Our Emmeline: the clothed figure – II

Emmeline work in progress by Hazel Reeves - photo by HazelIn the heat of this exceptionally hot summer Sarah wears corset, dress and jacket, so I can continue to sculpt Emmeline’s clothing. Progress is slow but sure. Before I extend the skirt right down to the ankles, I need to do some more work on her shoes, as they will be difficult to access later on.

Once the dress skirt is to length, I add the beading down the front, as once the jacket is on, I won’t be able to reach it. Time to also start work on Emmeline’s lace collar along with the lace panel on the front of her dress. I will leave the Holloway Badge until later, and make it in wax at the foundry.

I love sculpting-on her jacket, with its creases, pulls, vents and undulations. It would be impossible to sculpt without having Sarah there, wearing the corset and the jacket made for her. The last stage of the jacket involves inserting wire mash to create the front jacket flaps, so it can stand away from her body. This is then shaped and covered in clay. Too early and the clay will dry out, so it’s just the right time.

As the hands will dry out the quickest these are just blocked-out in clay, with the detail left until the last couple of weeks.

At the end of each day I take eight progress photos, from all angles, before my evening walk and picnic.

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For further information on the Our Emmeline commission for Manchester click here or for the latest details on the unveiling on the 14 December click here.

(Photos by Hazel Reeves.)

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