Thoughts on Form and also Sourcing Materials

Accompanying images for this blog post can be seen here.

My work commitments have been very variable so I have had to get into the studios any time that I can. Fortunately the staff at Sheffield College have been really flexible too and actually being in the workshops on busy days with lots of students around and also quiet days with only a handful of people in has actually been really nice. There is always a good vibe in the studios.

I have also been really pleased that very often it is a student who starts a conversation with me rather than me having to initiate conversations. I like these informal chats; it gives me a chance to explain a bit about what I am doing and is also a chance for me to ask about their own work. As I have usually been in the 3D workshop there is always something physical to talk about; recently the Foundation students have been making prototypes of their own chair and seating designs. 

Over the past few weeks I have made another two part silicone mould and also cast using crystal clear resin (again sourced from in Sheffield.)

More details of this in the next blog post. 

I sketched some ideas for a small sculpture which would incorporate the cast acrylic watering can rose head. At first I wanted to cut the base from sponge and coat it in wax. I have used this technique before and really like the very strange and slightly sinister feel that wax coated sponge gives. But I knew that I really wanted a large piece of sponge (45cm) diameter 10cm thick and one with an open texture and largish holes. After a couple of weeks of searching without success I decided to revise my design.

The form will still be the same but this time the sloped base will be covered in an unusual knitted metallic fabric. It was sourced from a stall in the Birmingham Rag Market but is virtually the same as the fabric which is used to cover pan scourers. 

I love visiting factories and sourcing materials that I use is really important to me. Stories are important and the story of sourcing materials adds a very personal additional layer to the finished sculpture (being). For me I suppose it is part of their own personal DNA. 

A couple of years ago I visited the Neotrims factory in Leicester and was wowed by the use of really very old sock knitting machines which had been adapted to enable them to knit modern day jacket and jumper cuffs, day-glo shoe laces, tubes of surgical bandage and scratchy pan scouring fabrics.

British manufacturing heritage is something which I am fairly obsessed with and so using a fabric which is not only made primarily for a very non glamorous purpose (pan scrubbing) and has been made using antiquated machinery from the Victorian age really really appeals to me.

The following blog post will show more of the resin casting process. 

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