The Tiranti Modelling Stand is a pre-requisite for all sculpture students who want to develop an understanding of form. Being able to stand up is crucial when working, so one can move from side to side and well as up and down to properly see form developing in the round. Tiranti’s Student modelling stand allows easy vertical adjustment and its rotation is smooth and well-engineered under weight – it will last forever and its movement becomes part of the sculptor; unconscious competence allows us to place the whole mind on ‘the job’ whether it be work from life, the imagination, or the subconscious.
But it is £350 by the time it is delivered to you. Many students – particularly those who are talented but not dedicating their lives to sculpture – baulk at the cost and resort to sitting at the corner of a table with a rotating cake stand when working on small clay, life studies or portrait heads. Their Sketch stand is less than £300 but relies on a pegged system to set working height, as does a more rudimentary (but excellent value) wooden tripod at about £120.
I met designer/craftsman Derek Hayes on one of my West Dean sculpture courses and we debated some of the possibilities. With some excellent suggestions from him, I embarked on trying to produce a rudimentary low-cost alternative that students can construct while having access to tools in their degree course institutions.
This is the first prototype, costing about £20 in materials (or £10 and scrap wood). I decided that the height could be bespoke to the user, as I find that for portrait sittings the Tiranti stand is often too low even on its maximum extension. The important consideration for me was getting a serviceable rotating table, here achieved with a sizeable lazy susan swivel bearing.
The other consideration is ease of construction. This is designed to have no angled cuts, and the parts – after preparation – were assembled with two drills and about twenty screws in about fifteen minutes. The intention is that as there is no splay to the legs, the bottom shelf will have one’s clay bag as a security counterbalance.
Derek’s first comments were to suggest removing the corners of the base shelf to prevent students bashing ankles; this could become a chopped triangle so that all the base is within the legs. Another improvement could be another square shelf about 1ft or so below the top to store tools.
Please pass a link to those who you feel could benefit. I will send a parts list and detailed specification (and the revisions which will undoubtedly follow) to anyone following this blog or the twitter feed (@massform).
Next West Dean taught courses start April 3rd (portrait heads) and 5 June (carving). Note online booking discounts
Carving continues at the entrance to RSPB Pulborough Brooks on Saturday mornings
Tiranti Sculptors Supplies: http://www.tiranti.co.uk