Saturday, October 26, 2013

Piggy in the Mirror




Well I hope I've learned a lot making this thing, because I sure made a lot of mistakes. I thought I was being clever leaving the fibreglass short in the mould so I could better form the joint with the back plate. But that actually meant a lot more work bogging up the gap. And the brushing gel coat which I thought would go on smooth as a top coat, ended up lumpy and furrowed and took a week of nights sanding to get it smooth again. And it's still not perfect.
I took the cut-out from the centre to the glaziers to get a mirror cut. Except I was lazy and didn't make the opening symmetrical and I didn't tell them which way the template faced and of course they cut it the wrong way around. So I've had to hack into the back with a router to make the mirror fit. Which means more sanding and painting to get it neat again. And at an angle, you can see the edge of the glass which is not good. And the whole thing has a slight bow in it so the mirror doesn't sit flush anyway.

The challenge now is to repair the mould and make another one without all the trouble.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hawaiian Bullet Trotter



Here's the first attempt at a clear resin cast of the Trotter with the hand painted bullet embedded inside. It was very nearly an epic fail. I knew the mould was a little leaky but I'd hoped the resin would be gooey enough for it not to matter. Nearly a third of the resin leaked out before it had stiffened enough to stop flowing. That, and me frantically wrapping the mould in tape to try and stem the losses. I topped it up once the first batch had cooled. There's a visible line of small bubbles around the joint but it's not obscenely obvious. Next time I'll pack the perimeter with clay, then tape it up.
The form of the embedded bullet is not as obvious as I'd hoped but it's still quite clear from at least one angle. Some investigation is required on the part of the viewer and that's maybe not a bad thing.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Trotters and Bullets





It's good to have lots of jobs on the go at the same time, even though it takes forever to get anything finished. So apart from the Pig Mirror that's slowly coming along, I've being working on moulds for the trotter and a bullet. It's the first time I've used the paint-on silicon with the plaster jacket so it's been an interesting and at times tense process. Now that I have the moulds and a few cast plaster bullets, the next step is to cast a clear resin trotter with a bullet embedded inside.

Since most conflict has at it's roots an unlawful grab for resources, this piece is a combination of ideas centered around greed and violence. I decide to decorate the bullets with bright graphics as an acknowledgment of the practice of disguising the justifications for violence. For instance, the defense of liberty and freedom as justification for the securing of oil resources.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

This little Piggy's about half way home



What I like best about life drawing is the opportunity to make some quick art. Other jobs seem to take forever. I've been working on this project for weeks now. It's a mirror with a pig for a frame. I'm calling it ;

"Piggy Piggy on the Wall, Who's the Biggest Piggy of Them All".

Though it's not finished yet, for future reference, here are some notes on the construction so far. The original drawing was transferred to a plywood base which will become the back of the finished piece. The form was modeled over the plywood with Terracotta which is uniformly fine, giving a smooth finish without grains. The plaster mould was sealed with a layer of polyester laminating resin and for a release agent, I used one coat of J Wax from a spray can under two coats of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA). The mould was stripped while the fiberglass was still green, 2-3 hours after the last coat of glass was laid up and included the forming of several 'tabs' protruding from the inside surface to aid with de-moulding. The mould needs some minor repairs before it's next use but overall, it held up pretty well.