I had the fantastic experience to become part of the team to create a reproduction of Bernini’s Apollo & Daphne for a production of Tartuffe at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in 2015
Before I took over my part of the project, the basic shape of the sculpture was created with stacked slices of MDF cut with a CNC router and then given several coats of sanded joint compound to smooth over the stair-like ridges. Small details like the base of the faces as well as the hands and feet were created with a 3D printer before they were layered with sculpting compound made from white glue and joint compound.
My role in the project was to finish it off; to detail, carve, and finesse – to breathe life into the statue. I used layers of sheer fabric dipped in the compound to gradually build up layers in the clothing, bodies, base and hair. I used a rotary power tool to carve details and to smooth ridges. Copper wire was used to form frames that were covered with fabric and compound for the larger leaves around the base. Students assisted with the creation of the hundreds of polymer leaves growing from Daphne’s hair, and also with the frequent sanding and smoothing as we progressed. The final step was a fine mist of paint with marble detailing and a satin sealer to mimic the sheen of the original marble sculpture.
All images © Cherie Siebert/Artsfish Studio