A YouTube video of Edmonds, Wash., sculptor, and PNWS member Pam Mummy at work clay sculpting was released by its creator in November and has since “gone viral” with over eleven million views as of Dec. 26.
What makes the video so interesting is that the three head-and-shoulder sculptures Mummy created for the project were based solely on verbal descriptions of each subject by a loved one who happened to be blind.
The video, created last summer, is the project of Cut.com, a Seattle-based video production company that found Mummy through PNWS. “The crew came to my studio and set up lighting and lots of cameras for the film,” said Mummy. “Three blind people were chosen for the project, and each had lost their vision in about the past 15 years.”
Mummy said she would start with a skull shape and begin the sculpture as each person started to describe their loved one.
One of the blind persons taking part was a woman who described her son and had not touched his face for years until the day before she sat down with Mummy. “She felt it didn’t matter how people looked and her son did not particularly like to be touched,” said Mummy.
It’s All in the Clay Sculpting Details
The second person was a woman who described her assistant, whose face she had never touched until the week before the clay sculpting session. The woman had never asked to touch the other’s face “because she had felt she knew just how she looked,” according to Mummy. “She was correct. She was very aware of every detail of her face.”
The third participant was a man who touched his wife’s face often and, said Mummy, he “was very good at describing how she looked. His approach was very mathematical and (he) had used his hand to measure the distances of her face. He had been an engineer.” Mummy said it took two full days to record the video and that “it was fascinating to be involved in the production.” The husband and wife pair asked to keep their sculpture; the other two were destroyed.
Mummy said it was “like sculpting in the sand; they weren’t meant to survive.” Besides being viewed widely on YouTube, a story about the video also appeared in the Daily Mail of London. One YouTube viewer of the video suggested in a comment that next time the video-maker “should blindfold a sculptor and make them feel a model’s face and sculpt it.” View the video online at https://youtu. be/xkVaSXAu5vY. Learn more about Pam Mummy online at http://pmummy. com.