My ceramics class took a field trip to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in the afternoon. This was my first visit to Stanford even though the university is just 20 minutes down the road from San Jose City College. I didn’t know that the Stanford campus extended so far into the countryside next to the 280. The afternoon was so nice that I wished I had an outdoor kit to do some landscape painting.
As part of our third project to create a larger than life self-portrait bust using the coil building method, we went to the museum to get inspiration from the self-portraits created over the centuries. The base for my self-portrait will be 24-inches wide or so to attain the larger than life aspect. I’ll be using recycled clay at $5 USD per 25-pound bag instead of using the second of two bags of clay included in the class materials fee. I hope to use only one bag for this particular project. I was looking for ideas at the museum on how incorporate a beard into my bust since I’m the only person in the class with a full length beard.
I had no idea that the work of Augeste Rodin was so prominently featured at this museum. The Thinker inside and The Gates of Hell outside are huge bronze sculptures that intrigued me. I did a quick side view sketch of the Gates in pencil while waiting to drive back to school. My instructor thought it was good. Some of the other students who saw the worksheet that I turned in that had a sketch of Rodin’s Victor Hugo, a bronze bust with a nicely sculptured beard, thought that it looked good too.