blade that almost all
artists have in their toolboxes. If you don’t just find anything that’s like a really
nice sharp little knife. But, X-Acto knives are pretty ubiquitous, so this is the one
that I love having. It’s a great thing to have. These are called kidneys, I believe.
It’s just flat metal. This is another thing: If you happen to have one of those kind of
like helpers for when you’re painting, it looks like an old blind, you could just cut
those with scissors or anything that’s really nice and flat. These are easily found or easily made.
Probably the most unusual thing that you’re going to see on my table is what the heck
is this all about? This is lip therapy by Vaseline. Any petroleum jelly product, whether
it’s a little tub of Vaseline, or in this case, I like these because I find these at
pretty much any of the places I go grocery shopping at. It’s another product that is
worldwide. It’s petroleum jelly basically. I like this because it’s portable. It’s
easy to carry around. You only get out what you need. You’re probably wondering why
we need this. Just get it and I will show you what to do with this in a little bit.
But, this is a really, really great little thing to have. Believe it or not, even if
you have Chapstick that would work. All of those products are petroleum jelly based.
Today we’re going to need a staple gun. If you don’t have a staple gun you can use
the little nails and just hammer this in. I’ll show you what we’re going to use
that for. If you’re going to be using the Super Sculpey, which we’re going to bake
later on, then what I do is I use this Krylon brand. The reason I’m being very specific
brand is I’ve used every kind of spray paint there is. This tends to be the best. Now,
if you can’t find this specific one, Krylon ColorMaster, coverage technology, dries in
10 minutes. That’s honest. That’s not just an add claim. I find that it’s less
than 10 minutes. Whatever it is that you spray dries, and it’s fabulous. When you can expedite
an operation you do. I happened to get almond color, but basically what I go by is this.
If you find that you can’t get this anywhere, just get whatever spraypaint you can. You
can even hand paint it if you really wanted to. If you hand paint it, I would recommend
you use acrylic paint, just tube acrylic paint. When I used to do that, I used to use Titanium
White and a little yellow oxide and a little bit of burnt umber. That tended to kind of
tone it down a little bit, making it a little cooler. The good thing about bones is if you
ever see real bones as they vary quite a bit in value and temperature.
The other thing that we’ll need for today for bending the armature wire frame is needle-nose
pliers. Again, if you have regular pliers, that’s fine. I just like the fact that this
is a little smaller at the end. It looks like a crocodile. Almost every type of pliers has
wire cutters with them, and we do need that. For just one little motion, I use these big
heavy duty slip-lock pliers. But again, if you don’t happen to have these, just a little
bit more muscle. I just happen to have these on the table because I like using them.
It gives you mechanical advantage for this one
little step where we need to squeeze very, very tightly.
the wire frame. Now, what I have done beforehand is I took the wire out. I wanted you to see
that when you buy this it usually comes in 20 ft spools. If you can find a smaller spool,
get it. What I generally do is I cut the very end of it. You can see the end is like a little loop.
I cut that loop and it liberates both parts. I only need one of these.
The very first step we need to do is uncoil this but not all of the way because this is
going to span across your house. This is going to be 44 inches. I’ve been doing this so
long that I’m just going to tell you what I do, and know that an inch short or inch
long, don’t worry about it. I’m going to tell you the times that we need to make
sure that something needs to be totally exact, but in this case it’s just,
generally speaking, about 44 inches.
So, what I’m going to do is I’m going to spool this out to 44 inches, and it’ll
take just a moment, so just be patient, and I will do this very, very quickly. Spool this
out, spool this out, spool this out until it is good to go. Notice I’m not—I’m
just kind of eyeballing. It’s about 44 inches. There it is. I’m going to set this aside.
I’m going to need that later. It’s going to look a little awkward and first, but almost
four feet. I’m going to straighten this out, but don’t get too weird about getting
this to be like a ruler. Just relax. It just needs to be spooled out a little bit like
this. I like to have it a little bit straighter just so when I measure things it’ll be a
little bit more accurate, but don’t worry too much about it being completely straight.
I think I’m done with this so I’m going to just pull this back in. I’m going to
need to measure a little bit more here and there. I’m going to leave it out just a
little bit because the first demarcation—the other item I didn’t mention was you need
indelible ink marker. In this case, I have a Sharpie because almost everybody I now has
a Sharpie in a drawer. It’s just permanent ink marker of any sort. Obviously, it doesn’t
matter what color because all you need to do with this is to mark the wire.
Now, the first marking I’m going to tell you is 3 inches, between 3 and 4 inches.
This is another one where you could just kind of eyeball. I’m going to go 4 inches just to
be sure. Okay, so I made a mark at 4 in. The neat thing about this, everybody, is this.
That little mark from that mark down is underground. I’m going to use this extra wire to attach
it onto this wooden base. That’s why I wasn’t too noodly about getting this exact. It’s
between 3 and 4 inches. The first mark was at 3 to 4 inches, somewhere around there.
That one you don’t have to be too careful about. The next mark is exact. It’s 4 inches.
So we make that mark from the first mark. And we do it once again, 4 inches. So now,
just to make sure that you’re clear on all of this. We started with the armature wire,
and this from my fingertips down is underground. It’s going to be what I need to use to secure
this onto the board. This one is going to be the knee. This is going to be the hip.
Okay? Just so you see what I’m doing.
This next movement, you bend this down almost 90 degrees. Do you see what I did there? Okay,
pretty simple. This next one might be a little tricky, but I don’t want you to fret over
this. I’m bending this out so that all of sudden you end up with this little funny hook,
almost looks like a question mark.
Now, what I’m going to do is make a loop. What this represents, everybody, is
the ileum of the pelvis. If you’re wondering,
it’s basically like my thumb. It looks like it’s about and a quarter to this point right
here. It’s really, there is no easier way for me to show you this because it is kind
of tricky. What I’m going to do know is start going upwards. I’m going to head north
like this. Now I can measure something for you. See that little funny shape I just made?
I made almost like a little thumb mark right there. Do you see that? My thumb fits right
in there really nice and snugly. This is sure enough 1-1/4 inches right there from this
center line to this. So, from both my fingers it’s 1-1/4 inches north.
Now, this is where I want you to really pay attention because, remember, this is the ground
line. This has nothing to do with anything. This is a ground line. This is going up the
leg to the knee. From the knee to the hip bone, that’s the top part of the femur.
This is going to be the beginning of a pelvis, and now we’re going to go north. This is
what I want you to measure, from where my fingertips are right here, the ground line
to the very top it’s going to be 16-1/2 inches. So, 16-1/2 inches from the ground
line. I’m going to go over that again, just to make sure you guys are accurate about that.
Do you see that? Now, from my fingertips to my fingertips, 60-1/2, and what I’m going
to do now is actually repeat the process. I’m going to come back. I don’t want this
to look like it’s anything slight of hand or anything like that. I’m not doing a magic
trick. I’m trying to keep this really clear. What I’m doing is I’m doubling back. I’m
going to repeat and try to mirror the other side. This is the trickiest part right in
here. I want to make sure that you focus on that. But, I don’t want you getting a little
stressed about this, okay, or at all stressed about this. Then I went from the ground line
to the top of the head right there. That was 60-1/2 inches. If you come back now, you do
the best you can to mirror this, but I’m going to give you a break. I’m going to
tell you something. You do not need to mirror it exactly. If it’s a little asymmetrical,
don’t worry about it. Don’t overstretch the wire or overstress yourself. What I’m
going to do because it’s a little cumbersome right now to do it for you, but I’m going
to try to mimic what I just did, but in reverse.
Now I start with the ilium, come back, and I’m going to try to make that little wiggly
guy right over here and hope that I get it somewhat close. If I do I’ll be happy with it.
You can already tell it’s a little asymmetrical. I’m not worried about that. Not at all and
neither should you. What I’m going to do is bend this back down. There is like the
mainframe is starting to come together just like that.
You can already see the beginnings of a skeleton from the ground on up. Isn’t that fabulous?
Now, this is where the little piece of tape comes in. Now you’re going to see why I’m
not too particular about the tape. I do like this tape quite a bit because it is stretchy,
but whatever you happen to have, just tape this little part of the vertebra, and you
can see that I’m already giving this names, like the spinal column, the vertebrae. What’s
nice about stretchy tape is that I can pull it really tightly. Now, what this does is
it allows me to move this as one unit, this whole vertebrae. This is being held together
and this is nice and tight. Now, let’s just pause and double check our measurements. I
know it doesn’t look like a pelvis yet because right now it’s just laying flat on the table
like that, right, and that’s not the way the pelvis is. I’m going to measure this
from one end to the other and see what that gets me. It’s about 2-1/2 inches across
from here to here. So, measuring in between my fingers, my middle finger and my thumb,
it’s 2-1/2 inches. You just kind of finagle this and move this around until you think
it’s about right. Don’t worry if it’s a little bit short, a little bit long. Right
now this should be okay, like that. You can see that measurement. This is universal, by
the way. It’s this wide. See that? Like that.
