Unsung war heroes out of clay

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 09/07/2014

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Palmerston North students are recreating characters from World War I in clay, but with a steampunk sway.

About 10 UCOL Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging (BAVI) and illustration students will be bringing to life war-inspired steampunk-influenced clay creations at Te Manawa today and tomorrow.

Before the students began crafting their clay models, they created character profiles of "unsung war heroes".

They then developed a multi-view model sheet that shows the structural ins and outs of their characters.

Lecturer Steve Leurink said the project, which wasn't a marked assignment, extended students' skills.

"It's showing that students have a critical eye, they understand and appreciate it's not something they can do in a day . . . but the energy they put into it is worth the journey in the end."

The creation process started with a more traditional focus, which then crossed into digital finishing before moving back to the traditional skill set of sculpting their character in clay, Leurink said.

"It's challenging them to come away from the computer, where they can throw 3-D effects into things, and now create it in 3-D. There's a huge bonus about working more traditionally," he said. "It gives student a far more multi-talented base."

Second-year BAVI student Samantha Pocock said it was her first time working with clay, but crafting the models in painstaking detail to designs that previously existed only on paper and a screen was rewarding. Her creation was inspired by a blacksmith who worked during the war but lost his arm and an eye.

■ School students can also have a go at crafting with clay - the UCOL students are inviting school pupils to take part in the project and try their hand at moulding clay heads as part of holiday activities at Te Manawa.

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- Manawatu Standard

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