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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jack Hutton Celebrity Portrait

The Bohemian Art Gallery and Cafe hosts a charity called The Celebrity Portrait.  Tammy, the owner picks a local celebrity and 5, this time 4 local artist do a portrait of the person. The portraits are silent auctioned off and the proceeds go to the charity choice of the celebrity. 

My great great grandfather carved statues and monuments of people and head busts of people from stone.  I have made many animals and wondered if I do a head bust from clay. 

In June four of us artist met with the celebrity Jack "eyebrows" Hutton, who entertains people with his piano on our local cruise ships and other places.
We all snapped pictures of him then went back to our studio to create.

My challenge was his eyebrows.  His long hairs would have broken off with clay, so I made thick ones instead.  

 I wanted to include his piano but laying it flat underneath did not appeal to me. Then I thought surrealism. I was going to wrap the piano around him as if he was swallowed up by it.  Some times our gifts swallow us up.  Having the piano all around him would have covered his face. The piano became a collar. 
  I took out the porcelain and shaped and sculpted. After he a was sculpted I had the daunting task of cutting him in half to hollow him out.  The clay can be no thicker than 1", the thinner the better.  This allows it to dry .  Wet clay will explode in the kiln as the moisture boils.

The piano keys where the only colour I was going to have on him.  Once finished the eyes looked dead, they needed life.  Before I fired him I painted the eyes in under glaze. 

The time came for me to put him in the kiln.  As Tom Petty's song says,  the waiting is the hardest.  Three days latter I unloaded the kiln.  Had he exploded?  No, he was still in one piece except a chunk came off his scalp.  I patched this hole and painted the hair to camoflouge it.  Fortunately it was at the back. 

I had made my first head bust. 

On Friday, September 21 we met at the Bohemian for the grand unveiling.  Jack is allowed to pick his favorite piece before he knows who did what.  Since I was the only one who does pottery it was obvious which one was mine.   The artists were then revealed as to who did what. 

The silent auction runs for one week at the Bohemian Art Gallery and Cafe.  The charity of choice by Jack Hutton is The Mustard Seed Foundation which helps out homeless people.  


Faith Caroline said...

Wow! Great work!

MYSAVIOR said...

That is so cool! His eyebrows look like Andy Rooney's - LOL.