Head of the Head (part 2 of 2)

The process of printing a head is not necessarily a quick one. This specific example took over 90 hours and 650g of material. ‘Machine-time’, admittedly, requiring little more than a nod of confirmation a couple of times a day to ensure the printing continues as expected. This was printed at 80% life-size.

3D printing in process

3D printing in process

Completed 3D print

Completed 3D print

Then began the clean-up process. Mostly sanding. It is a fact of 3D printing that the results, although impressive to achieve in the broad sense, exhibit a texture typical of the printing process. Not entirely unattractive but the intent of the sculptures I am working on is to approach the sense of being entirely attractive, and so some finishing is required. The aforementioned sanding happens a lot.

The intent was not to bring the surface to an entirely smooth finish.

As an aside; a few thoughts on a broader intent: Attempting to achieve an integrity to the object implies there is no deception. These objects being created are not props, facsimiles or models. The intent is to produce an object that is of itself entirely contained, and, hopefully, pleasing. The fact is, with any art form, a process is required to produce the results. To eradicate the process from the final form presents the results as a simulation, ignoring the reality of the object itself.

Getting back to the process; finishing the 3D printed model is not a process of eradicating the artifacts of creation but part of a continuing process to produce a pleasing object. As such, some of the manufacture process may be seen as integral to the sculpture, as one aspect of the depth.

Surface processing of bust, front view, incomplete

Surface processing of bust, front view, incomplete

Surface processing of bust, side view, incomplete

Surface processing of bust, side view, incomplete

So, more sanding, layering of a surface application specifically developed for this purpose, with some more sanding. Building layers of texture that blend with the inherent translucency of the sculpture body to create a (hopefully) pleasing look, somewhat reminiscent of porous marble, for a close-up as well as distant viewing stance.

Close-up of surface treatment

Close-up of surface treatment

The texture of the surface was fixed with a satin varnish.

The object was mounted on reclaimed Australian hardwood. This ‘reclaimed’ part is due to a local supplier who has sources all over the country for wood derived from many interesting and historical locations. The piece used here was redgum from a warehouse demolition in rural Queensland. Never to be repeated, and always fascinating, the sourcing of this material does lend an interesting depth. Not to mention weight!

I then made another one and gave the best of the two to the original sitter. The headmaster of the local school. A head for the Head.

3D printed bust, finished and mounted

3D printed bust, finished and mounted