Joss Whedon’s FRAY

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From the comic book series by Joss Whedon and Karl Moline, this is Melaka Fray, Vampire Slayer of the future. Closely tied in with Whedon’s TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fray tells the story of a Slayer disconnected from the lineage of Slayers, in a world that’s forgotten what vampires are.

Fray’s look here is taken from her look in issues #5 and #6 (although artist Karl Moline alternated between giving Melaka a holstered laser gun and omitting it- deadlines!), my favorite of her several looks. I tried to copy the weird glyphs on her t-shirt without having any idea of what they mean. I was amazed when the Scythe, which  first appeared in the FRAY comic book, appeared in live-action on Buffy. In the comics it looked slightly different, so I went with the more finalized, real-world prop’s appearance.

Down at Fray’s feet, you can see a tile floor depicting martyred saint Margaret of Antioch slaying a dragon. Wires, insulation, and machinery have been clumsily threaded through, the future intruding into the past.

Fray was sculpted a 1/6th scale; I made a guess at her height based on Moline’s drawings, but made her taller than Buffy star Sarah Michelle Geller. This turned out to be wrong when Fray and Buffy finally met in Buffy comic books, where Buffy was a bit taller. It was sculpted with Sculpey III, Sculpey Firm, and Apoxie over an aluminum armature. The Scythe was carved wood and a brass rod. These were molded in Smooth On urethane rubber and cast in Smooth Cast 300 resin, primed, and painted with acrylics and Tamiya enamels.

My friend, photographer Patrick Lentz, shot reference photos of a model, Sue, for this piece. I wanted Fray to have a kind of weary but still defiant look here, and I couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you, Pat and Sue.

Grr. Argh.

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Frankenstein’s Monster

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How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.

Based on Mary Shelley’s description of the literate, bilingual, articulate monster of her novel, Sean Downey and I designed this piece which I sculpted. It took us a while to finalize this design, which we wanted to be true to Shelley’s description above, but also possess some visual appeal.

The black lips we decided to make a kind of blue-black, like the lips and tongues of bears or Chow Chow dogs, and we extrapolated that his nipples (which, shockingly, Shelly failed to describe) would be, too. Scarring isn’t described in the book, but we utilized the popular idea of the monster being composed of the parts of dead humans as well as animals, which was suggested, hence scars. The scars we did were mostly cosmetic with not a lot of thought given to how they’d actually work (Sean added circular, almost branding-like scars on the shoulders).

We wanted our take on the monster to have a youthful quality, despite looking like he’d racked up a lot of mileage, so we gave him slightly oversized eyes and fine features, including too-small ears and nose set too-high on his head.

His eyes, described as “watery […]that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set” are alternately described as yellow, which seemed contradictory. We decided to make the corneas an unnatural yellow and keep the whites of the eyes white.

The monster is depicted here after having been rejected by Frankenstein and living in the woods for a while.

The sculpture was made with a mixture of Sculpey III, Sculpey Firm, and Apoxie over an aluminum armature. The original was molded in Smooth-On PMC (forgot which number) mold rubber and cast in Smooth-Cast 300, primed, painted with acrylics, and given a loincloth and crepe hair, set with clear fabric glue.

Commission for a Cause!

Hey folks,

My friend Jenna has left an abusive domestic situation and is looking to relocate and start a new life for herself and her cat. She’s in a temporary home and is currently out of work. I’d like help her raise money for this move, so here’s what I’m going to do:

I haven’t taken commissions in over two years, but I am auctioning an original sculpture, character of your choice, style of your choice and will donate all proceeds to Jenna’s relocation fund.

Here are some examples of my work:

The winning bidder will receive one original sculpture, character and style of their choice, hand-painted, on its own ready-to-display stand.

I’m going to start the bidding at $300. Here’s how it will work:

  • Email me at jfsculptsemail01 (at) gmail.com with your bid and what character/style you would like
  • I will update this post with the amount of the current highest bid (See below for latest)
  • Winner will donate their winning bid to Jenna’s fundraiser page
  • 4-6 weeks from that time, the winner will receive their sculpture

It’s that easy!

Jenna is my hero. I hope to help her get back on her feet. Please help if you can, by bidding, spreading the word with social media, or by donating directly.

Thank you.

Update: Here’s a link to share if you’re on Tumblr. Thanks!

UPDATE:  I see there’s suddenly some new activity on this posts, so if anyone wants to contact me ( jfsculptsemail01 (at) gmail.com) with another bid (to be done after the winning bid, so sometimes in April/May), let me know.

Second Sculpture Auction…

Turns out the bidder was unable to come through, so I’ll be restarting the auction.

For those just joining us:

My friend Jenna has left an abusive domestic situation and is looking to relocate and start a new life for herself and her cat. I’d like help her raise money for this move, so here’s what I’m going to do:

I am auctioning an original sculpture, character of your choice, style of your choice and will donate all proceeds to Jenna’s relocation fund.

  • Bidding will start at $300
  • Email me at jfsculptsemail01 (at) gmail.com with your bid and what character/style you would like
  • I will update my site, JFSculpts.com with the amount of the current highest bid
  • Winner will donate their winning bid to Jenna’s fundraiser page
  • 4-6 weeks from that time, the winner will receive their sculpture
  • I’ve decided to extend the bidding and do one more, so if you missed the initial deadline I’m keeping the auction open a little longer
  • New auction winner will be announced SATURDAY, MARCH 29th

Keep spreading the word and donate if you can: $10, $5, whatever you can spare. Every bit helps. Thank you!

BOND, JAMES BOND

Hurricane Sandy kept me inside all day, and since the power’s stayed on so far, I was sculpting and watching movies, including FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. For fun I decided to sculpt a quick mini-bust of James Bond, but as described by Ian Fleming in his novels.

“Bond reminds me rather of Hoagy Carmichael, but there is something cold and ruthless,” says Vesper Lynd in CASINO ROYALE, the first Bond novel (Carmichael had also been the physical model for The Shadow). I used Carmichael’s general description, but added the “comma”-shaped forelock of hair and scar on his right cheek (which I may have exaggerated a bit).

I should sculpt more characters from books.