Alright, so now what we have is we have the beginnings of a very rudimentary skeleton.
The problem with these loops, though, is that right now even though these are going to be
part of the pelvis, the ileum right in here, is that unlike this, the ileum actually faces
forward. What I’m going to do is I’m going to close this up as if I’m taking a book
that’s open like this. I’m going to bend it to 90 degrees like this. Do you see that?
So if I show it to you like this, that should be 90 degrees. Do you see that? If that’s
at about 90 degrees, you’re doing good. The problem is that these two markings right
in here, and this is really and important part of this ecorché, is these two guys are
called the great trochanters of the femur, and they don’t face forward. They face sideways,
almost like if I was putting my hands out to my side, so because once I bent this they
went with it. What we need to do is bend this back, so watch this. I just don’t want you
thinking I’m doing anything tricky because I’m not. I’m just having these bent back
again. I only wanted the ileum to be bent forward, like closing a book. I want the great
trochanters to be facing the sides of the walls, and these two guys are facing the corners
of the walls. So, do you see what I mean?
Now what I want him to do is to take a bow. You can see now he’s just taking a bow.
Be patient with this. I know it seems like an overwhelming kind of amount of stuff to
do, but it’s really not. I’ve just done a lot of these. It might seem easy for me
but it’s not that hard. I want you to just kind of pause and just think about what I
just did because now what I’m going to do is, he’s taking a bow, I’m going to put
my thumb on the tape because I’m going to curve this back and make this gentle S-shape.
And this will be for the vertebrae, because that’s one thing that we have as mammals,
as a human mammal, the only mammals that have an S-shape vertebrae. All the others are curved
just like an arc. But this is very indicative of a human, this curvature.
Don’t worry about it being perfect right now. I could keep playing with this a little
bit until you get it somewhat like this. Okay, so see the S-shape.
These guys are now facing forward.
This is going to be the pelvis. You can see basically what we are trying to replicate
with this wire. Don’t worry about the fact that there is one long leg than the other.
That’s not a big deal at all. This is now a right leg, and this is now a left leg. It
is all dependent on which direction we bent these wires. Now that this is open towards
the front like this, now we have a front and we have a back.
where the knee is? You put the knee right there. I’m just going across and jumping
over to the other side. There is a demarcation there as well. When I look at the ground line,
which is here, I just jump over to the other side. One of the suggestions I give to all
of my students, and I’m going to give to you now, is to keep the pose simple. One of
the other things that I want you to please listen to me about is to make life a lot easier,
keep the right leg straight. I’m going to show you why later because what we’re going
to do is we’re going to reinforce this right leg. The side that’s going to get muscles
is going to reinforce with more wire to thicken it up.
Okay, so right now what we have is we have the makings of a really good little ecorché.
Don’t worry about the pose yet. This is almost like a doll out of the box. It’s
just straight, almost like in a little coffin. But when you take it out then you can move
it around. This one I’m going to keep straight. This is the right leg, remember, where my
finger is touching. This is a right leg because he’s facing me. What I’m going to do is
I’m going to bend this at a right angle. It doesn’t matter which direction you bend
this because this extra little wire does not represent a foot. It’s underground. I’m
going to bend this—I’m going to make sure that I could see that marking. The marking
should be above ground. This is what I mean by that. I don’t want this mark to be over
here. I want it to be over here. I don’t want you taking a chance on making the leg
too short. The other thing I’m going to do now for you is to bend this into a loop.
Again, this is not a foot so it doesn’t matter if you bent it backwards or inside,
whatever. I’m just going to make a loop like this. This is what I’m going to use
to secure it onto this board. You can see what I’m doing with this now. Okay, it’s
coming along pretty nicely.
At this point, I want to do a contrapposto pose. That means that this leg will be bend
somehow. Let’s say I’m going to put this leg forward and I’m going to bend it at
the knee. Then I’m going to eyeball—I’m not going to use that mark, because if you
move this leg out you’ll need more wire. If you bring it in you’ll use less. I’m
going to keep the pose rather simple, because I have found through experience that if you
keep the pose simple, it’s just going to be a lot easier in the long run.
Remember, this isn’t necessarily like something that you’re going to be displaying at an
art show. This is for you to learn from. It’s learning anatomy three-dimensionally. Because
I am using this as the weighbearing leg, I’m going to push the foot under its body just
like you would have to do if you were to want to lift up your left leg. You’re standing
and wanted to lift up your left leg, you’ll find that everything shifts over and your
foot becomes the center of your body. So, I’m pushing the foot in, as you can see,
towards the center line. Okay, so now there is an angle. It starts looking a little bit
more graceful. All of a sudden the tilt of the pelvis just happens naturally. Look at
that. It just happens like magic.
Now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to eyeball where I need to bend the other
loop to make sure it’s parallel with this one, parallel to the ground. I’m just going
to eyeball it. It looks like I need to go a little bit further than the marking, and
you will probably find that to be true as well. I’m going to make this loop go counter
to that one, I think. Or maybe not. Doesn’t matter. That’s why I like doing this with
you is because I can tell you when something matters and when something does not matter.
So, in this case I’m going to leave it like that. So now you can see just like that, it’s
like magic, you have something that starts looking really graceful. It’s really beautiful.
I’m even impressed with this. There we go.
Okay, once you have that, I’m going to go back to my handy-dandy spool of wire. I’m
going to cut a piece that is exactly 12 inches long. So, where is my handy-dandy measuring
device? Here it is. I’m going to spool this out and measure 12 inches, exactly 1 ft, and
I’m going to cut this piece and just set it aside for just a moment. Okay, so here
is this 12 inch piece of wire. Pretty easy. Don’t worry if it’s not exact. It might
just a little short, a little long. There I’m going to set that one aside, right there.
The other one I’m going to cut for you is going to be, let’s say, 5 inches, maybe
5 or 6 inches. Let’s say 5. Again, I’m not being too noodly about this. This might
be a little bit longer than 5 inches. Using the universal guide it’s this long.
So here is this.
Now, I’m going to start with this shorter piece. The shorter piece is going to be our
sternum or our breastbone. Okay, so if you think about your breastbone you’ll see that
there is a bone right in the front here. Now, watch what I’m going to do. I’m right
handed, so I’m going to use my left hand, my left thumb specifically, as a guide because
what I’m going to do is I’m just going to bend this wire around my thumb. You’re
going to see that it doesn’t quite make a U. It makes somewhere between an upside-down
U and an A. Look at it when it comes to like my thumb. Alright, if you don’t have thumbs
find somebody who does and do this.
Now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to measure from the ground up. I’m going
to use that straight leg, and I’m going to make a mark at 12 inches from the ground line,
13 inches, right here. Perfect. So now we have another, a new mark, and we need to
do this after we did the curvature, which is for accuracy’s sake. So now what we have
is we have this demarcation, and that is where we’re going to be putting the arms. I’m
going to set this aside. Don’t worry about the fact that it’s really long over here.
Right now we’re just going to set this one aside, this one aside. We need one more piece
of wire, and this one is going to be—remember when we first started it was 44 inches. This
one is going to be half of that, so 22 inches. This one is another one that you don’t have
to be too noodly about. If it’s a little short, little long, you’ll be okay. If this
happens to be at 22. I’m going to unspool this and cut at 22. This might seem a little
much, a little too much information, a little overwhelming, but it’s really not if you
think about it. It’s only because you haven’t done this before. So now you have this beautiful
little frame, and it’s starting to look pretty beautiful. You have a demarcation where
we are going to be putting the arms. Do you see where this is going now?
Isn’t this gorgeous?
Okay, so now that we see this, I’m going to put this on the back. Now, I’m just eyeballing
where the center is, the center of this. You don’t have to mark it or whatever. It’s
like a see-saw. If you can tell what I’m doing, I’m just putting my thumb up against
it, and I’m just going to loop this around. Okay, now this is where it’s going to look
like I’m doing something fancy, but it’s just looping around. Right goes left. Left
goes right. With my bare hands I can only do so much. Then I’m going to need the help
of my pliers. So, right now all I did was make a little loop. Don’t worry about the
fact that there is really long arm and really short arm. That’s not a problem at all.
Not in the least. I purposely had you guys cut a little more wire than we actually need.
So right now this is just fine. The fact that it’s asymmetrical is not a problem.
Okay, to keep it from sliding around- -see how like it’s dropping?
This is where I’m going to bring in my handy-dandy big boys. I’m going to bring the big boy
in. If you don’t have anything like this, just take whatever—you can hammer this.
You can take your pliers and see much you can squeeze. Don’t worry if there is a little
bit of movement even after you do all of that. You don’t want to overdo it and break the
wire. What I’m going to do now is I’m just going to take this. These are nice because
they give me such good mechanical advantage. All I’m going to do is use these to squeeze
really tightly because it will allow me to squeeze much harder, much more tightly than
I could with any other pliers. Squeeze the heck out of it until like that vein in your
forehead pops out. Do you see that? There we go. Just like that. Let me feel—there.
