Some images of the process, and some interesting test images.
The final video- made using my phones camera, and Gabby’s phone camera, a 35mm projector, various materials, and edited with Premier Pro. The spoken part of the video is me reading out the poem I wrote “An Ode to My Vagina”, which I printed and displayed in the Human Manifesto exhibition at CSM, ran by ArtsFems and the LGBTQ Society.
Another video, this time of various clips recorded and edited- I wanted to show more of my process and may revisit these clips at a later date and reuse them.
Despite feeling really unwell today I made it in and managed to make some work I am happy with, so I’m counting this as a win.
The set up for photogrammetry is the same as for scanning with an iPad, as you can see from the set up photos above. Much like the iPad you need to capture a full 360 of the object you are scanning, however the process takes longer, and is harder to get right. You have to take around 50 images of the object, moving very slowly around it as you photograph, making sure to keep the camera the same distance from the object and the same angle as you do it. These photos then get uploaded into a programme called Autodesk Recap Photo, which stitches your photos into a 3D model.
The images included above are of one of the first attempts to scan one of the bones using this technique- unfortunately the back of the bone didn’t come out.
the video above shows what I mean better- although the detail has been captured beautifully, only half of the bone has come out as a 3D model. I tried a few times with no more success than that, and the software takes a long time to make the model only to find out that it hasn’t worked. I might need to find another method of 3D scanning, as the iPad scans lack the detail that I want, but photogrammetry is proving to be really difficult!
This video is of the Digital Media Technician Adamina demonstrating how to use the 3D scanning software and piece of kit for an iPad. This is one of the more basic 3D scanning techniques available, and as you can see the scan hasn’t picked up the details of the bone, only the rough shapes.
The next step for me is to install a free programme called MeshMixer and cut off the pen, as it came up in the scan, and seal up the piece. Then it will be ready to be 3D printed on Monday next week.
These photos show the set up in the studio, including white backdrop, plinth, and lighting set up. We suspended the bone from nylon wire so that we could scan the whole object, and used a pen and blueback underneath it for stability- we needed it to be still for the scanning to work.
download MeshMixer and clean up the scan for printing
meet with Adamina next Monday (I have booked an appointment with her) and send the scan to print
hopefully next week we will also experiment with photogrammetry, which she mentions in the video. This process is a bit more lengthy and complicated- I will have to borrow a camera and lens from uni, and photograph the object multiple times from multiple angles, and then upload these photos to a specialist programme that stitches everything together to create a 3D model. This will take a fair bit of time, and I might still need to work into the objects on the software to clean them up before we can send them to the 3D printer
I decided to make silicone casts of the bones, to explore a different material and its potential for my project- and luckily someone else in the foundry also wanted to work with silicone too, so Lindsay mixed up the last bit of silicone she had for us both to use. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough to cast the brick or jaw pieces, so I may revisit this material once she has more in stock. The photos above show the process- weighing and mixing the two parts of the silicone, then pouring it into my moulds, the same as when I used the wax and plaster, as well as photos of the silicone bones de-moulded.
The above video shows clips of all the bones, and demonstrates the qualities of the silicone- as you can see it is a very tactile material that I have had a lot of fun playing with! There is something very surreal about squashing a pink bone in your hands, and being able to fold it then watch it spring back when you let go, and I am very happy with the results of this experiment.
When I get the chance to present these to the class the main feedback I want is whether or not to cut off the excess silicone- the bronze and aluminium casts don’t have the “feet”, but the plaster and glass wax pieces do, so this is something I need to consider when deciding what to present and how in the final exhibition.
Some photos taken of the process of casting with glass wax- the melting glass wax, the casts full of glass wax, and photos of the failed jaw bone casts and brick cast. Casting the brick hollow with glass wax is proving troublesome- the wax is very brittle and the sides of the cast keep breaking as I try to de-mould it. I will try one more time to cast it hollow but a bit thicker and if that doesn’t work I might have to cast it solid instead. The jaw bone pieces kept failing as the glass wax is too thick and not hot enough to flow all the way through the moulds- I will try to get it hotter next time, but I have to be careful in case the wax gets too hot and the colour changes.
