Paper Mache Animals

Goat Sculpture – Starting Over


I know you’ll think I’m crazy (and maybe I am) but I started over with my goat sculpture.

I just wasn’t having fun with it. And sculpting is supposed to be fun, isn’t it?

I had two problems with using foil for an armature this big:

  1. I have a hard time seeing the shapes, even when I make sure the ‘dull’ side is out.
  2. I like changing things around when I sculpt, and that’s hard to do when you have a solid armature. And glued-on crumpled foil is really solid.

When I decided to move one of the eyes, I had to get out my heat gun. I don’t have one of the smaller craft-type heat guns, just a big-a** piece of equipment that’s made for stripping paint and thawing pipes. Of course, it worked – it softened the solidified hot glue – but it made a mess, with sticky bits of torn foil all over the table.

Then I wanted to change the angle of the head, so I got out the electric saw…

Well, you get the idea.

But don’t get me wrong – I think foil is great for making armatures. I loved using it on the squirrel and the tiny dogs and the unicorn. But this week I wanted to move some clay around, to get my hands dirty, to make decisions about where something should go and what shape it should be, and then change my mind – and foil just doesn’t move all that easily. Since making my goat wasn’t as much fun as I wanted it to be, I started over.

I found some photos of a goat’s skull, which I should have done to start with, and created a very basic, somewhat crude skull to use as the base for my goat. It didn’t have to be pretty, because nobody will ever see it once the sculpt is done. The fake skull was made out of foil, which my eyeballs can’t see very well, so I covered it with plaster cloth. I could have achieved the same result by covering it with masking tape, but I left my tape in the garage and it froze. Now I can’t get the tape off the roll – I guess you’re not supposed to let it get so cold.

My goat also changed  from a table-top sculpture to a wall sculpture, which eliminates the need to make a base or worry about the balance.

And now I get to play around with some clay, which is what I really wanted to do all along. I’ll let you see the finished sculpt in a day or two, and then you can tell me if you think it was worth taking the time to do the goat sculpture over. [Edit–I worked on the sculpt after I wrote this post, and you can now see how the goat looks after I spent an hour adding the WED clay.

And to prove that you really can make big armatures with foil, (even though I didn’t like mine very much), check out this gigantic dragon: https://youtu.be/htLs0A1G5hk

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How I painted the Unicorn.Unicorn Pattern
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10 Comments

  • Goats have the most intriguing shapes! (See Picasso’s goat sculpture in metal.)
    I adore goats but the cunning little things can get into so much trouble that I won’t have one on my ranch!
    You could have simply spray painted the foil goat white to eliminate the shine problem, but what strikes me is that the armature was too large and
    ” finished”‘already. Too solid for you to be able to move the clay around on it. Your skull armature is great! As always, you inspire me!

  • Hi Jonny,
    I can’t wait to see the head finished. I had the priviledge of having a Boer Goat in my life. His name was Basset, due to his long ears….He was found by a policeman on the side of the road, he had been run over.He was rushed to the vet, where they decided he was too lovable to Put to sleep.he had his back leg amputated, I heard that he had a special leg made for him but he didn’t like it:-). His story was in the local newspaper and I fell in love with him…I phoned about giving him a home but was told he had found a nice new home. Many, many years went by until one day I was delivering dog food to a boarding kennels when I saw this three legged goat…I asked about him and they told me it was the one in the newspaper from years ago. He was living with sheep and seemed happy. A few weeks go by and I get a phone call from the kennel owner telling me that she had sold the sheep and Basset was lonely, would I like him..of course I would!!! He came to live with me, he slept on my front porch with my pet pig…they would argue about food but generally they were pals…I had my beloved boy for many years…he died with his head on my lap just as the sun came up..he was about 15 years old..I had him cremated and he is still with me in a specially made ginger jar made from Orange wood. He was a very special animal and I know I will love your new sculpture.

    • Sylvia, what a wonderful story! Basset had a charmed life, with so many people looking out for him after his road accident. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Do you have any photos of Basset? I’d love to see him, if you do.

        • I can see why – now I wish I had one. They do let us have any animal here in my town except pigs, as long as we don’t let them run loose. But gosh – what a commitment. Was Basset expensive to keep?

          • No, I’m lucky enough to live a farm so he was free ranging until he got sick and then I would buy him all sort of things..apples, lettuce, and horse pellets..Before he passed on he didn’t have any teeth so I chopped up everything small for him to eat…He was one of those animals that leave a huge hole in your heart when they go!

    • Thanks, Shelbot. GG appreciates the thought. đŸ™‚ I will be posting another goat video tonight, because I added clay to the crude skull I made, and now I really like her. Stay tuned.

  • There are those days when nothing seems to go right, you just have to walk away and try again at another time.

    • So true! But we learn so much from mistakes, so I never feel bad about having to start over. The next one always comes out so much better. I used to avoid it like the plague – now I look forward to an excuse to try again. And this time, it really was worth it. The new goat looks so much nicer.

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