Sparty the Spartan

Sparty the Spartan

I’m back in the artist chair after a pretty long hiatus from working in polymer clay.  This was my first piece back in the saddle.  The challenging part was all of Sparty’s muscles, I really wanted to make the muscles anatomically correct for muscle placement (although Sparty’s muscles are anything but normal).  I hope Sparty enjoys his new home on this young man’s desk.

Some background on the Sparty costume / mascot for Michigan State:

Made of hi-tech materials, including a vinyl chest plate and fiberglass molds like the ones used for making Muppets, the seven-foot costume weighs in at 40 pounds, allowing enough flexibility for playful gestures and animation. Sparty is a far cry from the many papier-mache heads that have popped up since the 1950’s, mostly from fraternity efforts. The first official one apparently debuted in 1955 courtesy of Theta Xi.

By contrast, the current Sparty costume is a state-of-the-art, full-bodied uniform that costs $12,000.

Today students – their identities kept private – take turns being Sparty. Because of the costume size, Sparty aspirants must be between 5-10 and 6-2 in height. Candidates who fit the physical needs are chosen after a hands-on process that includes tryouts and interviews

 


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