hanee birch

Pond no. 1

This work is available for public display. If you can provide a place for it to be seen adopt it now.

This is currently photographed in unfired clay. It will be fired when fully dry and the photos will be updated. Occassionally, works are destroyed in the firing process.


I’m trying to work out the squatting boy figure in the sandcastle composition, and I thought this would make good practice as a reference pose of a sort. I’ve gone with my usual minimalism in titles rather than other candidates (I toyed with breaking the ice and frozen pond). I’d rather the viewer go where they need to with it and give just enough of a hint to make anything inexplicable explicable.

Although the proportions aren’t quite where I’d like them to be, they were a big challenge and represented a good improvement over previous children. What I didn’t anticipate, is just how many other challenges I would have.

In addition to switching to a new clay (which unfortunately appears to be far weaker than my old clay), I also raised the scale substantially. Although only 21 inches, the figure is half life size. There’s also a very strong strong back bend and a massive head helping to make things precarious. I had to use two sticks for buttresses during building: one to keep the head from falling forward, and one to keep the back from sagging further back.

There was a point at which I noticed a large crack forming along the belly and had to do some abdominal surgery. The only short-term challenge remaining is to de-mount it from the back-support without snapping the ankles or distorting anything. After that, it will still have to survive drying, transport and firing, but once fired it should be structurally sound: much of the torso, the head, and the rock are hollow and the base is partially hollow too.

I will likely return to the theme at some point in the future, as there is still much room for progress and it’s a nice pose for modeling and study.