Website Copyright © Robert A Ford 2014-2020     All images copyright © Jeff Childs 2014-2020
Apres le Bain (large) in a garden setting

The sculptural process involves a collaboration with others and the application of my own skills in order to produce each piece. I work closely with the life model, who brings her own feminine perspective and input, rather than just reacting passively to my direction. Ideas are generated during our work together, and I strive to capture the freshness and immediacy of those moments in the creation of the sculpture.

Creating each piece begins with collecting a series of ideas and drawing rough sketches. I then take many detailed photographs for each pose, and those which I find the most aesthetically pleasing and meaningful are chosen to carry forward as sculptures. Using these images for reference, I then make a sturdy aluminium wire armature, or framework, which forms a simple outline of the proposed idea. The armature gives the work the necessary strength upon which to gradually build up the clay, or wax, until I achieve the desired finer detail. I also refer back to my life model during the later stages of the work to ensure that have caught the essential mood of the work.

I am often asked ‘how long does it take to make a piece of sculpture?’ There is no easy answer. For example, a variable development period is always necessary in order to establish a worthwhile form, so I could not discount this as part of the overall process. Also, the time spent actually sculpting is not something I tend to dwell upon, as each piece has its own challenges and intricacies. To be over concerned with time, would, in my mind, limit the necessary creative thought processes, and consequently risk diminishing the work. It is often the case that, as I proceed, I am inspired to make changes which move the sculpture forward from its original concept. In such ways, the eventual title I choose for the sculpture may remain stubbornly elusive until its final identity and form is resolved and then the title is revealed to me -  often in an instant.

Finally, my original finished work is taken to the fine art foundry, where a limited edition of bronze sculptures  are created using the ‘lost wax’ casting process.

For further details of how this is done, please click here: