Day 1 – Arrival
To get to Shetland was a two day journey from Suffolk to Aberdeen where I was getting the overnight Ferry, a 12 hour journey, arriving in Lerwick at 7.30am the next morning. It was a calm crossing and the arrival was in the breaking dawn. I then had to find the way to my new home for the next 10 weeks, a house called Nort Neuk in the village of Hoswick, about 12 miles south of Lerwick. Arriving at the house was a wonderful surprise it was a beautiful, white, crofting cottage perched up a hill and overlooking the beach, a sunny day in Shetland, apparently rare, but all the more special because of this and I imagine that living here you learn to really appreciate these days. Its 7.30am, first sightings of Shetland and arriving in Hoswick to glittering sea.
First words of Shetland dialect learnt, bruck
– rubbish and burn
The stainless steel frame for ‘da lightsome bouy’ can now really start to see and get a feel for the finished piece. We could roll it over so that it was sitting at the right angle.
Knocking off the ceramic casing. The first panels have been cast into bronze, exciting !
sitting in the ceramic shells.
There are 30 in total, 12 of which have been cast, the second batch of waxes have just gone back to the foundry ready to be cast. It is continuous process of doing the drawing onto the waxes which are then taken back and some more collected.
two of the cast bronzes.
I now have the final ones in the studio, today was so hot it was not great for working in the wax, it was too soft, I have now got used to a certain way of making marks in the right temperature. We are still on a tight schedule to get all these processed, so the working pace is pretty relentless at the moment.
detail of the ‘lasses’ just leaving the hands to last, the tricky bit !
Took 6 panels back to the foundry, they are now waiting to be cast. Had to work out a method for doing the text, we decided to use thick card, so each letter had to be hand cut, thought I had prepared them all only to discover we were short of an ‘R’……..
working on the wax panels to be cast bronze.
put them together and saw the first emergence of how they will be as a sphere.
Starting drawing into the wax panels, nervous beginnings…..it is learning a new drawing language, exploring which tools make which mark. The wax is easier than I thought it would be to work into, helped by warm weather.
my new tools.
Decided to jump in at the deep end and start on the most detailed panels first, maybe because they were the most challenging. I am putting in all the outlines first traced through the paper drawings. making sure that the panels line up and getting the images to work as a whole. More tomorrow !