Mud Sculptures

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About
mud sculpture by John Gruber
mud sculpture by artist John Gruber
mud sculpture by John Gruber
mud sculpture Merrell Down & Dirty
mud sculpture by Artist John Gruber
Created for Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud Run Series
mud sculpture Merrell Down & Dirty
mud sculpture by Artist John Gruber
mud sculpture Merrell Down & Dirty
Orchard Beach Park New York 2011
Orchard Beach Park New York 2010
Fairmount Park Philadelphia, Pa 2011
Fairmount Park Philadelphia, Pa 2010
Merrell Down
and Dirty
mesp.com
Mud Sculpture Merrell Down & Dirty 2012
Mud Sculpture Merrell Down & Dirty 2012
Fairmount Park
Philadelphia, Pa
2012
by Artist John Gruber
I created these sculptures for the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud Run Series using the top soil mud from the obstacle course. Working with the mud to create these sculptures was one of the hardest sculpts I have done. It made sand sculpture seem easy by comparison. The mud sculptures are from 9 feet long for the ground figures to 5 feet tall for the kneeling (a scale of 9 feet). I created these mud sculptures in three different cities for the mud run event. Two sculptures were done in Philadelphia, two in Orchard Bay Park New York and one in Detroit. The behavior of the top soil mud to create with was very unusual in that it had a sponge like density. Prepping each piece required compacting about two tons of moist soil into blocks before the sculpting could begin. This was a tricky business. Too much water and it quickly turned to unusable slosh and not enough water meant a block that would not hold together. It was a very tight window that I quickly learned to deal with on the first sculpture. Once the block of mud was prepared there was the problem of a fibrous sponge texture that made most of my tools useless. To make matters more challenging the top soil in each city was completely different each time I did one. Adapting on the spot with each I found a method that worked well enough to get the job done. The mud sculptures in Philadelphia had one more test to throw at me. They were created in mid July when the sunny day time temperatures reached the mid 90's and baked the sculpture into a hardened mass. Overall the sculptures came out very well and were greatly appreciated by the thousands of people that attended the event.
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