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The US elections are finally behind us together with its chaos, frustration, joy, hope and all sorts of feelings people in the whole world but especially in the US experienced in the last few weeks. Some artists got inspired by the results of the elections and wanted to show the support their own way. One of them is Joseph Barbaccia.

Joseph is a Delaware, USA based artist - a clay sculptor illustrator. He studied fine art, design and illustration at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia before beginning his professional career.

To express his support, he decided to create this clay illustration of Kamala Harris who is the United States' first female vice president, the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, and the first African American and first Asian American vice president. Let’s see what the process looks like.

This piece titled “Kamala” is made with Premo clay and is 32 cm wide and 38 cm high. His method begins with creating a photo-based drawing on a computer by using a WACOM pen display and Photoshop to accomplish this. While drawing he is thinking about keeping the image simple and adding elements that give additional information about the subject. Because the whole piece is going to be made in clay anyway, there is no need to go into adding small details.

When the drawing is finished and Joseph is satisfied with it, the picture is printed on a colour laser printer. The picture is then placed under the glass tile, which is the surface Joseph is going to work on, as a reference. Now it is time to mix the colours. As he says, he usually mixes 20 to 30 colours to start. Then by using a machine and extruder there have to be made long snakes of various colours. To create so many long snakes Joseph employs the help to do so.

Laying down the clay on the glass involves many hours of backbreaking work. The snakes have to be kept tightly packed and free of cut marks. Also, during this time, he usually needs to mix and extrude supplemental colours. An artwork the size of “Kamala” can take up to 3 weeks, including the original drawing.

It looks like the illustration of Kamala Harris is going to be the last one for some time as Joseph is planning to take a break from portraiture and would like to try a bit smaller and 3D artwork. We are definitely looking forward to seeing what he will come up with!

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