Project: To create an artwork that represented the human body whether it be physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally, whole or fragmented etc.
Close up detail of the installation
Techniques : For this art work I chose to make a plaster mold from a garden ornament I already had at home to create a face mold. I then used that mold to experiment with clay and the form created to finalise my project idea. I wanted to create the form of a girls head suspended in the air by her hair, leaving a hollow under her face. To create the desired affect a combination of hand building, carving and press molding was used. Fetteling edges as I went to give a smooth skin like effect. The glass helps to reflect the components of the installation whilst representing the element of water from the book piece. The I hand painted twisted and distorted hands around the table to represent the push and pull of emotions present in the piece.
Pic 1 is of the mold the following pic is experimentation with the Mold
Concept: This project was designed from the following poem and also from the following piece which has been taken from a booked called “Enticed” By Jessica Shirvington (pg210-211) I chose to create my artwork based upon these few paragraphs as I felt a strong connection to it whilst reading the book. These feeling have been my main inspiration.
Poem – “The defects and faults of the mind are like wounds in the body. After all imaginable care has been taken to heal them, still there will be a scar left behind.” By Francis de la Rochefoucauld
Book section – “Desperate to clear my head, I ran myself a bath and soaked for a small eternity. It was comforting to lie there and think quietly. I couldn’t remember the last time I had done this. I let my hair out of its ponytail, released it into the water and slid back. The long strands explored the water, snaking around my neck and chest. As the warmth of the water reached through my skin and into my core I felt some part of myself – a part I had not allowed to surface in a long time – awaken. Silent tears started to trickle from my eyes. I let them.
Eventually I let my head slide right down the back of the bath. My loose hair floated in the water, which enveloped me in a world of both amplified sounds and quietness. I held my breath and let my lips part slightly so I could feel the water move inside my mouth, completely submerged I lay crying. I waited, and waited. I waited for the burn – the urgent need for air.
A surge of emotion flooded through me as my lungs started to burn with hot ice and when morning and evening flashed across my closed eyes, I knew the burning in my lungs was not for oxygen. It was for the comprehension of loss, pushing and pulling at my mind. A weight to great for me to understand, a force screaming to be released.”
Corporate Gift (Bronze)
In this session the second project we had, was to create a corporate gift or memento that represented our major body of work. The idea behind this project was to encourage us to create saleable items that could be gifted at exhibitions and gallery openings to help promote our works and create another avenue for sales.
I chose to create candle holders / book ends with fragmented faces by using the mold I had created for my major work “Release”. I chose to create two different facial expressions out of bronze and also chose two pieces from my clay experimentations using underglazes to highlight and create definition.
Technique: Creating the Bronze’s
Firstly I had to create a model in wax of the bronze piece I intended to create. I did this by pouring the wax directly into the plaster mold I had from my major project that had been submerged in water for approx 1/2 an hour. This prevents the wax sticking to the mold. I then used clay tools to reshape the wax into my desired shape as you can see from the image above.
Once you have the desired piece you wish to create a bronze from you then need to attach runners and a funnel to it made from wax as you can see from the pics below.
Once this has been done you can then create the investment mold. This is done by flicking equal parts of a special sand, plaster and old investment mix onto the wax surface as you can see from the pics below. The investments once set (approx. 1 day) can then be put into a burnout kiln which will burn out the wax but leave the investment inside ready for pouring the Bronze into.
Pic 1 is during the Investment process Pic 2 is of the burnout kiln just after it had been fired.
This image is of the investments getting ready to be poured and also shows images of the pouring process.
Once the pour has been completed the melted bronze needs to cool down before the bronze works can be cracked out of the investment material, this usually takes about 3 or so hours. Then they can be cleaned and polished for display. This is usually done with hand tools and a lot of elbow grease. The images below show the stages of cleaning, the amount of cleaning is always up to the individual.