Its been a long hard slog getting here but I finally managed to get my work finished and ready to be photographed for Celebrating Art in the Garden. Well I say finished I am actually having to remake one piece due to tripping over the foot peddle on my wheel, setting it off full blast, with a piece I had literally just finished flying off in all directions! The moral of the story, don’t keep going when you’re tired. A lesson I will never learn and hey its only mud!
Here’s a few work in progress shots of MerNeith and the finished thing. MerNeith may have been the first female pharaoh and the earliest queen regent in recorded history and seemed a fitting name for such an elegant looking piece.
Into The Deep is another new piece. The steel sections were made by Tim from Cobbaton Combat Collection, they have been made to rust over time (on the outside, the inside is sealed to protect the metal). I love this shot that John Russel took in my friends stunning garden.
Its been a long cold winter spent in Jon Rodney Jones’ metal workshop. JRJ is the kind of person who if you say can I do such and such, he will say yes. This is in some part the truth but taking on a project of this kind should come with a warning! Yes you can; but its going to be a long, hard, painful process! That will teach me to be full of bright ideas. I do however feel so privileged to have been able to learn how to cast in metal, to pour molton bronze is quite something. I am also very grateful that Jon allowed me to be involved in the whole process from making the moulds to angle grinding the finished piece. Mostly I am grateful to still have all my fingers and my eyebrows!
Here are some photos of the process of casting metal handles:
Part 1: clay former and silicone mould
Part 2: Casting in wax and then shaping and moulding
Part 3: The wax gets covered in a plaster type solution, this takes a long time to build up the layers to make a strong mould.
Part 4: Lost wax
Part 4: Metal casting
Part 5: Cleaning up, grinding back the metal and fitting to the ceramic sculpture
I would like to say never again but…
I am delighted to be showing my work at Delamore Arts and Sculpture Exhibition again this year. Delamore is based in a traditional Dartmoor agricultural estate house and gardens, it takes place annually and is open every day in May.
This year my new work has been inspired both by the English costrel and the Korean moon jar, creating full bellied satisfying shapes finished with rope, leather or copper. Rope is a link with the maritime tradition of trading in pottery between North Devon and North America. Small details such as copper rivets and orange rubber are a nod to boat building and the sea.
I have spent time around local shipyards and visiting my hometown of Ilfracombe. I grew up on the coast and I love looking at old boats, rusting metal, rivets and fishing paraphernalia. More of the industrial side of small coastal harbours. It turns out that some of the rope I have used came from a lifeboat called Lloyd II which was in service in Ilfracombe in the 1980’s a strange but happy coincidence.
A big part of this project has been learning to cast in metal. This is an extremely time consuming process, I have so much respect for anyone who casts in metal and am very grateful to Jon Rodney Jones who gave up his time to teach me the process. I still have my eyebrows too! I will add the photos of the casting process in another post.