For this sculpture I am using a simplified cross section technique, which is a good method for getting accurate forms out of hard, fusible materials. Also good because I used some extra wood that I had purchased for an entirely different purpose.
I made it at TechShop.
Step 1: Making the Underlays.
Note: I want this dude to look ugly and angry, I do several sketches, the first few look too symmetrical to really express anger so I go for a deliberately lopsided final. The first sketch looks like it could be a more refined piece that looks like some kind of feudal facial armor, so I’m going to save this sketch for later.
Step 2: Mapping the Cross Sections With Tracing Paper.
Step 3: Cutting
Here's a technique for cutting complicated shapes on a bandsaw. The eight inch bandsaw blade is pretty precise as far as shop tools go, but that can still only cut a 1-2 inch radius comfortably.This straight cut technique is good for cutting much tighter radii. Basically cut a few lines perpendicular to your curve and then come in a slice the curve. Go slowly and nip out little bits at a time.
I don't care about getting the lines super precise because I'm going to do a bit of sculpting with a chisel and hand tools once my pieces are assembled.
Step 4: Assembly
Note: that green envelope in the background is carbon paper sheets that I got from the office supply store. Good for transferring art onto sculpting materials.
Step 5: Finishing
The whole project took place over four days. One day to think about the cross sections and make sketches. Two days to cut and form, one day to paint and finish. the project didn't take up the entire four days. When working on complex projects, it's good to stop yourself and sleep on it whenever you reach a critical step. You will make much better progress and far fewer fatal errors that way.