That’s pretty good. If yours has a little bit more movement, that’s fine. As long
as it doesn’t slip up and down. You can see that I covered up the markings.
Okay, so this is really good. I like this. I’m happy with this. You can see he’s
really happy too. He wants to give you a big hug. What I want to do now is I want to measure
3 inches all the way across. Do not measure 3 inches from here because that won’t make
any sense. Three inches from one shoulder to the other shoulder. So that’s three inches.
So, half of three is one and a half. If you really wanted to do it like this you could.
One and a half and one and a half. What I’m going to do is I’m going to extend this
a little longer just so I could have a little bit more space. I’m going to mark from the
very center 1-1/2 inches all the way to 3 inches. Okay, so now just double-check. Make
sure that you’re being honest. Three inches all the way across. From this dot to that
dot is 3 inches. Do you like that so far?
I’m going to set these aside. I don’t need those. Isn’t that funny? That’s all
I needed those for. If you don’t have something like this, you can see that it’s not that
important. It helped me because it made it easier for me to really give that a good squeeze.
Now what I’m going to do is I’m going to bend the arms so you can see that there
is way too much over here. That’s okay. Arms are never going to be that long. The
nice thing about this is that—and I’m just going to cut this just because it’s
a little too long—this is like this. But, do not cut any more because you do not want
to take a chance of messing this up. You’ll notice that this is slipping and sliding.
I’m going to give it another squeeze because I don’t like that. I don’t want that to
happen. If you’re having trouble with that hammer it. I’m going to squeeze it really
tight. Watch that vein pop out again, and that’s pretty good now. It’s just because
I was moving it around that it got a little loose. And it’s still loose. At least it’s
not sliding quite as much as before. Now look at this. Isn’t that fabulous? It started
to really look like something.
Now I’m going to take the one that I was using before, the one that was basically a
replica of my thumb, and it’s the short end that I’m going to put up against the
vertebrae. Do you see that? It’s the front part, the very long part that’s going to
be your breastbone. Now this is where we finally get our steel wire out. What I’m going to
do is I’m going to sew this together, just like I was in sewing class or craft class.
I’m going to take, oh, how long is that? About a foot or so. This is not something
you measure. You just basically cut a piece like this. It looks like about 14, 15 inches
of wire. I’m going to try to show this to you without it looking too overly complicated.
It just looks a little bit more complicated because my big old fingers are in the way
of everything. But, what I’m trying to do is put this up against the vertebrae wire,
which is two wires. It’s like a shotgun, and this is right in between both barrels.
Do you see that? And they can’t go any higher because they hit this, what I call the arm
knot. See this knot right here. It fits right in there really snugly.
This is the tricky part to show you. Not tricky to do. It’s also like one of those times
when I need to just tell you, please be careful because it’s really easy to poke your finger
and get that little tiny droplet of blood. The other thing I want to do is I want to
get these arms out of the way. You can do the same thing. Don’t think that this is
a pose. This just makes it easier for me to find a spot where that wire kind of locks
in, and I’m holding it down with my thumb. It’s all a little tricky especially trying
to show you and trying not to get my fingers in the way. All I’m doing is spooling this
around. If I do it enough times I won’t have to hold it, but right now I do. Do you
see what I’m trying to do? I’m just trying to spool this.
I’m going to need to get my hands in a different position so I could keep doing this. Okay,
now it’s starting to get easier for me to not have to hold it. You’re going to find
that to be true as well. The other thing I want to do is I want to get this wire up higher
towards the arm knot. All I’m doing is just wrapping this around. I do want to at least
use a little bit of this wire to criss-cross around the arm knot. Do you see what I just
did? I just basically sewed this together. I just wrapped it around as much as I could.
I criss-crossed around the arm wire and voila.
TV commercial. Here is the handy-dandy zapper. What I’m going to do is just basically drip
this on here. If we do this right it probably won’t drip onto this wooden base. If it
does it doesn’t matter, but you’ll notice that with all that wire on there it created
all these nooks and crannies. Now I’m going to take the baking soda, and I’m just going
to blow this on there. Baking soda, if you have some, is very cheap. Don’t worry about
all the powder that we have lying around. What’s nice about this is that it sets it
instantly. How do you like them apples?
Check this out. It’s solid. It’s almost as if I welded it. Now, I don’t want to
touch that to see if it’s dry because you’re going to just invariably get glued onto your
project, and it makes it really hard for me to drive home. I’ve done that before and
you’re forced to only make right turns if you’re stuck to your project.
There. This is really nice and solid. I happen to have a paper towel right here, and this is when
I could test it and see and make sure that it is in fact not wet and nice and dry. I
need to do that because I don’t want to get glue all over my hands, and it is sometimes
impossible, but I’m doing the best I can to not. This is solid. If you could feel this—if
you’re feeling it and there is no movement you did it right. Okay, so I like this a lot.
There we go. Perfect.
Now, I’m going to have you eyeball this because I’m going to eyeball it. There is
a portion of this wire that starts to fall, it’s almost like you’re in roller coaster.
And just before you fall there is a little stop right here, a little area where you start
dropping down. This isn’t something you measure. This is just something you put on.
That’s it. Right there. Do you see that big dot? That is the pit of your neck. A lot
of you that have had figure drawing classes know that most teachers will refer to the
pit of the neck as a really good landmark. I’m going to do the same thing. This doesn’t exist.
This little wire here is not in your body. Okay, so these are just support wires
that you need because this is, in fact, a model. It’s not a real person. That is number
one. We don’t start at zero. We start at number one. That’s a first mark. It counts
as one. Then every quarter inch you make a mark. I can eyeball quarter inches pretty
easily. If you want to use the ruler you may. This is two. This is three, four, etc. Finally
I get to seven. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. I’m going to measure from the
first one to the last one, and it should be about 1-1/2 inches, and it’s exactly 1-1/2
inches. How do you like them apples? Okay, that’s exactly 1-1/2 inches. That’s what
you are going to check because right below that 7th mark I’m going to cut this wire.
I’m going to just leave a little nub of wire. Don’t want to cut it right up to
number 7 but just below it.
There. See there is just a little tiny nub underneath 7. So, once again, one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven. Okay, so now we have the seven marks. That’s looking pretty darn good.
Now that we have these demarcations, we have the sternum and we have the
beginnings of a good ecorché here.
Now, I’m going to take another piece of the steel wire—how much? I’ll show you.
It turned out to be about 6 inches or so of wire. This is not a big deal, so that’s
why I’m telling you it’s about this long and not being specific because I’m looping
this around. I’m trying to secure it onto this little area that I call the bay or the
cove. This little area. This little indentation. Do you see where my finger is? Right in here.
I notice that there is a little prickly part sticking out so I’m going to bend that in
just so I don’t get poked later on. What I’m going to do is I’m going to make a
span like a bridge going from one side of that little cove to the other, but I’m not
going to do it straight. I’m going to do it with a little bit of an arc because this
is going to represent the pubic bone.
Now, when I think it’s pretty secure I could actually cut this. I don’t need to have
all this wire on there. I might just do this, just loosen it on the right side since it’s
the right side. I’m just going to finish it up by wanting to get like this. Let’s
take a look at everything we’ve done so far. Okay, so now we have the 7 marks on our
sternum. Don’t worry about the arms. The arms don’t have to be figured out just yet.
We have somewhat of a pose. You can tell that I’m going to be bending this knee just a
little bit. The left knee, the skeletal knee. Now what we need is we need the 12 inch piece.
I’m going to just glue this—I’m going to secure this onto the right leg.
Okay, so this is where we need a lot of this wire again, about 2 ft of this. Okay, here’s
the steel wire, and you’re going to need a couple of feet of this. Start sewing that
together. I’m going to put this on the inside part of the leg. You don’t want it to be
on the outside because it can make a difference on the skeleton that won’t be helpful. If
you have it on the inside we can kind of hide it. I’m going to move the arm of the way
because, again, it’s in my way. I’m going to have to start clumsily first because I
need for this wire to just find a secure spot. When I do enough revolutions then it won’t
be secured, and then I don’t have to fiddle around so much with it.
I’m going to just keep moving this down.
Do this until you run out of that wire that you took out.
I’m going to move down a little bit more quickly. Move this out of the way
for just a little bit. Remember, the pose is not set yet, so if you have to move something
out of your way just move it out of the way. It takes a little while to do this armature
wire frame. Now I’m going up.
Now, notice I didn’t go all the way down. I just stopped at the ground line, and I’m
just going a little bit higher here until I run out of that wire. Don’t cut it. Just
use it. There. Now, I can take the other wire, this extra wire and bend it. This is the one
that’s going to be opposing the other one. So if you bent it one way this way—do you
see that? Then bend the other one the other way. Counter to the one that you did before.
So now you have like an S-shape right there. The other one is just a loop. Now you have
like all of these fabulous loops to help you secure this onto your board. I’m going to
open this up just a little bit, just to make sure it’s out of the way of the other ones.
