A very fine sand is mixed with a resin and catalyst and then packed around the wax work I did at the museum. This leaves a solid lump of clay with the wax trapped in side. By melting out the wax in an over we are left with a cavity to pour the molten bronze in to.
I’ve arrived at the incredible workshop at Coles castings for three days of mould preparation and casting. Really excited to be at this stage and hopefully getting some exciting results.
The first job was to fix the wax after the long journey here and then coat them in graphite powder
I’ve been working on a set of very detailed drawings using biro. I went Mudlarking on the banks of the river Thames and found bits of pottery which I have used to influence the pattern on the shapes I took from the packaging.
There will be several of these panels on display in the final exhibition
Using a printing ink and roller I spread ink on the steel shapes I had cut out in 5mm steel. These became effective printing blocks and I was able to make some one off post card prints that will be available for sale in the sculptural gift shop once the show opens.
I’m enjoying thinking of the whole room as an installation and this means creating small unique artworks that are available at gift shop prices to add to the overall “museum” feeling I am creating.
My first job this morning was to bolt on the feet to the archeology digging tank sculpture.
The steel had been rusting with a salt water on the surface. They had reached a nice rusty finish and so I was happy at this point to attach the feet.
When I applied for the residency I didn’t know I would be doing a Ma. It was a late decision on my behalf and I interviewed for it in April. I was selected for a Ma in fine art at goldsmiths university. This week I’m settling in to my new studio space at goldsmiths,but am continuing to work solely on muir trust Residency ideas.
I have big plans for the final exhibition and want to make sure I have a good range of work for the show. Today I’m continuing with making fake relics out of the shapes I selected.
I’m really enjoying the process of building these pieces and thinking of ways of combining
On the 28t September I did a casting demonstration in the museum gardens. I am continuing to work with using the shapes taken from the packaging of the museum collection , and using them to create fake relics.
Over the course of the week before the demonstrations I have been making up some decorative wall pieces. To me these almost resemble icons or religious imagery or symbols , but with out a know. denomination. I’m really enjoying the idea of developing fake relics.
They will be cast In oil Sand moulds and here you can see me preparing these . The metal flask shown in the photos is what the sand is packed in to create the mould , and this flask splits in two.
This means that the sand can be packed tightly around the art work . The flask can then be split open, the art work plaque removed and this leaves a void where the aluminium could be poured . To get the metal in to this void I also needed to cut out a running system , pouring hole and holes for the gas to be released from.
The aluminium got up to temperature in about half an hour and I did two pours over the course of the day. I also demonstrated how to pack the moulds .
The first cast worked a lot better than the second. On doing some research after the pour and speaking to a experienced foundry woman I learnt a few things I need to do to improve results when making a mould. This is the fantastic thing about residences as it gives you the space to test ideas, explore new mediums and find out new solutions and answers.
Firstly She told me the hot sand does not work as well as the oil reacts with the wax mould. I had had a feeling this was a issue. Next time I need to let the sand cool down completely before re packing it.
Secondly even cold the oil in the sand reacts with the wax. By painting the wax with a shellac sealer it can prevent this . Talcum powder as well as graphite can also be used on top of the shellac painted wax to release it more easily , thus giving crisper results.
You can see the first cast above came out Fairly well but with a few imperfections. I don’t mind these so much, but in the second there was more sand that stuck to the art work when I removed it . This distorted the space in which the metal would be poured, hence giving less clear results.
All In all it was a very interesting day and I learnt a lot and now know how to move forward with this work.
Over the past few days I have been continuing making the alginate moulds from the steel shapes , and using these to make a library of wax pieces.
I have now started to join these into sculptures which I like to think of as new relics, or new archeology developed from the items I originally chose .
I have been inspired by some of the detailed carving on a broach I selected out of the stores, as well as religious iconography and design.
I’m enjoying putting a lot of detail in to the surface of these pieces. This wax is a wonderful material to work with as it warms easily in your hands and carved nicely. #this allows a lot of surface texture to be added .
Some of my favourite items I chose from the museum collection are these unassuming bronze lumps. They are part of a Bronze Age scrap board that was found. They are basically Bronze Age ingots waiting to be recast in to new objects. When you think about smelting copper and the process of making bronze back then from scratch these then gain a whole new worth. I am going to cast similar lumps but made out of all the shapes.
Today I have been exploring combining the shapes to make a similar shaped ingot.
I will aim to cast six of these ingot inspired lumps and it is these that visitors will be able to dig for in the exhibition in my steel “trench” sculptures which are also rusting up nicely in the studio
I’m away from the museum for the weekend but working in my own studio.
I’ve been trying out using vinyl marble effect decals on the steel shapes . I will later add detail on to the marbled base later using different coloured marble viynals.
It’s been A fiddly job but it’s a new material I’m now enjoying working with. The great thing about residencies for me is the chance to explore ideas and expand my material knowledge.