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Librarian - plaster bust

Introducing a rather studious new character - or she could pass as a d├ębutante, one of those book-balancers from yesteryear.

Arranging the books in an interesting and balanced composition took a surprisingly long time - and of course when you're making three-dimensional work the composition has to work from every viewpoint.

Books, and especially stacks of books, have a very elemental, three dimensional  character, simple forms with a strong sculptural presence.

Just pulled off the silicone mould.

The two-part silicone mould inside its plaster jacket.

I cut out a Vogue ad from a paper ages ago and pinned it to my studio wall - it was an image of a Hubert de Givenchy dress designed in the 60s. The extreme collar - if you could call it that - was a stunning sculptural form and although I didn't have any plan when I cut out the picture,  generally the images I collect find their way into my work sooner or later.  Librarian's hat with its geometric solidity seemed the perfect foil for the more fluid shape of the collar. My version is very, very close to the Givenchy design because I didn't think that could be bettered.
Interestingly,  I've made a number of costumes and hats which half obscure the face - something about the mystery this creates and the focus on the eyes which I must find appealing. Always hard to work out why one does what one does!

To get the right scale for the bust, I used kiddie books I found in a charity shop.

Always a compelling moment releasing the first cast from the mould.

The hair in the original sculpture is just string!

This is the second time I've been seduced by the sculptural form of  books - Librarian has a studious companion by the name of Bookworm. See some more pictures of her here.

I'm sure I'll be back to the book theme - already have some ideas...............

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