Plaster Room 29/11/18

Work in Progress

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I am putting the leaves to one side for now, they have been dipped in wax so they should stay in a usable condition over the break. The above photos show the process of prepping the wax dipped roses to go into a plaster mould- Lindsey was showing me how to do it in a different way from how I have previously made moulds with Becky, essentially working the opposite way round- you can see one of the roses attached to the cup, and the cup attached to the board. Once all three roses have a system of runners and risers they will be attached to the cup in the same way. The next steps will be to degrease it all, put a cylinder around the whole structure, and pour the plaster mix into it to make the mould for the kiln.

I have decided to focus on the roses as I realised that the roses will go beyond simply being a gift to my mum and my nan. I began to think about the ideas behind preserving something that is normally fleeting- roses die and dry out quickly, yet the bronze casts never will. Not only will they outlive any real flower, but they will outlive myself, my mum, and my nan, too. I was inspired by my classmate Gabby’s documentation of her family, and I think I would like to photograph each of us individually with a rose, and then as a group, to capture the moment of gift giving in time, much like the roses are being frozen in time by being cast in bronze. I have also been thinking about how, in time, I will end up with all three roses- my mum and my nan will at some point no longer be around- so it is almost like I am loaning them to my mum and nan, knowing that one day I will get them back. It is a reminder of our own fragile mortality, and also raises the question of who will inherit them when I die. I chose roses as they have a particular significance to my mum- they were my dad’s favourite flower and since his passing she has always bought yellow roses for special occasions, and when she is feeling low, as a way to feel connected to him and his memory. My nan and I frequently buy my mum yellow roses when she is feeling down, and it is my intention to try and patinate them a yellow colour, if this is possible.

TO DO:

  • discuss the idea with my mum and nan
  • get the roses into a mould ready for the kiln
  • ask Gabby for some photography pointers, if she has time. I really admire the sentiment behind her projects, but also the way she executes the photographs is really beautiful, and I am not very experienced with photography so I want to ask her some technical questions about lighting and such
  • look at Louise Bourgeois work- her work often deals with her feelings surrounding her own mother, and a lot of her work is also sculptural so it is a relevant reference

Hot Rubber Moulds

river project, Work in Progress

 

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Whilst working on the burn out moulds that didn’t work I also decided to make a few batches of hot rubber moulds. The process is lengthier, but once the final plaster mould is fired in the kiln the waxes will melt out leaving hollow spaces for the molten metal to be poured into.

To start the rubber needs to be melted in the machine, by being fed into the top, and the press placed on top of it, using gravity to push it down to melt. It then drips out of the bottom into a bucket to be poured. Whilst it is melting I prepared the objects, by applying vegetable oil to each object for easier release from the moulds, then embedding them into clay, creating tunnels with the clay for objects that were going to be solid (although for the brick shown in the photos this was not necessary as I wanted it to be hollow and this required one side to pour in the wax). I then made a tube out of metal or plastic secured with duct tape, and pressed it into the clay bases around the objects. The tube then needed to be waterproofed with extra clay, ready for the melted rubber to be poured in. The next step was to pour the hot rubber into the moulds, and leave it to set. Once it was set I then made a basic plaster mix and poured this into the leftover space in the moulds of the bones (not the brick) to create a flat base for them to rest on.

When the plaster had set I then removed the metal/plastic tube and the clay from the moulds, and flipped them the right way up, using a craft knife as shown to make a few cuts into each mould, to allow me to remove the objects from the moulds. Once this was done they needed to be thoroughly washed to remove clay residue, and then secured with elastic bands or duct tape ready to pour the wax into.