Cellulose cement

Ken's Harlequin

A collaborative set of works with the artist Ken Johnson. These  sculptures are based upon key images in Ken's "Anecdotes and Allegories" show of paintings  and these 3D items were key elements of that show

Part 1 of 3 - Harli

Ken's painting of the core image of the Harlequin




To turn this into a 3D artwork one needs an armature.  Firstly a steel frame was welded together and then padded out using crunched up newspaper to save weight




The torso is hung up from the roof to fascilliate easy access and bits added in this case by Ken,  until ...  





...we get the final figure ...


 ... before colour and a face mask was added...and lo...HARLI, the harlequin of Indo-Italian provenance

The mask was modled by visiting Italio~Syrian sculptor, Usama Alnassar  (  It is tied in place with a piece of string


 Part 2 of 3 - Donatello the Donkey

Ken's sketch



Ken applies cellulose cement to the steel armature that took a lot of research to work out. Note the handy support he found for the bowl of cellulose cement.

After the liberal application of a 2lb hammer to reshape some  less than satisfactory aspects of the armature which made the donkey appear to be preganant and then modeling the detail, Shrek's great mate emerges, in the raw, so to speak.               




The brindled colouring of the donkey was serendipitous. When I was not happy with the finish we had used and sanded it off , it left the variegated patches that sparked Ken's and my enthusiasm for a change of plan

 Now we have one bored but sanguine beast, on wheels... like a child's toy.  This  sculpture is strong enough to take the full weight of an adult riding on its back. The wheels were carved out of a bit of weathered Australian hardwood that I retrieved from an old wooden cattle crush near my studio. The axles were made out of old rusted reo rod and the wheels fixed in place with split pins immersed in acid to age them.  All very authentic!




Harli and Donatello are about 80% of full size.  The one leads the other.


The Vento figure is about 85cm high



Although some of these pieces (notably the donkey) are more representative than I would normally do, this was a truly collaborative series with both artists ( who are used to working alone) sparking off each other while working together.  

 Part 3 of 3 - Vento

carved by Ken out of styrofoam and covered with cellulose cement, details added, then antiqued  and finally painted...