There are many ways of making an armature, the method I chose was to carve it out of Styrofoam. The piece I was working on was a torso of approximately 70cm/ 30cm. The first step in this process was to map out the size and form of the torso on a large piece of paper, as can be seen in Fig 1.
The next step was to trace the outline onto the piece of Styrofoam so as to have a reference when carving, see Fig 2. Since the drawing was done to show the exact size of the torso, the Styrofoam armature should be around one or two inches smaller, so as to leave space for a plaster layer and clay, see Fig 3.
The next step was to embed a pole through the body and secure it to a base. The base should be quite thick so as to reduce movement while sculpting and remain sturdy. there should also be some form of plate just beneath the Styrofoam body so it does not slip down. This is something that I forgot to do myself and resulted in the metal rod piercing through my sculpture body at a later stage. After this was complete, i proceeded to cut up sac the material in squares, enough to cover the whole body. These material squares were then doused in plaster and neatly pasted all over your styrofoam body and left to dry. This can be seen in fig 4.
The last step was to apply three coats of varnish to the structure so as to prevent the clay from drying out prematurely. The end result can be seen in fig 4, ready for clay application!