Well - its been a while once again!
Last month I spent a very enjoyable time playing with the folks down at The Bullpen in Stanford in The Vale. It was my first foray into ceramic shell casting - which was interesting (I can claim to have been there and done that now!) - but I was somewhat unimpressed by the results. There's no doubt you get a fine surface finish - but it seemed to me that it was poor compensation for the huge increase cost in materials - and the sheer horror of having to chip your piece from the resulting concrete like white mould. If you want a fine surface finish, why not cast in sand and work a fine finish? It seems like the quicker and easier (not to mention cheaper!) option to me. Of the three pieces I cast in ceramic shell, one has broekn trying to remove the shell, one did not fully cast and the third DID come out extremely well. However, this was a small and relatively simple form with flat plains which meant breaking off the shell was relatively easy. Horses for courses I guess - I have much yet to learn!
Other news is that Gerry over at the Solsberry Open Air Sculpture Museum has installed the piece I cast over there in the summer. Bathed in the dappled light of an Indiana forrest in the fall, its looking very nice (and situated in a location which brings a smile to my face!). Gerry has sent me a rough photo or two which I'll post here later - and I'm hoping that Allison will be able to take some more photos for me so I can include them in a brochure I'm planning for the new year.
Other news and musings...
The Bullpen pour was jolly good fun (cursing ceramic shell aside!) Particular highlights included a visit to the excellent Pitt Rivers museum, where we were entertained to a video on primitive casting, and lots of chats, flights of casting fancy and theorising with the other artists and artisans. Two things to come from these conversations may well find their way of the B&W Casting project list. One is a concept for a centrifuge for detailed castings - the other is to more fully explore the possibility of using thermite for casting in iron. More on this soon!
Something which I'll add to the exhibition list soon is that a bunch of my stuff is currently on display up at The Castle on Prospect Hill. Given the parlous state of arts and culture in this town, post political meddling and cuts, its good to see that local businesses are stepping up to the plate. The hosts get free decor and artists get a place to display their work. Pub regulars get a change of scene and some art which hopefully stimulates a bit of conversation - and small minded or unsophisticated binge drinkers prefer to move along to a theme bar with wipe-clean posters. Everyone's a winner!
Other things on the 'to do' list are to make sure I cast up a load of some ornate aluminium 'salamander' door handles for Kiss The Frog Again (who are interested in stocking them - and who have, incidentally, been in receipt of some high level architectural and design praise and for their signage, the very letters for which were cast by your's truly cast!)... and once thats out the way, I also need to take things forward with a possible commission to cast a pigs head for a local pub (and if you're local to Swindon, I'll let you work that one out for yourselves!)
Oh, a big thanks to 'Mr C' (He'll know who he is if he reads this) for his patronage regarding 'Autumn 3 and 3'. That people are prepared to support artists is what makes this endeavour possible - especially when funds are limited!
I'll come back to this post soon to add you some links and photos.