Embodied Space: Analogous Scanning of The Body

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At the start of this project, I had no clue how I would get around to making a sculpture of my face on the rough guidelines that the Madame Tussauds follows for their sculptures. But at the same time I was excited to learn the process that a Museum of such prestige uses. I was surprised at how simple yet tedious the steps to replicating my own head were.It is a process of steps and each step is equally accountable for the final result. It started out exciting by taking pictures of my own face from the front and the side, like mugshots. I then made a 1’x1’inch grid on a bristle sheet of paper and drew the outline of my face. The materials for getting the measurements of the different dimensions of my face included kabab sticks and 2’x8’inch cardboard sheet. I inserted a pack of kabab sticks into the cardboard sheet and then proceeded to take measurements of my head from different points like the front of my forehead and the bridge of my nose etc. Using these measurements to correct the drawing I had made earlier of my front and side mug shots. Now that I had theses measurements of my head I traced them out on a tracing paper separately. Then I proceeded to cut out cardboard cutouts of these measurements. Then I proceeded to go back to the drawings of my face which I had drawn on the grid and cutout those shapes on a cardboard as well. After having accumulated all the parts I strategically cutout grooves in the separate cardboard measurements of my face, corresponding them to grooves in the front ways and sideways cardboard shape of my face. Now comes the assembling part, putting all the pieces together. Tiresome work of almost 3 weeks could have very well been gone to waste if it all didn’t come together in this step. I then very cautiously proceeded to assemble separate cardboard measurements in the sideways cardboard cutout of my face. They all fit together perfectly and I had already started to see a face emerging out of the cardboard. Now I bought 2 foam board to place in between the space of each facial measurements to make the structure sturdy.
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Now I proceeded to do that for the whole structure of my face.

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After placing the foam in between the spaces and leaving the structure to dry for 24 hrs I had to shave off the excess foam,
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Now I had to put a smooth layer of clay on the final structure to start sculpturing my face out of the structure. I had to heat the clay and then apply it,
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Up until this step everything was pretty methodical and I knew if I did it correctly I will get the desired result. Next came the tricky part which was also fun to experiment with. I had extra time to mess with my head sculpture as I had done all the earlier steps a week prior. When my professor, Jose asked me to sit in front of him and started carving out my face from the clay figure it almost felt magical. The sculpture started to take shape, one stroke after another. It almost felt like putting life into the structure, making it come to life. Afterwards I continued to refine my facial features on the sculpture and attempted to make the sculpture look more and more like me.
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Sculpturing a life form out of foam, cardboard and clay is the art of an artisan. Carving out features with raw hands and using hand strokes instead of a paint brush to complete this painting of a sculpture is beautiful to witness and create. And I am glad I got to live and create a small part of it. This was a memorable experience.

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