My dad loves hippos! So I made him one.
Initially I was going for a full hippo sculpture, big and bulky.
I made a flimsy wire support skeleton and sculpted wads of clay very roughly over the top. I decided on just going with the top half as the sculpture would have been too heavy and too time consuming to meet the deadline of the 16th of June, Fathers Day!
I enjoy leaving my sculptures grey as I love a more natural vibe to my sculptural work, but I had to keep it exciting and vibrant as my dad unfortunately doesn’t have the longest attention span. I thought giving it a bit more of a colour boost would make my dad appreciate the gift a little bit more.
I sculpted the hippo by hand using wire throughout to keep the beast together.
When air drying clay dries it can be difficult preventing breakages, using tiny pieces of wire in the ears, jaw and teeth were vital to make sure they didn’t break off during handling. After all his bits and pieces were sculpted I then after much experimentation painted him with red acrylic which further strengthened and sealed it. As always I gave him a final layer of PVA to give my hippo a glistening finish.