Video demonstrating the properties of glass wax and the casting process.
I wanted to explore the properties and materiality of glass wax, and these are the results so far.
Clip 1: the chunk of unmelted glass wax, demonstrating what it looks like before it is melted and cast- you can see how the light refracts and passes through it.
Clip 2 and 3: the glass wax as it melts, showing the viscosity and how it stretches and flows much like real glass when in molten form. It is very different to other waxes I have used in the past.
Clips 4 and 5: the first attempts at casting the jaw bones in glass wax- as you can see the wax didn’t flow completely through the moulds as it was not hot enough and cooled too fast. I will try again but with the wax much hotter so hopefully it will flow through the moulds properly.
The rest of the clips: the other bone casts in glass wax.
These photos show the second attempt at casting the jaw bones in glass wax (still not hot enough), the glass wax casts all together, the broken hollow brick cast (the details were captured beautifully, it’s just a shame that the sides broke), and one of the glass wax casts lit by Jonathan’s phone torch- as an experiment to see how light travels through them. I think going forwards I would like to photograph the glass wax pieces with a light source beneath them like this, but using a more professional set up.
Notes on glass wax:
Properties- melts differently to waxes I have used in the past (i.e. the green and orange waxes used in uni, soy wax, paraffin wax, beeswax)
As it melts it goes quite stringy and is still very thick and viscous, can be stretched into glass-like threads that look like nylon thread
It sets VERY quickly and needs to be quite hot to pour well, but you have to be super careful not to overheat it as it can make the wax change colour
You can add oil paint as a pigment to glass wax, but I’m more interested in how it looks originally- like a translucent glass
I might do one or two in colour just to see what it looks like, but we’ll see
It is quite brittle- I tried to make a hollow brick cast and the sides shattered (like glass) as I tried to remove the cast- if I retry this I will need to make it thicker
It picks up detail really beautifully and I’m definitely impressed
I need to redo the jaw bones in glass wax as the wax wasn’t hot enough and as a result didn’t flow through the moulds properly
Today I got the third and final rose ran up, then attached to the cup with the rest using hot knives and wax. Then I painted a layer of shellac over everything, to help the grog to stick to it, and once it was dry I covered it all in first coat grog.
Once that had set we put the plastic cylinder over it all, and I layered scrim (netted fabric) and plaster along the bottom, to seal the cylinder to the board, and around the middle of the cylinder for stability. As soon as this was set I spent the rest of the afternoon mixing and pouring second coat grog, to fill the entire cylinder to make the mould ready for the kiln.
Really proud of my progress today! Got loads done, and worked hard to get the mould ready for the kiln. It doesn’t look like I’ll have a chance to pour before the break, but at least when I get back it will be all ready to go.
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.
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
Made up a batch of herculite for my hot rubber moulds- to demonstrate the process I am going to leave them exactly as they came out of the moulds
I made sure to wiggle the moulds as I poured to make sure the plaster got into every crevice
The bones came out beautifully but the brick broke as I tried to de-mould it, clearly the sides weren’t thick enough
I could make the brick solid instead of hollow but herculite is super heavy, and if I am trying to show the process it should be hollow to match how I made the wax cast
I will make a thicker hollow cast of the brick later on this week
I wanted to get into the metal workshop today but I felt really sick and foggy so Lindsey and I decided it was best for me not to use the power tools today. I didn’t want to waste a day, so that’s why I made the herculite casts, as a way to still be productive
I also ended up going on a walk to the flower shop in Camberwell with Ellen, a BA Sculpture 2nd year student, and we are going to be doing some bronze casting together. We are both interested in nature, and capturing fleeting moments (and both want to make Christmas gifts for loved ones) so we bought flowers from the shop, and also collected foliage on the way back. We then dipped those in wax, and the next stage is to use a hair dryer to set the wax, and then we can build the moulds- the plants will burn out directly in the kiln so there is no need to make hot rubber moulds and waxes. The wax will help to stabilise the plants and make them a bit thicker, so that they will be more likely to come out in the pour. I know it isn’t directly related to one of my projects but this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and I feel like I might as well give it a go whilst I have the opportunity.