Foundation Sculpting – Drapery

Michael Magrath has spent most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He discovered figurative sculpture while in his early thirties, and has since dedicated his life to the betterment of his craft and the furtherance of sculptural art. Primarily self taught, he has nonetheless studied and taught in a number of rich sculptural environments, including the University of Washington, the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and Gage Art Academy. Reflecting a decade spent in the building trades as a carpenter, painter, foundryman, and shop technician, he brings a craftsman’s approach to his work. Regardless, his interest in the figure naturally steers toward the narrative and symbolic. Of no particular denomination of religious faith, Magrath attempts to excavate, understand, and depict the universal truths that lie at the core of religious and human experience. His primary focus lies in the embodiment and reinterpretation of mythology in contemporary contexts, and is most interested in its potential to reinvigorate the human spirit, particularly in the face of the cynicism of the modern world.
1:30-4:30 P.M.
Live Model
All Levels Welcome
Gage Capitol Hill
  • Notebook. You will need a notebook for keeping a record of class notes
  • Needle Nose/Wire cutting pliers. Not wimpy, Construction grade
  • Square-nose Pliers. Electricans pliers best, but not necessary to purchase
  • Ruler or measuring tape. steel ruler better, stiff
  • Alt; Tailors ribbon

Below can wait till after first day of class

  • Notebook and/or Sketchbook, drawing Materials
  • Graph or Gridded paper  for schematic drawings
  • good pencil or pen for note taking
  • colored pencils for note taking
  • eraser for same
  • pencil sharpener or sandpaper for sharpening above

Clay Modeling Tools:

    • Fettling knife. Stiff type, Don’t get a flexible type!
    • 8″ Aluminum Calipers, aluminum, cheap okay!
    • Box cutter w/ long, breakoff blades
    • Serrated Clay Rib or Rubber Kidney – Medium soft
    • various small files and rasps, will discuss in class
    • Small Ribbon rake* (Sculpture House 404a) – can often be purchased online at Sculpture house or occasionally locally at Seattle Pottery Supply, or Artist and Craftsman Supply
    • 100g sandpaper – 1/4 sheet
    • Latex or neoprine gloves, will discuss in class 
    • Tackle other utility box to carry above supplies in.
    • Kemper WT16 and/or JA17
In Foundation we explore special subjects and technical topics that arise in sculpting the figure. These classes are designed to be accumulative and may be taken individually or as a yearlong series, often in conjunction with Sculpture Atelier. This year Foundation breaks up into two unique, one day per week classes, with Ecorche on Tuesdays, and Foundation Figure on Thursdays. This year on Thursdays we focus on relief composition and drapery. In the fall, we work in ceramic clay from the model, with inclass practice and discussions on historical and contemporary styles, to explore the principles and the potential of relief sculpture in low, medium and high relief. Following quarters will include drapery and individual relief composition. Prior experience in figure sculpture is recommended, however students with strong experience in long-pose figure drawing may find they have many of the requisite skills.
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