The first stage of the process is the development of ideas from drawings or the production of small maquettes. This can be in a range of media, in this case polystyrene is used for a carved maquette.
Defining and Refining
Gradually the idea develops and the work is refined. The form, once created is made into a more robust material such as Plaster of Paris or Jesmonite resin.
Rotation and consideration
The maquette is rotated and considered from every angle. Colour is sometimes used to assist in the delineation of concave forms and planes.
Texture and Patination
Related maquettes of earlier studies are sometimes used to experiment with textures and patination. These are used to enhance the form ad to add interest to the work.
Enlarging the work can be done in many ways. Modern technology allows for maquettes to be scanned and produced using CNC machines. In this case the maquette is enlarged in high density polystyrene, carved by hand. The work is enlarged 7.4 times to a height of 8 feet.
Refinement of the carved enlargement
Like the maquette, the enlarged sculpture is gradually refined, being considered from every angle with measurement taken from the maquette.
Once the maquette is complete a better idea of the eventual scale can better be determined. The sculpture will work differently in different settings. For sculpture to work in landscape settings a larger scale is imperative, if the sculpture is to compete and enhance a more open environment. A sculpture the size of this maquette will suit a domestic setting within a home environment or small gallery.
The carving becomes increasingly fine as the work progresses until it is complete.
The enlarged sculpture is compared closely with the maquette. Comparative photographs, taken from every angle, are very useful at this stage.
Polyurea coating and undercoat
Once the carved form is completed the form is coated. This can be done in a variety of materials. In this case a coating of flexible, impact resistant polyurea was used. This is ideal for work exhibited outdoors or where the work is likely to be touched by the public. The polyurea is then spray undercoated with suitable primer, prior to further coatings and patination.
The final coating of the sculpture replicates those used on the maquette. In this case a coat of bronze powder, and iron powder for the concave areas, is used. The powder is bound within a acrylic medium , This will allow for the acids used for cold patination to be used in the same way as for a real bronze cast.
The outer forms are patinated using acid solutions appropriate for the chosen colour. In this case blue-green.
The concave forms, coated with an iron rich acrylic are also patinated with acid in order to achieve an instant rust. This will continue to develop as normal or can be coated at any point to hold the colouration and prevent further rusting.
Completed sculpture. The enlarged sculpture is completely weather-proof, impact resistant and light in weight, allowing for ease of transportation and installation at site.
There are times when a sculptural idea crystallizes in the process of making. In such cases no maquette is produced, but direct carving takes place.
Here the sculptural idea is being created in ultra high density polystyrene. Two pieces of polystyrene are being used to enable to work to be parted in order to access internal forms as the work progresses.
Refinement as work progresses
As the work progresses the forms are continually refined and adjusted until the work conforms to the concept which has developed as the form has 'emerged' .
Coating the polystyrene.
Once the polystyrene carving is complete it is coated with permanent, hard wearing and weatherproof material; in this case Jesmonite resin. At this stage further considerations as to texture and tool marks are considered and added to the work.
Colour coat and patination
Once the Jesmonite has been worked the metal coating is applied. In this case a copper based medium is used and patinated with acis solutions to achieve a verdigris finish. Some iron and iron oxide was added to provide additional contrast to the inner forms and textured areas.
Patina and texture.
This close up image shows the texture added with the Jesmonite and the copper, verdigris and iron oxide patination achieved on the finished sculpture.
Memorial to Mike Heward_
The sculpture, cast into the required materials will often require additional work to clean seams and, in this case, to add patination to bronze elements.
Finished sculpture at a local exhibition. The patina has continued to develop.
Two piece silicone mould in a Jesmonite
There are times when a sculpture, once completed, needs to be replicated in a different material. This can be for a variety of reasons. In this caae a two piece silicone rubber mould with a Jesmonite jacket was made.