So a quick update, all is going well at this end with the mould making some of which I have photographed. I have been trying a new cement based sand that I saw being used at the 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Latvia last Summer. A big thanks to Prof. Ken Payne (Buffalo State University) and Elizabeth Helfer (Sculptor) for their information and advice on this material.
Due to the experimental nature of this material it’s all gone a bit experimental back here. I have decided a change of tact and will now be casting this piece in aluminium as there are still too many issues that need resolving with the larger furnace. I have tested another furnace which appears to be working well and am aiming to cast the first section of the work this weekend coming, with a mind to cast the second section the following week.
More images to come am pleased with how it’s all coming together.
Firstly apologies for a lack of progress over the last week or two, there has been a lot of groundwork being put in whilst I have been waiting for materials to arrive in order to continue the moulds for the piece.
Suffice to say I have decided on the best solution to cast the work, due to the size of the piece I will be re-firing a large blast furnace I built a few years back in order to produce the quantities of metal required to successfully cast each section of the work.
This has mean I have had to strip down and fix a few items that I haven’t used in a while, an old Fordson Power major tractor, an old 3 tonne capacity block and tackle gantry as well as fixing the furnace and prepping the mould flask.
The pour has been scheduled for the 9th of May and it will involve the melting of old scrap iron in order to produce this new cast iron piece. There will be more regular documentation of the process over the next couple of weeks and hopefully it should give you a good idea of my day to day working process in my workshop.
I have included a few shots of what I have been prepping over the past couple of weeks with a little help from a few other artists.
A quick Easter update, things are progressing well at this end. As you can see the form is starting to take shape nicely. Am hoping to have the first mould done by next weekend and all being well shall be in a position to cast both halves within the fortnight.
More to come so please watch this space and Happy Easter.
As requested by the generous staff at Broomhill I shall be endeavouring to update this blog weekly (ideally of a Sunday) throughout the process of making my piece for the sculpture competition. My aim over the next 6 weeks is to give people whom are interested an opportunity to view my working practice and to personally expand upon my conceptual dialogue.
I have been practicing sculpture for a little over 10 years now and in that time I have experimented and researched a broad range of disciplines and methodologies both within sculpture, and more broadly the fine arts. Within the last decade I have probably spent half of that time within the realm of academia and I have always been interested in the phenomenon of the written word superseding that of the visual.
Personally I enjoy ambiguity within modern practice as well as the sense of play that many invoke within their work, for me with my own practice I have come to strongly question notions of hierarchies and narratives within society. I have always found these artificial constructs to be distracting from what is fundamental, that of character or characters.
I enjoy producing pieces that exist within their own right and serve no audience other than myself. I feel a piece is truly successful if it takes on a character of its own, B-boy Cush is one such piece in a series of works I have been developing over the past couple of years. As the weeks progress I shall expand upon this point further, however as with all things there is always a beginning and I am pleased to announce that this week I was able to make a start on the piece.
B-boy Cush is a piece that will be realised through the use of a custom built jig that I have made. In order for the jig to be of any use it must be fitted with a profile, in this case the profile was cut from 1/2 inch thick plywood and a big thank you to the staff at Argo Carpentry based in Shaftesbury who were good enough to cut and clean the profile for the jig. www.argocarpentry.com
After it was cut it was back to the workshop to mount the profile ready for clay, more to follow so please watch this space.