I think I have a plan for this relief cast: I will mount it in this frame using some experimental transfers for the background. The image colors & resolution is best in the scan on the left, but the frame is wider than my scanner bed. The whole frame is visible in the photo, at right.
I need a very customized wall mount base/backing for my latest delicate alabaster carving. The stone has fracture lines, and is by nature very soft. It needs to be reinforced and cradled, rather than displayed free standing.
I have cut a piece of plywood to the desired size, and printed a design to mount to the backing. I removed a center section if the wood to allow the deeper portions of rough back to be set into the hole. The carving has an irregular shape, and is uneven in thickness. The cutout in the wood is crudely shaped and does not match the stone.
My trick is to use epoxy putty, from Aves, to build out the cutout hole around the back of the carving in order to fit. Then I will add more epoxy clay to the back of the wood and the stone carving, to join them together and to reinforce the carving across the natural faults and fractures of the alabaster.
I was struggling with the idea of partially embedding the carved stone in liquid epoxy resin to create a reinforcing base. But I could not come up with a satisfactory implementation plan. Then the light dawned: I decided to use epoxy putty/clay rather than liquid resin, leaving the face of the sculpture free.
Rather than creating the backing entirely from epoxy, I decided to start with wood. The base will be flat around the stone, which will protrude about 2″ out from the surface of the background. I will use the epoxy putty first to refine the shape of the cutout to surround the stone, then to build up and adhere the back of the stone to the wood.
This will take two or more steps to complete the epoxy.
Step one, drying now, is to use the stone as a mold to shape the opening in the wood base to the rough stone:
The idea is that the plastic will allow me to lift the stone out after the epoxy dries, so I can cut out and glue on the printed design, before I attach the stone to the base. The print I plan to use is partially showing in the above photo.
I may need to use a lot of epoxy on the back, and/or add some weight to balance the stone; I am bit worried about this aspect! It is all an experiment, but I really hope it works!
New carving in very delicate flawed alabaster. This stuff is SOFT, and working it a bit like whittling. I used my electric rotary tool to get started, now riffles and files. The piece is small, about 7″ x 7″ x 3″.
This has been, and still is, a difficult project for me. I think it may be getting a bit easier, but we will have to see how that pans out! There is some (well quite a bit of) technical challenge here, but the real issue is persistence.
It is so very very necessary to struggle on past the “it will never look like anything but a piece of crap” stage! And I have been procrastinating for the past 10 days or so. I may manage a half hour of work, then I give up and do something (anything!) else for the rest of the day. This puts me in a rather odd fatalistic & hopeless mood, not improved by the current political climate.
At last this project may be moving forward. I think am in transition to the “there is some small hope that I may like this a little bit someday” stage… TBD! This has been more serious than the “now it looks terrible, I hate it” phases that are inevitable but usually short-lived.
One goal is to get the three part sculpture starts above to something that embodies the concept drawing at right. The other goal is to end up with pieces I can use to make molds for casting on other materials. So wish me luck please!