Monday, 17 March 2008

The egg...

My design for a project to learn the casting and ceramic processes is in full swing.
There have been plenty errors along the way due to not having a clue what to do when or how. But with the help of some sympathic students and a lot of charrades, i am approaching a finished sculpture.

The egg-like form was primarily made out of clay around a contruction of wood and metal wire.

Once the clay form was complete, small rectangular pieces of metal were pressed into the clay to make a dividing wall in order to divide the sculpture into two halves. Special ceramic plaster was dribbled over the entire sculpture as a primary layer, and then two more layers were added in a thicker consistency. On the outer layer, pieces of wood were secured to the outside of the cast on each of the two halves using a hair-like grass with the plaster.

After this stage, once the plaster was dry, the line of metal pieces divided the cast into two halves which were gently pryed open. Unfortunately nobody informed me about the puzzle effect the crevasses and protruding parts of the form were going to have, and so the cast broke in complex places and the clay had to be dug out of the cast to free it.

After washing the cast and rescuing the broken pieces, I fixed the cast by patiently holding the shards in place and fixing them with thick plaster and hair-like grass. Once the cast was dry I sanded down the inside until they were smooth and washed off the dust ready to be used to form the ceramics.

Taking a small chunk of pre-prepared red clay at a time, I formed a smooth layer, about 1 inch thick, over the majority of the cast. I missed out the complex areas as I was aware from previous mistakes that the ceramic form would break. I added a supporting, grid-like structure of the ceramics to the interior of the sculpture. I am now at the stage of putting together the separate pieces to form the final sculpture.

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