I have just returned from a great trip south to Devon, was made very welcome by Rinus and Aniet van de Sande and all went well with the install of my piece. It was a pretty wet couple of days and windy too, so good weather to test the robustness of sculpture. The piece now has a mowed area so people can walk around it, and it situated in a lovely meadow surrounded by trees.
The patient threading of the porcelain pieces at home had paid off and all arrived safely in my suitcase, ready to hang within the perspex box, which was a 2 person job. I am looking forward to see how the piece weathers in it’s environment. I am planning to go back for a relaxing weekend soon, the Hotel is lovely and rest of gardens are a spectacular a mix of informal gardening and interesting art, well worth a visit.
I have packed the 2 cubes, one acrylic , one metal ready for delivery to Devon. A long process of organising, negotiating and planning, all part of the making process and realising a final piece. Not my favourite bit but good when all the arrangements come together!
I just have to get myself there now, with a suitcase of small objects. I am using huge amounts of bubble wrap.
I have now got to the stage where all the pieces, all 216 of them , (6 x 6 x6) are fired twice and ready to be threaded together using fishing twine and a special fisherman’s knot I learnt on Youtube. The thread is very slippy and can easily come undone , so this knot is twisted around itself 5 times on each end. I am very careful when I lay out the pieces that no object is next to a similar shape in any single direction. I am creating a sense of balance, in my head anyway, of form , size , complexity of shape across the different planes.This takes some time to do and I want to make sure that the viewer gets an interesting perspective from each side of the cube. The line of sight will be on a range through the middle of the space for most people, lower down viewers will be able to see up into the space. I want to give a sense of a cloud of objects ‘floating’ or suspended in a formal arrangement, but each unique and distinct. the perspex cube frames the pieces but the landscape can be seen as a backdrop all around. This is a part of the process I really enjoy, listening to Radio 4, lots of political discussions to listen to and tiny knots to concentrate on.
I have been busy in my studio sanding and finishing off the pieces ready for a second firing, I do not use glaze but allow the pure creamy white of the porcelain to be the final surface, vitrified to 1250 degrees C. Wet and dry paper and lots of patience. I have found this to be a very calming, enjoyable part of the making process, I refine the pieces, crisp the edges and create clean lines. Not quite completely ‘natural’ looking, some have almost cut edges, and a stylised shape. I want to allude to seed forms rather than copy actual ones.
The metal base has been made, at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and looks great. I am now going to start rusting of the surface with a salt solution. I want it to look like it has been in the environment for a while, not just newly arrived. I wonder if animals, insects etc will move in to live/use the space? I would be quite happy if they did.
The acrylic box has now been fabricated at Adam Plastics in Glasgow and arrived this week at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Johannes, one of the technicians and I met to discuss the details of the steel frame he will be making.