Bring the leg back in so you can start getting that pose back. Do you see that? Don’t worry
about the top part of the pose. What we’re going to be figuring out soon is just where
we’re going to secure the feet. Once we have the feet secured then we’ll be in good
shape. This is really very beautiful already. There is the pubic bone.
Remember, this wire has to be a little loose like that. If I want to, and I think I will
because I like gluing, so I’m going to glue the two wires together, the ones that were
on the entire limb like that. Just to make it even stronger support like that. Once again,
you have to be careful not to touch this. That glue is so thin, and it’s so clear
that it’s virtually impossible to see. It’s invisible so what you need to do is just really
don’t take it for granted that it’s dry. Just do this. Now it’s like a cast. Now
it’s encrusted. Cyanoacrylates are pretty much what it sounds like. It’s an acrylic
so it’s like a plastic. I’m going to take some of this little, yeah I’m pretty cheap.
Trying to make do with what is already on here. So you have all this white powder you’re
going to put on your ecorché. Now we have a nice and secure right supportive leg. This
is basically like the pillar that helps support this ecorché, and it’s doubled up because
later on when we put the muscles on it can cover up the thickness of the skeletal system.
But the other side, the left side, we want to keep nice and elegant. I’m just going
to widen this out because if I widen the stance of these wires
it’ll make this a little bit better.
start it and show you that we just kind of keep repeating. We’re going to do the first
ribs together. This is the way we start. We take some of this wire. It looks like about
18 inches, about a foot and a half of wire. You’re going to have to remember what front
and back and left and right is because when I say right or left, every once in awhile
somebody will ask me what do you mean. I don’t know what that means because he only has one
left. I have one left. He has one left. He has one right. I have one right. In this case
I can’t be thrown off. This is his right. That’s his left. So when I say left I mean
his left. It has nothing to do with me. I’m making an ecorché. I’m not saying anything
about me. The left and the right is done a little bit differently. The left side is going
to have ribs. The right side is not.
Okay, so now what I need is to get this wire, show his back to you. His back is to you.
This wire is on his back and above the knot wire. About four little extra inches of this
wire. I’m just going to secure this around its neck, what you would perceive to be its neck.
This is one of the most fun projects any of my students ever make is this ecorché.
I think you’re going to find that to be true.
So what I did is I just secured that first rib. That whole wire, all of that is just
for like the first rib. Okay, now you remember that you have the markings here. This is the
first rib. There is going to be 12 total because we have 24 total, but we’re only doing half
of a rib cage. The reason is that this left side is always going to remain skeletal. The
right side is going to take muscles. We’re going to make a shell of a rib cage on the
right side eventually.
Notice this, now for those that live in the United States, I usually tell my students
make a half of a nickel arc. For those of you that use some other Euro or whatever,
I can’t help you with that. You’re just going to see that this is at about half of
an inch from that center. Do you see that? What we’re trying to do is replicate the
rib cage by making it a wire rib cage. I’m going to spool this down until it gets to
the second mark, and it’s there now. I’m going to just stop this right now and cut
this off. Once it reaches that mark you don’t need to keep going, so this is perfect. This
is where I wish I had a pair of scissors there. Okay, make sure I don’t get poked. Do you
see that? That’s going to be the first rib. If I need it to be a little longer I could
unspool it a little bit. I am, in fact, doing that. Perfect, do you like that?
Remember, it started on the back and it’s above the arm. Over here it goes to its mark,
which is the first one. Okay, so one, two, three, four, five, six, seven is right here.
Now I’m going to take another piece of wire that same length roughly. I always like to
work with more wire rather than less. Okay, so now I’m going to have a piece of wire
that’s about like this. When I say about or anything like that sounds a little nondescript
it’s because it is. It’s because I don’t want you worried about it too much. This one
is going to start right below the knot where the arms are. The only one that’s going
to be above the arms is the very first rib. Now what I’m going to do with this little
extra piece on the right side is I’m just going to secure it onto the vertebral wire.
Once again, because this is small, it’s going to be 16 inches tall. People ask me
why 16 inches tall. It just turns out that it takes exactly one pound of Sculpey, which
is 16 oz to make exactly a 16 inch tall skeleton. Because I work with a lot of students where
money is a factor, I didn’t want them to have to buy two boxes of Sculpey. It takes
exactly one box to make this. Now, this wire, this rib is going to be just a little bit
longer. With each rib it’s going to get wider and wider until you start getting a
rib cage shape, which is kind of like an egg with a wide part at the bottom. Once again,
I’m going to spool this down until I get to the next mark, which is number three. But
I find that it was too short, so I pulled it own and unspooled it. Do you see this little
jump? I’m going to get some of this stuff out of the way. You’ll see this nice big
stairstep from one to the other. I like that. It’s looking good. Now I can cut that wire.
Okay, now I’m going to look at it.
I can start the third rib. It’s still sliding a little bit,
so don’t worry. We’re going to zap that a little bit. We’re going to glue that.
That’s pretty good. You just keep getting wider and wider and wider until
the 8th rib is going to be 1-1/4 inches from the center. So where my finger is is going
to be the widest part of the rib cage, and that’s the eight rib. You have to be patient
because you have to do each rib on the left side one at a time.
This is one of those times that you definitely don’t want to be hasty. I’m going to tell
you this now. The more time you spend on this wire rib cage, when you put the clay on here,
it’s going to make life so much easier. You’re going to be so glad that you were
patient in doing this process of making a beautiful wire rib cage. See how little by
little it’s starting to come together.
Now, I’m going to take this to its 3rd mark.
It’s wanting to kind of tangle up with the
other one, so I’m trying to push them around a little bit. Make sure that they behave.
The other thing that you’re going to have to be aware of is that the ribs are not a
striped shirt. They don’t just go around like barrel hoops. They have angles to them.
Right now it’s a little tricky for you to see exactly what I’m doing, but I’m doing
the best I can to make sure I keep my fingers out of the way. Make sure that you see that
it’s a little tricky to do this and not get my fingers in the way, but I’m going
to try so that you can see the clarity of this. Do you see how every rib is getting
a little bit longer? You’re stair-stepping out, out, out. The key is to not make it too
small or too large. Eventually, what you want to make sure is that the widest part which
is the 8th rib is 1-1/4 inches. Just keep thinking that as you’re doing this. Eventually
you’re going to be measuring. After the 8th rib then it starts coming back. If you
think about an egg when it’s sitting on its fat side at the bottom, what happens is
that it gets to be an arc. Then it stops and it arcs back in. It starts with a taper and
it has a widest point, and then it comes back in. That will be the 9th, 10th, 11th, and
12th ribs. Okay, what I’ve done here, you guys, just to save a little time is I’ve
just pre-cut a bunch of these. We have three done so far. Like that?
Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.
I’ll try to get this wire out for you guys.
Ten. This is the tenth one...
11 and 12.
That way, what I can do is put this aside and know how I’m doing
by what is being reduced there. So we have three so far. I’m going to also just take
off a little bit of this wire, making sure it’s not too much just because it’s a
little bit in the way.
So, let me see how much I cut off. Right now from the shoulder to the end I have seven.
I have about seven inches of wire. That will just make it a little bit less cumbersome
because we’re not going to be doing the arms right now. We’re going to just put
these aside for just a moment and try to finish up this rib cage. I’m going to put the arms
aside like this off to the side and use this little extra. Remember, always start with
the wire on the back. With a little extra right in here for security on the right side
like this. The other key thing is to always have this wire go to the front of this sternum wire.
It’s just one of those things that just kind of tests your patience because it
does take a little bit of time. I’m telling you, the more you put into it now it’s going
to make it so much easier later. Now, this 4th rib is a really nice point for me to kind
of take a little bit of a breather and do something that we’ll be doing together.
Notice that with this wire I’m going even further. I’m trying to be very consistent
with the increments. Do you see this? Watch. From one to two to three to four, I’m trying
to be consistent with that arc. Use this extra to wind around to get to the next mark. Now,
the first seven ribs are called the true ribs. Remember, those are the ones that start going
wide, wide, wide. Then finally the 8th rib, 8th, 9th, and 10th are called the false ribs.
Those are the ones that are going to start coming back. The 8th rib is the apex. It’s
the top. It’s the longest one. Then the 9th rib will equal seven. The 10th rib will
equal six. Do you see what I’m saying, so it starts coming back and creating that little
egg shape. This is another thing I want you to keep track off is that from the back the
ribs have a slant like this. Like this. Do you see my hand? Slanting like this. Then
at some point in the front they start coming up again.
This is a good point for us to take a break and do this one thing. Save these. If almost
like if you have a computer and you don’t want to lose something you push save.
Right now you have four ribs done, right. So at the 4th rib—this is just something I started
a long time ago and I’ve gotten into that habit. It’s a good time for you to say,
you know, I like those four ribs. I don’t want them to move around or skip around or
anything, so let’s just save them. This is the way we save something that’s 3D like this.
