The Pankhurst maquette: working with the model

Much of the joy of sculpting for me is working with models. With a model you can test the pose and make adjustments. It brings an anatomical integrity. In essence, it breathes life into my sculptures. And it’s a lot of fun.

I know exactly which model I want. She’s also an artist and feminist. As Rodin, I sculpt the figure unclothed first, or rather, under-clothed. Corsets at the time, really shaped the torso. Much giggling ensues as we struggle to do up the corset each session.

With a small aluminium armature ready, I start to block out the tiny figure in clay. In life, Emmeline was around 5ft tall. As a maquette, she will be only 31.5cm tall.

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