Sectioning a torso.

This piece will be a nearly life-size torso sectioned so that it stands as four quarters.  I intend to group the pieces with a smaller figure.

Transforming a coil-built torso into free-standing quarters is a technical challenge — fabricating the internal wedges out of slabs underneath the quartered sections of “skin” (three-eighths inch wall) while preserving the naturalistic shape and contours of the figure and getting strong joints.  I stand the figure on a large “X” and scribe it with vertical lines where the “X” shows, which are as far apart as the width of two slabs that will form sides of adjacent internal wedges (#1).  I remove two of these vertical strips on opposite sides of the figure and, while the now-separated pieces of the torso are still standing in place, lower two slabs into the gap.  I then mark the contours of the figure on the slabs, so that when I remove them and lay them down, I can place the torso halves on them exactly where they need to be to maintain the figure’s shape (#2).  Then I stand the halves back together, re-blend the surface to what it had been (#3), and repeat the process at the other set of vertical scribe marks (#4).

This process reconstitutes the original torso but with quarter wedges now inside (#s 5, 6).  Last, I cut the four sections apart by running my fettling knife down between the internal pairs of slabs and slicing through the re-blended surfaces (#s 7, 8).

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