The Craft Project

Becoming a Clay T-Shirt

I had an interesting experience the other day – I had my body cast to create a clay t-shirt.  Local Whitehorse artist, Don Watt, is an amazing carver.  The majority of his work takes place in snow – he’s one of the world’s best snow carvers in fact – but he also does fabulous set design and clay sculpture.  Recently he has embarked on a new project to make a series of clay t-shirts, and I was his first model.

Essentially I put on a soaking wet t-shirt that clung to my skin and lay down on a table.  Then Don, with the assistance of my friend Christina, coated the whole front of my torso in plaster to create a mold – it gave me a first-hand impression of what it would be like to wear a breast-plate (and resulted in some plaster in my hair).  The idea was that the plaster would capture both the contours of my body and the texture of the t-shirt.  Don then took the dried cast and pressed clay into it to replicate me.  He sent me a couple of pictures of the process today that I thought I would share with all of you.

His next steps will involve carving designs and images into the clay t-shirt.  I know he’s searching for more models…so if you live in Whitehorse and would like to get involved in this project let me know and I’ll connect you with him.  I plan to model for him again in future – we’re thinking of some sort of twisting pose, but I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

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