Sunday, July 05, 2009

Michael Jackson (jackson five)

I sculpted this little 8-1/2 " Michael Jackson figure 23 years ago. When I first started at Will Vinton studios in 1986 I was into Michael's music and thought this would be a cool sculpt to do. It's made from Avalon oil based clay over a wire and brass armature and even the Mickey mouse is done using a clay inlay. I did it on my own time and it was never used in a commercial or anything but the odd thing was that about a year after I sculpted this, Michael called the studio and said "I wanna be a raisin". From there we began work on the MJ California raisin commercial and later speed demon music video.

It's in rough shape after all these years but I thought people would like to see it.


Blogger M-Flem-Jr said...

That is Very cool and inspiring Tony. Fantastic job! It looks like you made him animate-able, am I wrong? I think I can see some Brass and Lead in there.

Were you experimenting with how you wanted to do the hair texture? How did you do that Mickey so well. Is it painted on or is that clay? Do you think Michael ever saw it? Thanks for sharing man!

5:16 PM  
Blogger Tony Merrithew said...

Yes it could be animated.

The Mickey design is inlaid. We used to do that with all the lettering and logos in our commercials, we were purists back then. It's traced out ahead of time then cut out with an Exacto knife and laid in like a puzzle then gently pressed with the thumb so that all the edges meet.

Michael never saw this sculpt.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how clean the shirt is! Not a speck of dust or discoloration. I'd say the sculpt aged pretty well :)

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avalon is truly the best clay. I wish I had more than 300 pounds of it. I think it would be hard to make this with modern Van Aken, but then you're such a good sculptor I guess you can get around some of the limitations that undercured clay provides.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Alex Liki said...

Great sculpt! The details are amazing!
Thanks for sharing.

11:01 PM  

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