Fired clay as a medium for figurative sculpture has been around for 27,000 – 31,000 years, a testament to the longevity of the material. The following guide will provide you with information regarding caring for and moving your sculpture, such that you may enjoy it for many years to come.
Shipping For shipping I recommend you consult a qualified fine art shipper who has experience with large-scale ceramic work.
Moving and placement of your sculpture Each life-size sculpture weighs approximately 120 to 150 pounds. It will take four people to move and place the sculpture safely. Three people will be involved in lifting the piece while the fourth person will be keeping a close eye on all parts of the sculpture as it passes through doorways and around objects and will carefully guide the piece as it is lowered onto its new location.
Please avoid the natural inclination to lift the piece by grasping wrists, arms, hands, ankles, legs or the head. While they might seem to be the most efficient "handles," it is very possible that lifting from these points would not support that the weight of the piece. Only lift the sculpture by the main masses of the body such as the torso, hips and bottom.
Be careful to remove anything that may scratch the surface such as rings, watches, jewelry, belt buckles and cover both pant and shirt buttons. We tuck a soft cloth in our waistbands in order to cover buttons – the metal buttons on jeans are notorious scratch makers.
Please be sure your hands are clean.
When putting the sculpture down in its new location, you will want to make certain that the piece is gently lowered parallel to the surface it will be placed on. The first areas to touch should be the larger masses such as the rump, thighs or knees (depending on the pose of sculpture) and the last portions to touch should be the toes and/or fingers. As you can imagine these of the most fragile parts and extreme care should be taken that they do not touch first.
For specific details on your particular piece you are welcome to contact me through my contact form.
Cleaning An occasional gentle dusting with a feather duster, soft dry cloth or compressed air is all that is necessary to keep your piece looking fantastic. Your sculpture can be gently blotted with a damp cloth if necessary. Always avoid using any liquid cleaners or powdered cleansers.
Displaying your sculpture outside If you choose to display your sculpture outside there are few thought I'd like to share with you. I have tested both the fired clay and the surfaces outside under extreme circumstances over the years and have found them to be surprisingly durable. This being said, I would like to emphasize the obvious by saying that the hardships of exposure to the elements are invariably harsher on a sculpture than being protected inside. Any sculpture in just about any medium that is placed outdoors will weather and change over time.
The two main concerns are sun exposure, moisture and freeze/thaw. Over the years the continual exposure to direct sunlight and rain will affect the surface appearance. The expansion of moisture as it freezes will be detrimental to your fired clay sculpture. For these reasons, I recommend you shelter your piece from the elements. Indoors or a covered area are best.
If you love a piece and feel you would derive the most pleasure from placing it outdoors, please contact me and we can discuss options for casting it into bronze.