We zap it. Those ribs are zapped. I’m going to do the same thing with the back.
I’m just going to put the little droplets of glue on there. Notice that there are so
many nooks and crannies that I haven’t had one drop hit my base. If it did it wouldn’t
matter. This is a fine surface to work on. It’s no big deal. This is looking really
good. Let me see if I have a tissue. I do. A little paper towel. I’m just going to
make sure it’s dry and secure. That is now saved. Now you don’t have to worry those
ribs. You like that? It gives you a good time to just kind of take a break. Breathe a little
bit. Step back. It can be a little tedious to do this over and over and over again.
Guess what. We’re going to continue doing this over and over and over again.
So, here I go. The 5th rib.
I just got poked. It’s almost impossible not to get poked,
but not enough to draw any kind of blood. So we’re okay. But, just be careful because
these wires are really, really prickly. This little ecorché will bite you and nip you.
It kind of reminds you to just focus and don’t think about anything else except him. When
I say him, all my ecorchés are always male because it’s just easier to make a male
ecorché. If you really wanted to test yourself and do a woman, I would do it after you’ve
done one successful male. Males are just easier. The female body is a lot more complicated
and all sorts of other interesting things. Plus, what happens is without skin it—like
when I go to the cadaver lab, without skin it’s really hard to tell once sex from the
other, oftentimes. My students will oftentimes ask me, you know, is this a female or a male.
I’m talking about without the skin. You have to look at certain things that might
give away, like the delicacy of a hand, for instance. Sometimes on the cadavers because
they don’t take fingernail polish, sometimes you’ll see that somebody had really nice
painted fingernails when they were alive. When they die nobody really takes it off.
They’re still there.
Okay, so this is the 5th rib. You can see I’m looking at it from all the way around.
Are they actually falling in this angle?
We’ll make this as easy as possible because it is
a challenge, but it is one of the best things you could ever do as an artist is to make
one ecorché. You’ve got to at least make one ecorché in your art life. Very few artists
do this now, but it is so valuable. It’s much better than doing it digitally. None
of that really registers to me. When you work with your hands you retain the information better.
Okay, so that’s the 5th rib. See, it does take a little bit of time.
It's a discipline. It makes you really just focus.
It’s a good thing for my young students to do. It’s humbling.
Okay, that’s the 5th rib. Here is the 6th, and we’ll be at the halfway point.
Okay, remember it starts on the back. Winds around towards the front. Try not to get that
thorn bush, rose bush poke in my thumb or fingers, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid.
I’m trying. The good thing is I haven’t gotten any glue on my hands yet. As soon as
I say that, that’s when it happens, when you’re just relaxed and not thinking.
I don’t like the feel of that cyanoacrylate on my fingers. If you do get it, you can get
like an abrasive cleanser like Ajax or Comet or something like that.
Scouring pad, something like that. It’ll come off eventually.
Do you see that? The nice thing about this
base right now is it’s creating good contrast. One, two, three, four, five, six.
I’m going to show you what we do once we run out of that wire. This one is a little
short so I’m going to unspool it a little bit because it needs to be longer than the
5th one. The 6th one has to be longer. Obviously, it’s like it’s going in order,
and I need to keep that order going.
Okay, I kind of like that. It’s looking pretty good.
The last of the true ribs.
Have a little spot here where there is like a spot in the vertebral wire.
I’m going to take advantage of that and put the end of this in there if I can
and use that to secure it.
Go like this one more time, and then I’ll be ready to come around.
Okay, do you see what I did?
I’ll come around to the front...
and find the last spot.
Remember, I left a little bit of a nub there.
Let me make sure that I like it, and I do. The reason I’m
pausing right now before I finish spooling this is because if it was too short I could
pull it and unspool it. I could still alter this. I could still make this better, so that’s
what I’m doing. It looks really good so I’m going to leave it as such. There, that’s
pretty good. What I’m going to do is cut this end off and voila.
Let me see how this looks. I like It.
Now, what I’m going to do, once again, I know it’s only the 7th rib, but I’m going
to zap it because I like it so much. I don’t want this to move. I want to glue it. I want
to save it. Maybe I can take some of this old powder. Get it on there. If not I could
get some more of the bottle. Nice. That’s all you needed and it’s perfectly secure now.
Okay. Not bad.
Since I have some of this powder here, I’m going to use a little bit more of that right there.
Let’s see how it feels. Feels good. Anything loose. If it is I’m
going to glue it again. See how that’s looking. Now that it’s secure a lot of times it’s
just much easier to manipulate and to shape it. I’m going to put a little bit more glue
here. This seems to be moving around just a little too much for my taste. Some of you
may know that the Zap-A-Gap also—if you buy this at a store sometimes you’ll see
this little aerosol can by the same company called ZapKicker, and it’s an accelerant.
The only thing is that it’s really bad for you. You want to stay away from stuff like
that. Baking soda is like the opposite. I mean you put this in cookies, for God’s
sake. It doesn’t work as well as the ZapKicker, but that spray just makes you nauseous. It
gives me a headache. I figure if something is giving me a headache, I stop doing it.
That’s the 7th rib.
I’m also going to measure from here to out here and make sure that I’m not getting
too far out. Right now it’s at an inch and a half, so definitely, you know, small.
This is going to be a smaller rib cage, but it’s going to work. It’s going to be fine.
I just don’t want it to be too big. It’s a little bit smaller than what I told you,
but the good thing about what I do is I could tell you if it’s going to be okay or not.
You don’t have to worry. There are certain times when I’m going to tell you it has
to be a certain way, and then there are certain times when it’s like, you know what, it’s
still within the realm of a good rib cage. It’s not too wide, not too narrow. There
is a little leeway there. Right now this is going to be the widest part of the rib cage,
the 8th rib. This will merge with the 7th rib wire. I’m going to tell you exactly
what I meant by that once I put this on there because now all of these wires are going to
be attached to the same little area, so they’re going to basically kind of merge together
like my fingers like that. I’m going to do it first then I’m going to show you.
I’m making sure it’s wider than the 7th, because this is the widest part of the rib
cage, so it’s critical that the 8th rib be done very carefully and measured. There
is, you know, less wire for me to attach to, so it gets a little trickier because they
all basically end up in the same little spot right there. Try and separate it. Really,
it’s one of the things that really tests your dexterity. It is wider than the 7th rib.
I’m also going to measure and see how wide it really, in fact, is. It’s about 1-5/8
inches. It’s going to be a smaller rib cage than I’m used to doing. You don’t want
it to be any smaller than this. It’s not wanting to behave too much right now. It stays
over there with the 7th rib. I want to make it a little bit longer.
Okay, now I’m going to zap that simply because it’s wanting to jump off.
I’m trying to get it back in there and then just zap it.
Hopefully that will hold it, at least until I get more glue on there.
This 8th rib will merge with the 7th, and what I mean by that is that they will occupy
roughly the same area. They get fused together. A little bit of that back here, and this is the 8th rib.
How is it looking on the backside? Make sure that those ribs are going slanting
like this. It looks like they’re going okay from the side. It looks all pretty good.
Okay, now I can put the 9th rib in. It won’t go as wide as the 8th rib so it’s not quite as long.
Then we’ll merge with the 8th rib. See how that’s all working out. I’m going
to use this again to kind of help me clamp that down if I can.
I was using that split in the wire to help me start winding this around.
It looks like it’s going to work just fine.
I’m doing a few more revolutions just to make sure it really is secure.
Okay, so this is the 9th rib, and it’s going to merge with the 8th rib in the front and
be in the same spot. It’s just slightly smaller than the 8th rib, so basically equal
the 7th rib. Did you keep up with that? What I just said? Alright, here we go. Nice. It’s
all in that same general area. I’m going to see if I can squeeze this in between a
couple of ribs. I think I can. Okay, so that’s the 9th rib, and it merged with the 8th. I’m
going to zap that. I keep zapping these because I don’t want them to move or fall off. Whatever
I do, you can do the same. So, when I choose to glue this there is usually a reason why.
It’s because I don’t want this to shift or move or get discombobulated. It’s the
vocab word of the day. Don’t want this discombobulated or messed up.
I’m going to get this all nice and pretty for you. Let’s see how it’s looking.
Remember, all these kind of merge together.
Don’t worry about the fact that they’re kind of grouped. It’s actually really, really good.
Okay, now, the 10th rib. Once again you find a place for it to secure. I’m looking for
any kind of like nooks and crannies, little openings, little holes, anything where I could
just stick this wire and hopefully it will just stay put. Then I’m going to twirl and
spin this around the vertebrae for a little bit until I know it’s not going to move
anywhere. That is perfect. Let me go one more revolution. I still have plenty of wire so
I’m not worried about running out. This will be good. This is going to be even shorter
than the 9th rib. Once we get this done, we’re cruising. Is that about right? Let’s take
a look. Don’t want the ribs to overlap or anything, so I want to make sure it’s looking okay.
There is a little nub of wire over here that we’re going to get rid of. It’s almost
like you’re doing surgery. Where is that—oh here it is. One over here. I’m going to
zap this. I want this to be glued and not move anywhere. It’s perfect. I love it,
and I don’t want that getting messed up or discombobulated. Looks good. Back here.
Get the powder. I’m going to even put some on the back of this.
Make sure none of these ribs go anywhere.
So, now we did the false ribs. One through seven are the true ribs. So, now what we have
is we have the true ribs, the false ribs, and now we have the floating ribs, where are
the easiest ones of all. I need to put more glue over here on the front of the vertebrae.
I don’t want to touch this until I really get in here and make sure it is in fact dry,
so it’s safe to touch. Now that I feel it’s safe to touch, I could make sure that I like
the ribs. The rib cage is starting to look pretty good. The floating ribs are just nothing.
They’re really simple. What I’m going to do is I’m going to cut a couple of pieces
of wire. I guess I only cut a few. I was missing the last two. Here they are. What I’m going
to do is I’m going to cut the last two pieces of wire. These are from the floating ribs.
Let’s go over this again. One through seven are called the true ribs. Eight, nine, and
10 are called false ribs. They’re the ones that merge together. Do you see this? They
basically kind of come together like a whole freeway system coming together in one merging.
So it’s like they merge together. Then the floating ribs are pretty much that. The ribs
start on the back, but then they don’t end up going anywhere. They just basically kind
of fork out like this, and they protect your kidneys. Your dog has them. Your horse has
them. You have them. Your kidneys are back here where my fingernail is. These ribs are
designed very cleverly to protect those delicate kidneys. If you know anything about boxing
or anything like that, it’s illegal to hit people in the kidneys. It’s a kidney punch
because you can really hurt somebody. Basically, what you do is you just keep winding this
around. And because they’re floating and how long are they? Well, they vary from person
to person, but I’m going to just show you about where this one is going to be. It starts
coming around and somewhere about the halfway point, like where my fingernail is, I’m
going to just cut that. And I don’t worry—like, I’d rather leave it a little bit long rather
than short. If you don’t know where that is, just eyeball where you think it is, and
you’ll be okay. That’s the easiest way to explain that.
There is one more floating rib to do, and here it is. Spin this around. Spin this around.
Spin this around. Remember, these are floating ribs. This doesn’t take any kind of skill.
You’ve done all this hard stuff already. What we’re going to do from this point on
is we’re going to secure this onto the board. Let’s see. Is this enough? Yeah, that’s
enough. I just spooled it off. If I needed to I could cut it. But that’s basically it.
That’s about 5/8 of an inch long, and that’s it. We finished the rib cage. Yes,
you’ll only do half of it. This is the way this ecorché project is designed. I’m going
to zap all of that now and secure this onto the board.
Okay, now let me get my little powder.
stuff out of the way. You have your board. Whatever size, whatever board that you’re
able to find. Sometimes people have gone in the backyard and gotten a piece of wood and
just cut it to size somewhere around like 8 inches square. You can find plaques at craft
stores. You could go to the lumbar yard and just get a piece of wood. You can get whatever
you want. I happen to have found this nice, round board like a little plaque at a craft
store. It was pretty easy. You can have them cut. Whatever you want. Now, the only thing
I’m going to tell you is that if you have a round board or even if you had a rectangle
or square, what I would tell you and the neat thing about this is is apparently when they
made this, they used the little circle there to put it on something that cuts it and gives
it the little bevel. This is really good because it creates a really good marker for the center.
I want you to understand that this ecorché is not going to placed right in the center.
It’s going to be placed at the center but a little bit further back. Got it? It just
gives it a better feel. It’s almost like the composition of this ecorché is made better
by not putting it dead center. It’s slightly back. It’s slightly further back. If you
have a piece of wood that’s irregular just find the center, whatever that would be even
if it’s a rectangle and just push it back ever so slightly.
I happen to have a staple gun. There is a myriad of ways that you could actually secure
this. As you can see, you can get double pointed tacs, which look like little U’s and just
hammer them in. That’s one way that I’d do it. You could find nails. Just hammer a
nail in and fold it over. As long as it feels really secure, whatever it is that you have
will work. What I did is I got a staple gun with U-shaped staples. They’re not the traditional
kind of squared-off staples. What I do first is I just make sure that I don’t have to
hold this any longer. Okay, you see that? At least part of it is secured. Looking to
see where I want to have this, and this is good. I just keep nailing this down. I’m
going to move this because I want to get right in that little nook right there, where it
changes from horizontal to vertical. You want to get right in that little nook. Try to put
like four or five or six per loop. Don’t be cheap about this. This is like one of those
things that it needs to be really secure. These staple guns are great because it goes
into this wood pretty easily. This is just pine. Pine is rather soft, so it goes right
in. Don’t be afraid of bending things back. It helps in securing this. Plus, it’s just
a lot of fun to use a staple gun. Let’s see if I get this one right at the very end
like that. There is one right at that area where it changes from horizontal to vertical.
How's that for a good day's work?
See how the nice pose—don’t worry about this. You can still change this. You can twist
him around. You can do all sorts of different things with this. Okay, the rib cage looks
pretty good. You want to double-check these measurements. It looks good. Everything is
fine. We’re ready to sculpt. Let me put one more over here just because it’s fun,
and it makes it feel more secure. You do not want any rocking in here, any movement. If
there is, take a hammer and hammer these in. Remember, whatever it is that you use to use
secure this with, make sure it is in the wood really, really well, and that these are very secure.
Okay, so now that we’ve done the mainframe of this ecorché, this armature wire frame,
what I’ve done is I’ve just reduced the amount of materials that we need to basically
still your needle nose pliers—real handy—and measuring devices, as usual. The 24-gauge
wire we’ll be using right now. The Gap glue or the cyanoacrylate, and the baking soda.
I also have scissors here simply because for me it’s the easiest way to cut steel wire,
the thin still wire, rather than using wire cutters. Sometimes it actually doesn’t work
quite as well. And indelible marker like I have here. The most important thing about
what we’re going to do right now, of course, is measuring. Measuring is very important.
We have to know where all the little different things are, like the bend of the knee. Remember
that one? And because it’s rubbing off a little bit I want to just reinforce that.
Right here, 4 inches, which is about 10 cm. Right in here. I can still here it here on
the support leg.
Now what we’re going to do to finish this up is we’re going to be doing the arms.
The arms are done very interestingly different. The left arm is done differently than the
right arm. What we need to do is measure each side a little differently. I also have a smaller
measuring device. It’s the same thing as the one over here; it’s just for smaller-type
things. It’s easier to hold. I’m measuring that from the shoulder, from this little mark
here. I want to make sure you can see that. Remember our shoulder marks right here 3 inches
across? From here to here it’s 3 inches, almost 8 cm. What we’re going to do now
from this mark, the shoulder mark to the elbow is 2-3/4 inches. I’m going to take my marker
and measure it at 2-3/4 inches. Notice that this ecorché is facing forward, which means
his right arm is this one. So, if this is the right arm just like this is my right hand,
this is his right arm and eventually right hand. The reason this is important is because
you can’t make this mistake. This is left. This is right. He only has one left and one
right. I only have one left and one right. This is my right hand no matter which way
you’re looking at me. This is always his right. It has nothing to do with me. It’s
still his right no matter how I turn this. So, here it is. Right arm is done first. From
this little bend right in here of the elbow to the shoulder was 2-3/4 inches. Now, from
the bend of the elbow to the wrist mark is going to be 2-1/4 inches. Look at that. I’m
going to put from the elbow, from the bend of the elbow 2-1/4 inches. This marking I
can put on this other side, so I’m going to do that right now. From the shoulder to
the bend of the elbow is 2-3/4 inches. There it is. But, notice I stopped. There isn’t
going to be a wrist on this side yet.
Okay, now, this is important. You have to really pay attention; 2-3/4 inches, 2-1/4
inches, and then this one is going to be about ¾ of an inch. In that case I don’t even
need to measure it. I know that ¾ of an inch is over here. I’m going to pause because
this bears repeating. Notice that I went longer here. Over here it’s short 2-3/4 inches.
All of a sudden there are only ¾ of an inch here, and guess what I’m going to do. This
is where you need to pause, think, and make sure you are doing this is the right spot.
This one I’m cutting right at the end of ¾ of an inch. So you have one mark, two marks,
three marks, and then that extra. I hope you can see that. Over here you have the bend
of the elbow, which is where my fingernail is. And then this little extra smidge which
is ¾ of an inch. Then we cut it there.
You’re going to find that this little ecorché has a short left arm. Do you see that?
