Thursday, 30 June 2011
I made this sculpture called Gather To Me just before Easter. It's made out of wax and beechnut casings and here it is in the wax and mould-making room up at Castle Fine Art Foundry in Nailsworth. I was there this morning putting the final touches to it before a mould of it is taken tomorrow. The foundry will also be making a mould of the companion piece which is a life size standing man called Solace. I find this moment, of leaving a sculpture in the foundry's hands, a bit tense. It is the moment when I walk away and accept that the piece is finished. I can do no more. It is as it is.
The silicone rubber moulds for my two figures will each have at least four parts as the forms are complex. The surfaces are complex too and the runny silicone will have to be brushed on to the surface, and then blown with an air line to get it into all the tiny and all the deep detail. The beechnut casings present a particular challenge to the foundry in this respect. A fibreglass or plaster 'jacket' will then be made for each part of the mould because the rubber is too floppy to keep its shape by itself. Indeed, its very flexibility is its beauty as it can then be peeled off the complex shapes both of the original sculpture and then of 'the wax' that will be created later from it. The different parts of the mould are constructed with 'keys' built into them which mean the separate parts can be fitted snuggly back together again.
The moulds of many other sculptures can be seen on the racks behind the figure. What you are seeing are the white jackets inside of which are nestled the flexible silicone rubber moulds. The foundry keeps hundreds of these, of which you can only see a few here, each labeled with the artists name and the title of the sculpture.