This rendering was submitted to the Downtown Midland Authority as part of the 2013 Downtown Midland Larger Than Life Sculpture Series, the concept was a 5 ½ foot tall garden gnome named G.U.S. (Gnome Ultra Sized).
The theme of this year’s series is anything found in a garden recreated on a large scale.
Gus was not chosen to be part of the series but I’m going to create him anyway as a gift for my Mom, she likes garden gnomes and it would be a nice addition to her three season room.
Whenever I do a commission job I always do my homework in order to figure out all the details so that I have a solid game plan. The prep work usually means making a miniature of the project which gives me three dimension references for the piece. In 2011 I created a troll called “Boris The Bolter” which started out as a small clay sculpture.
In the case of the gnome named Gus I did quite a few concept sketches then did a very rough mock-up of the face which is the only part that would be created from clay. The purpose of doing a mockup with the clay was to prove to myself that my approach would work on a large scale.
Over the years I have found that doing your homework first and playing with the form in a three dimensional way really makes the project come together quicker and without any unexpected surprises.
Here is the information submitted to the sculpture committee:
Gus is a 5 ½ foot tall garden gnome that has grown to ginormous proportions, sporting old leather boots and a bright red hat, Gus would enjoy being part of the 2013 Downtown Midland Larger Than Life Summer Sculpture Series.
The sculpture features the traditional elements and colors of garden gnomes complete with rosy cheeks and curly moustache and beard.
G.U.S. (Gnome Ultra Sized) will be constructed from a variety of materials. The core structure or armature will be a heavy duty metal tomato cage. The coat and hat will be created from burlap coated in a joint compound/latex mixture which results in a rock hard surface that is weather resistant. The face will be sculpted from custom made clay which is very durable and weather resistant. Accessories such as the belt, boots and watering can will be the actual items that will be treated to withstand the elements. The interior of the gnome sculpture will be filled with expanding spray foam which will reinforce the sculpture but also prevent wasps and hornets from building nests in the interior. The base for this sculpture will be provided by the artist.
Prior to painting the gnome will be sealed with a marine varnish then painted with good quality exterior latex paints. The sculpture will be delivered for the automotive clear coat.
5 ½ feet tall
2 feet wide