This is fairly simple if you just pause and think about it. Because this is the skeletal side,
a lot of times people wonder is this unfinished? Aren’t you going to do the ribs on the other
side? No, this is finished. This left side is going to always remain skeletal. The right
side we’re going to have kind of like a makeshift skeleton. It’s still going to
be the skeleton. But, for instance, if the rib cage does not have to be individual ribs,
it’s going to be a shell of a rib cage that we do with Sculpey clay or whatever clay that
you choose. Alright, so because of that, this left side is going to have a separate radius
and ulna. If you don’t know what that is—in your forearm you have two bones: The ulna,
which is your elbow, to this little knob right here where your pinky finger is, and your
radius. When it radiates or turns over and follows your thumb. Got it? We don’t need
to worry about that on the right side. We’re going to cover that side up with muscles.
So we’re going to do a combined radius and ulna when we do in fact make the skeleton.
On this side, just shortly we’re going to be making a separate radius and ulna.
So, that being said, watch what I’m going to do with the end of this arm here. I’m
going to bend it in like a hook, like a fishing hook in towards its hip. Okay, watch. What
I’m doing is I’m bending it so that this end right in here is going to be eventually
right here. You have to watch carefully and make sure that you don’t make the mistake
of bending it where that mark is. The end of this wire is going to be turned in towards
that marking. I’m going to try to take a little bite right here and close it up a little
bit. Notice that I did not completely close it off. There is still a little bit of air
space. I could even close this up a little bit more. Notice that there is just a little
bit of air that can go through that. On this side, though, I’m going to do the same thing,
the same kind of bend, where this end of this wire is going to bend back so that the end
of that will be bent back to this. Basically, it’s taking this little smidge and bending
it half, but I’m bending it backwards towards my wall here. Watch how I do this. I’m just
bending it. I want to make sure you can see this. Bending that little ¾ of an inch backwards.
Take a little bite. Once again, I want to make sure that you can see that I left a little
airspace right there. Alright, so I’m going to set this aside. Relax that for a little
bit. Now, I’m going to take about 8 inches. You don’t have to measure this. It’s just
roughly 8 inches of wire. I’m going to take my scissors because it’s easier to cut.
It’s not anything that you have to mark, but this is about 20 cm or 8 inches of wire.
What I’m going to do is just eyeball this and bend this until it resembles about the
same width as a big paper clip, one of the larger paper clips, a ¼ inch apart from one
another. Do you see that?
Okay, so now that I have this, I didn’t fold it. I curved it. I just bent it in half
like this. Don’t kink it. Leave it like this. Now what I need to do is I’m going
to measure from this where my finger is tapping it right on top. I’m going to make a mark
just like I did over there at that spot. As a matter fact, if we’re clever enough we
don’t even have to get our measuring device out. We don’t have to get a ruler. All we
need to do is mark this at 2-1/4 inches from here to the little mark. If you can’t see
it on the wire I’ve just made a mark like that on these two little wires. Now, it’s
a little harder for me to see because this is dark wire. I’m taking this indelible
ink marker and making the same mark I made over here at 2-1/4 inches. Now, where I made
that little mark, watch what I’m going to do. I’m going to take that mark and I’m
going to bend the wire at that mark as if this little guy is doing the splits. Now this
is horizontal. This is going to be eventually the radius and the ulna. Little by little.
Don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through this. You’re going to love this. This is
actually a fascinating part of making this ecorché. I hope you like this already.
Now, this next part it’s going to look like I’m trying to do a magic trick and slight
of hand, but it’s not. Just sometimes when I’m manipulating things it looks like I’m
doing something fancier than I really am, but I’m not. What I’m going to do is I’m
going to explain this to you first because it took a long time before I figured out how
to fix this one little thing. What I mean is I need to try to keep this aperture or
this opening the same distance as it is all the way through. I want these to be about
as parallel as you can make them. They’re all about ¼ of an inch apart. Do you see
that? Try to keep that parallel because that represents two bones that are, in fact, parallel.
We’re going to be putting clay on these. What used to happen is that the end of this
would criss-cross. It would become kind of annoying. Watch how I fix that. I’m going
to take both ends of these little feet here where he’s doing the splits. I’m going
to open this up until this is a right angle, so it will create basically a big, long W.
Look at that for just a moment because I’m going to set this down. Eventually it’s
going to be brought back, but right now we need to just leave it alone. I’m going to
take another piece of 8 inch wire, 20 cm roughly. I’m not being that noodly about how clear
this is. What we’re going to do with this piece of wire—now, this is much longer than
what we need. It’s a couple inches, two, three inches than what we need. Don’t worry
about measuring this exactly the way I did. I’m going to close this up just to get it
out of our way. I am going to take the end of this little wire and make a little tiny
fish hook. This is going to be something that might be hard for you to see, so we’ll try
to make sure that we get a good view of this. I think against my skin here you might be
able to see a little hook. It’s almost like if you’ve ever seen a staple that you’ve
stapled, but you didn’t staple paper. It’s kind of like that. Okay, see how it’s folded
over. Watch what I’m going to do with that hook. I’m going to reactivate this little
guy again. I’m going to take this W and I’m just going to hook this so I don’t
even have to hold it. Do you see what I just did? You’re going to take that W, that little
hook, and put it on one of the little arms of the W right where I’m putting it here.
I’m going to close this up so it doesn’t fall out. For that I’m going to actually
take my pliers to give it a really good squeeze. It’s kind of challenging sometimes because
you realize your fingers are really huge when you try to do all this, but don’t fret.
I’m doing the same thing. I have my own issues with trying to get something really
small like this.
Now, what I did is I closed up that little loop. I’m going to try to close it up even
more. As you can see, it’s kind of tricky. It’s like trying to thread a needle. Everything
is kind of small. I’m going to squeeze this really tightly to make sure that it stays
put. I squeeze it really pretty darn well. I’m proud of myself.
I need to get it into the corner. Okay, got it.
Okay, let me just show you this. I messed up the W a little bit, but don’t worry about this.
What I have is have this little guy stuck in this little corner, which is exactly
what I wanted like this. Give yourself just a few moments to be able to do this because
you probably have to pause right now and just kind of like make sure that you get this.
back to us. Think of this and this as the wrist. It’s going to be brought back. The
reason I came up with this method of doing this in creating that W is because this is
wire. There is tension keeping this open like this. Without out, these two corners here
will criss-cross. But, since there is tension with this wire being open, it’s going to
be forcing this and this to be a little bit apart. What I’m going to do is I’m going
to bring this, and it’s going to become almost like a bracelet. I’m going to measure
out in my head about a quarter of an inch before I cook this and just bend it. Okay,
now, take a look at this really carefully. It’s funny trying to hold onto this. It’s
squirmy. Do you see what I did? I just bent this and now these are being held together,
and what’s keeping them from criss-crossing is this tension, so do not try to defeat this.
Leave this bowed liked that so it looks kind of like a balloon. Leave it.
Okay, now what I’m going to do is I’m going to do another revolution like this,
but I’m very careful not to close this gap up. I bent it back one more time. Notice this
little—I’m going to use this as a little pointer. This aperture is what we’re looking
for. It’s about a quarter of an inch. Let me see how I did. It’s a little bit more
than a quarter of an inch, which is fine. It’s like 3/16. There it is. Just like that.
What I’m going to do is I’m going to take this—this was like the long piece of that
wire that created almost like a bracelet. I’m bending it at a right angle towards
the ground. Now what you end up with is a thumb, a pinky finger, and a middle finger,
or one of the internal fingers. Now, as you can see, there is much more wire here than
we need. I’m going to cut it to almost equal one of those. Maybe a little longer just to
make sure I don’t cut anything too short. Alright, so do you see what I did. I did one,
two, three of these which are somewhat equal. They don’t have to be equal. What we’re
going to do is we’re going to make a hand out of this, but we need to make sure that
we’re not cutting any fingers too short. This so far is actually pretty darn good.
This is working pretty well.
Now what I’m going to do is take just a little piece of wire—about how long is this?
This is 6 inches right in here. What I’m going to do is I’m just going to cut a piece
4, 5, 6 inches, something like that. Notice I’m not too specific about the length. It’s
about 6 inches in length of this little wire. Got it? In this case, I am going to fold this
in half. So, 6 inches and I’m going to fold this and crease it. I’m really going to
fold this. I’m not going to make an arc. I’m not going to think of like a paper clip
or anything like that. I’m going to do more like a hairpin. As the hairpin turns, that’s
good. Just like that. Do you see how it looks like a hairpin? Just like that. These are
the missing two fingers. I don’t know about you, but unless you’re a shop teacher you
should have five fingers. So there it is. There are three, four, and five. What I’m
going to do is I’m just going to drop this in any one of those little openings and drop
it. If it doesn’t hit the ground you did it right. There it is. Now it turns out that
isn’t a middle finger. That’s why I hesitate to say middle finger and I corrected myself.
That could be one of the internal fingers, one of the ones on the inside. Got it? One
of these three. Which three those are doesn’t really matter, as long as you end up with
something like this. You end up with five. What I’m going to do know is I’m going
to spread them open almost as if I’m fanning cards at the poker table. I’m going to take
the cards and fan them out. All I’m doing is making like a big start out of this. It
should almost look like an octopus with only five arms, like this.
