The dress featured in the approved pose was unnecessary for the form. I opted for milling just the body of Jenna. I wanted to work the dress design in clay. Knowing most of the body would have a great deal of clay covering it, I had Blue Genie Art Indusries mill the body out of a less expensive polystyrene, and the hands and wings were milled out of a firmer urethane foam that would hold greater detail.
There are many different options when having a sculpture milled. The more detail the artist desires, the more passes the bits will have to make and perhaps even smaller bits will be utilized after a pass with a larger bit. With the extended time on the milling machine, the cost of the milling rises.
Many artists ask for a slight reduction in the size of the milled foam so that a thin layer of wax based clay can be added on top of the foam and detail can be added. Some milling companies actually spray the clay onto the foam after milling for the artist.
If a reduction in the foam is desired, it is important to understand that some areas like nose or ears can disappear in the reduction. Milled foam comes from Blue Genie Art Indusries in several pieces. The pieces are light and even monumental sculptures can be shipped long distances without a tremendous amount of money spent in shipping charges. The foam pieces are secured using glue and pipe, or in the case of Jenna a few skewers was all that was necessary. The foam can also be reshaped with rasps if the artist finds modifications are necessary.
Milling foam for the traditional artists is rather new technology and will go a long way in assisting the traditional sculptor in the studio. The 3D computer generated model of Jenna could have been enlarged before milling out to any size, even as a monumental size baby. The use of digital millings offer the artist a less time consuming way of creating armatures for life-size and monumental pieces as compared to the traditional pipe, welding and rebar that has been used in the past.
Shipping a completed sculpture that was first milled in foam to the foundry is also much easier as it is lighter and easier to transport. The foundry men seem to like the process as well, as the sculpture can be cut up for the mold making process quite simply with a knife without worrying about having to cut through rebar, wire, or pipe as they do with the creation and mold making of traditional sculptures.
Milling foam is a new tool that I will continue to use at every available opportunity. Personally I find the process of making armatures tedious and time consuming and milling in foam will relieve me of that task, leaving me with much more time to create.