Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Next Step

Extending the lessons learned from the Dancing Tree I got hold of some casting wax - much harder and structurally sound - but still the ideas marched ahead of the technique and Mal Wood had heaps of work making sure that the cast work reflected my plans... but it worked!
The Moon
Casting the glass pieces provided its own adventure... it's been a while since I built a mold and one ruptured - the mess is still in the bottom of the kiln - but the next firing with both sun and moon in the kiln together gave me the results. And thanks to James Thompson of Blackwood Crystal for coming up with the right colours... the adventure never stops...
The Sun

The final work was shown at the Association of Sculptors of Victoria Annual and Awards Exhibition. And amazingly my peers awarded me a Highly Commended mention. And of course I got a professional image of the work in all its glory.

"Sun and Moon"
So what is the work about? A bit of nature worship? The fire of creation and the water cycle? To me it is a mini cosmos - the pull of the sun and moon driving the water cycle and linking growth and maybe beauty. Hopefully it will speak to different people in different ways - there is no one perfect art form and no one perfect idea of being. Just this is the way I'm working at the moment.

The work is at Qdos Gallery until the end of October... then - who knows..

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dancing Tree

I owe so many people for their support in making this one... first Yvonne for putting the pressure on to make something for the ASV exhibition at the Flower Show. Then Mal Wood for taking my experimental work and coping with the inherent difficulty of an experiment and the deadline... and getting an amazing! And - there's more - Andrew Bryant found some timber lying around and turned it into the base for the work...... all that to produce an object from an idea - thank you everyone...

Stage one was the experiment: to see if bronze woven wire can be used to support a wax sculpture for a lost wax casting.

the wax - on  bronze woven wire
That was tricky - the micro crystalline wax I used was too soft... so the work was floppy and had to be cut into multiple pieces - a total learning experience - but now I'm on the journey and can make more complex pieces... I hope.

the first view of the bronze casting after it has been reassembled
There was some holding of breath and then mad exultation when Mal and his team showed me the casting - it danced - it lives!

 Then to find a base to present the work - much thanks to Andrew!

Burning is magic too

Thanks Andrew.... then assembly and patenation - alchemy!

And finally the pear.... it's been a while since I cast work in the kiln... now I can get a reading on how my power consumption goes: 

Two molds went into the kiln on the Saturday afternoon.... I tried to pick the time when there wouldn't be a "curb your power" moment... just made it!

two castings and one to be used on this tree

And then... oh yes David helped me get the work out of the car and set up at the show.

image: Rob Anderson Photography
image: Rob Anderson Photography

and then... thanks everyone.... the work won a second prize in the Garden Section... and it sold! Am I a lucky one!

"Dancing Tree" in its new home - thank you everyone!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Questions for the Angels

This work started as a tribute to Paul Simon's song of the same name.

As it progressed I chose to dedicate it to the environmental defenders who put their lives on the line to care for their country.

Then a hero arose and Clinton Pryor walked across Australia to be the voice of his people - the archetypical pilgrim asking all of us the question.

 In August 2017 the work was shown at Bourke Place as part of the Association of Sculptors of Victoria Annual Exhibition. It will be shown again as part of the Association of Sculptors Exhibition which leads the 2018 Herring Island Summer Arts Festival.

Monday, April 3, 2017

It Started with a Walk in the Park

My neighbour Anna was walking in the park when the arborists were removing a tree

There was a significant crack so the tree had to go. We would have carved the three meter stump that was left but before that happened the tree was chipped - nothing left but a pile of wood chips.

Fortunately Anna rescued some rounds of the trunk and they duly arrived in my driveway.

The work I built was a response to the Build Bridges Not Walls campaign. Being my first serious effort with a chainsaw the work proceeded carefully and slowly - with many a call to gurus, chainsaw shops and sculptor friends.

I made a lot of shavings

I also made a sample piece - a tribute to the tree that never turned into sculpture and a gift for Anna.

Finally the work was ready and sent to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

And then it came home again - to teach me how cypress will weather and to allow me to see what could be better.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Another Fravashi

Stone sculpture at Pasargad
Back in 2011 I undertook some work to represent followers of Zarathustra at the Museum of World Religions in Taiwan. It was a remarkable learning experience during which I learned a lot and attempted to use new techniques to get a museum durable item from lightweight materials - all the while imitating the original sandstone sculpture of ca 530BCE.

Amongst the work was a Fravashi which was made in glass - designed to be seen through the glass rather than modelled from glass. The first casting didn't result in a clear face - so a second was made to send to Taiwan. The original is now on its return journey from the Canberra Glassworks after expert polishing.

Fravashi in the Canberra Glassworks post polishing

This year I was commissioned to make another Fravashi - to provide the backdrop for a Navjote ceremony. The work is 2.4m long so it took up the whole available space in the studio. And because of the nature of the work it was made in paper clay/papier mache - another experiment with materials. In many ways this gave a better result than the coated work - and it's protected by some acrylic paint - many coats.

First came the drawing

A casting from the mold of the glass Fravashi

drawn on a cardboard base and paper clay modelled on

more modelling

Top and bottom panels added

one coat of paint or another

pronounced ready

taking leave

Ready for the ceremony