This is where it gets a little tricky. What I’m going to do is since I don’t want
to get droplets on here, is I’m going to take the glue, the cyanoacrylate, and I’m
going to put a few droplets so that this can be set. It’s very loosey-goosey right now,
and I don’t like that. This is tricky because I want to make sure that this does, in fact,
get glued the way I want it. What I want is I want it to stay like a starfish. There we
go. There is the glue. Now I’m going to get the baking soda here. I really want to
make sure before I touch that that it’s well glued. I’m going to put another droplet on there.
and put more. Get some of this off of the table.
The good thing about that powder is
that very benign so don’t worry about it getting on your table or anything like that.
It’s baking soda, for God’s sakes.
So now you can see what I did here. I glued all of this, and this is your hand and your
radius and ulna. Now that it’s glued you’ll see that we can close this up now and make
it a little bit more like a radius and an ulna and a little bit more like a hand. This
one is way long so I’m going to cut this. I’m still keeping them longer than I know
they need to be. That is the thumb now. I’m going to designate the thumb by turning it
inward and leaving the other fingers alone. Do you see how cool that is? Look at that.
It’s just really, really nice to see this coming together. Yeah, I’m going to change
it around. This one actually wants to be the thumb. I’m going to do that. I’m going
to turn this one around to make that one a thumb. You’re going to see how fabulous
that is. The other thing I’m going to is I’m going to close this up just so I don’t
have to worry about this.
Now, it’s going to kind of dangle for a little bit, but we’re going to just leave
it like that, alright? Make sure that this is closed up. Later on we’re going to zap
that and glue that down. Right now I just want to make sure it doesn’t fall out or
gets lost. I’m going to close this up nicely and it looks pretty good. Okay, that’s pretty
good. Make sure it’s closed. I will zap that so it doesn’t move around. I’m going
to do the right hand for you, and you’re going to love this. It’s all distracting.
I hope it’s not too distracting that this is kind of dangling around. But, we’ll glue
that and it will be beautiful. It will be fabulous. I’m going to turn this a little
bit. This big knot here, I’m going to use that and make it like it’s the elbow. I
want to make sure that this closes up just a little bit better, and it’s also turning there.
Alright, so now that’s a little bit more steady, more steady. Watch what I’m going
to do now. This one you do want to do pretty accurately. This is 15 inches. About 38 cm,
15 inches. This one I want to be pretty accurate about. This is the one that I am going to
take a look at and make sure that it is pretty accurate, so 15 inches of wire and cut it.
Let me just double-check this. A tiny bit longer, which is okay. I try to be really
accurate, but if it is a little longer it’ll be actually fine. I’ll tell you when something
has to be exact, exact, exact, no questions about it. In this case, 15 inches, try to
get it pretty accurately, but if it’s a little bit tiny bit long, it’s okay.
Now, this is 15 inches, so now you have about this much wire. Do you see this? Now, I’m
going to set this aside because I don’t need it right now. Fifteen inches of wire
and the first thing I’m going to do is mark this at 3 inches. From the very end of the
wire, I’m going to mark 3 inches. You can’t see it, you’re going to have to take my
word for it. I’m going to show you where it is. The marking is right there in between
my thumb and index finger. Do you see that? I’m going to fold that. I’m going to bend
it right at that 3 inch mark and I’m going to do this. I’m going to fold it right here
right at that 3 inch mark. Do you see that? Now you end up with a hair pin. Take a look
at that. Now I’m going to take the end of that, and I’m going to bend it. This is
fabulous. You’re going to love this. Don’t overthink this. I’m not doing anything other
than folding it at the 3-inch mark. Now I’ve folded it a couple times, making this 3 wires
thick. Well, I’m going to do it again. I’m going to fold it right at that 3 inch mark.
Guess what? I’m going to do it one more time. So now what you end up with is five
wires thick. Again, unless you’re a shop teacher, you should have five fingers. This
is it. Now, you notice that when I was measuring 15 inches, I went just a tiny bit long. You
can see that little bit of length here. What I’m going to do is if you have a bundle
like this, a bundle that is five wires thick, and we all do here. If you did this right,
everybody has a bundle that’s five wires thick. Everybody either has one that’s a
little bit longer, a little bit shorter. Almost all of us will something that is like, well,
I have an end that has a little extra. Or, I have an end that the end wire is just a
little shorter. I’m going to call that the end of the bundle. I’m going to hold on
to the beginning of the bundle and only focus on it. What I’m going to do is I’m going
to take the bundle where they’re all even. I’m going to squeeze them together as best
I can with my pliers. It’s almost like if you have a thread, and you’re trying to
thread a needle, a lot of time you lick it just to get the ends all together. That’s
what you’re doing here in wire form. Do you see what I’m saying?
So now that I have these ends all bundled and tight, I’m going to bend this and make
a hook, much like the hook I just did there. Make a hook of this collective bundle of wire,
and it should match that. Once you have that, that little hook, what you’re going to do
is hook it from the from inside that little hook so it’s hook on hook. Do you see that?
Now I’m going to close this up like that. I’m going to tighten up the bundle just
a little bit. I’m going to glue that just to make sure that isn’t going anywhere.
I’m going to use this just because I don’t want to have any droplets anywhere of glue.
I’m going to glue this. I’m going to put a little droplet of glue on there, and I’m
going to blow it with a little bit of the baking soda. That feels pretty good. I’m
going to put a little bit more just because it’s moving a little bit, and I don’t
want it to. There’s that. I’m going to blow some of this powder on there. I’m trying
to keep everything tidy for you guys. Don’t want anything not looking right. So there it is.
Now what I can do is I can take my scissors and cut this. How do you like that? I just
cut the end off. I know that this is still longer than the hand is going to be, so this
will work out really well. What I want you to see is I’m going to spread each one of
these. All of this to me is just so much fun, having to design this really brought out that
instinct for me to create and be like MacGyver and just try to figure things out. It doesn’t
look like much, but that will be a really good and sophisticated hand. This is the thumb
coming forward. These are the other fingers. I’m trying to keep them kind of apart. Now,
for a while, you can leave them dormant. They don’t need to be activated or anything.
I just want to make sure that later on you know that you’re going to have to kind of
separate them a little bit so they actually start looking like a wire version of your
hand. You’re also going to be asked to pose this so that the hand isn’t just like this,
and you’re going to be doing this with this nice wire. Look at that, it’s beautiful.
It’s wonderful. What I’m going to do is I’m going to glue this just to keep that
steady as well. I want to do the same thing. I just want to keep everything kind of neat
for you. Putting a little droplet there. You don’t want this stuff on your nice table,
drafting table or coffee table or whatever it is that you’re using. A little bit more
simply because there is a little bit of wet glue on there, and I don’t want to touch
this. I already have glue all over my hands. I’m going to just take a little bit of a
paper towel just so I can touch it and feel that it’s not enough. That’s why I’m
doing this. Now I can tell that this needs to be better glued like that, like that. I’m
going to blow some of that on there and really smother it.
The reason I don’t mind doing all this and having to redo something it’s because it’s
probably going to happen to you, and I don’t want you thinking I’ll have some kind of
magic powers in making this work. Sometimes you have to just kind of hit it more than
once so that it is, in fact, glued on there. I’m trying to get some of the glue off my
hands. There, like that. Looks good. I’m going to tighten up some of these loose ends.
Let’s take a look at this now, together.
There is a little loose end over here so I’m going to tighten that up.
Get it closer. I think we did it.
The only other thing we need to do is kind of a silly thing, but over here at the very
top I’m going to cut this. Now watch what I’m going to do. I just cut the very top.
Pull down the right side, the side that does not have a rib cage. I’m going to cut this
off. Now you have what I call the head spike. Don’t worry about that little nub. Pull
that end towards the other one. Now you have the spike for the head later on I’m going
to straighten it out, make it nice and neat.
Guess what, kids. We finished the armature wire frame. Isn’t that fabulous, everybody?
You have to be proud of yourself doing this. What I would suggest you do, everybody, is
to take pictures of your own ecorché at this stage, because I think the wire frame is very
elegant. It’s very beautiful. You should be proud of yourself because now all we need
to do is put the clay on here and make it fuller and make the skeleton come to life.
It’s going to be fabulous.
Well, see, that was kind of fun, wasn’t it? What I suggest for you to do, and I do
this with all my students, is take pictures along the way. As you can see, you have a
beautiful wire-frame version of the human skeleton now. The next session what we’re
going to be doing is finally making the skeleton, and we’re going to start
with the pelvis and both femurs.
Free to try
1. Lesson Overview49sNow playing...
Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
2. Introduction to Materials and Tools15m 24s
3. Establishing the Basic Frame Shape14m 21s
4. Refining the Legs and Adding the Arms16m 28s
5. Adding the Sternum and Establishing a Pose12m 0s
6. Establishing the First Six Ribs20m 44s
7. Finishing off the Rib Cage18m 2s
8. Mounting the Frame to the Wooden Base19m 10s
9. Adding Steel Wire Arm and Fingers19m 26s