I poured some concrete in the studio today: I poured concrete into my two most current molds. So I hope to have good concrete casts of the Moon Snail and the Blue Ruins molds for outdoor display. I will take them out of the molds Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. I had a lot of air bubbles, so I jiggled & jiggled them (the manual vibrating table ;-) technique).
I don’t like doing concrete work indoors, but needs must: it is too cold outside! I managed to avoid too much mess.
And I did a little more photography this morning, in an effort to like my orange moon snail better. This photo was not a natural for the digital foil technique, so I did a lot of adjusting to get the image at right, but I am still not impressed by it. Clearly I need to get over this orange cast, and move on to new artwork!
Help: I hate orange, but here it is: definitely orange!
In the photos at right I have rubbed on a little metallic gold to tone it down? or at least distract the eye! Now I am playing with how this might get presented so that the light will come through, and in a context to add interest.
These ruins were once homes: people lived here…
This is a cast “reproduction” of my stone carving “Blue Ruins”, a carved Bluestone paver. The paver is extremely hard, and required a lot of work with diamond power and hand tools. I polished some areas and left others rough.
The carved stone paver is darker in color and fairly uniform, but this cast is a lighter color with contrasting specks. I really like this effect.
For this photo shoot I added the face, cast in the same material. I may attach it permanently. The artistic warm lighting lighting at left is by digital effect, the right image (full and detail) was photographed with natural sunlight.
This is my third cast, and tinted to be most like the original shown beside it above. I have a plan for this one: I think it will find a home soon. It may get mounted on a print background in the wooden tray at left, but I am not quite sure yet about that part. I think that print is too busy and too distracting.
How I did the Colors:
I experimented with brushing in powdered pigment, in addition to adding pigment to the resin. This fast cure polyurethane resin is bright opaque white, so I added a little pigment to make a light warm grey throughout the first cast, and a lighter off-white on the second cast.
Brushing color into the mold is always an experiment, as you cannot see in advance how much color is collected by rougher surfaces of the mold, etc. I tried for a light touch with highlights, which is more difficult than a full surface coverage.
I was not satisfied with the results, which were too patchy and high contrast, so I brushed & rubbed additional colored powders directly onto both casts until I liked the result better. I used a clear matte acrylic spray to fix the color. This surface color is thin & susceptible to scratches, but then that’s art for you :-)
Limiting the Edition:
I have offered the first one to a friend who may want to buy it. Her price is based on my rough estimate for the cost of materials… and this price is for friends only! But she may prefer to hold out for another material or different coloring. I do plan a few more casts, but will limit the number. Not sure about the size of the edition, but under 25, I think.
Preparing to cast my carved limestone MoonSnail. I think this mold is better, but I should reinforce the rigid mothermold: it is too thin on the sides! I have even remember to measure the volume I will need (3 cups) today, so the mold will be really dry tomorrow. I do plan to experiment a bit though: I can’t resist. I will mix two fillers plus pigment in my clear two part epoxy resin, and see what happens. I am hoping it will be opaque, or almost, and a bit stronger (due to chopped carbon fibers as one of the fillers).
I have managed to drag success, kicking and screaming, from potential disaster:
This is art as a technical challenge: I made a really bad silicone mold of my carving Bluestone Ruins, ruining a layer of silicone with the wrong pigment, then running out of material. But I was able to salvage it sufficiently for this resin cast, and I may be able to get 1 or even 2 more from this very problematic mold.
This “Blue Ruins” cast has two layers of tinted resin. The upper layer is more translucent, but both let some light through. I won’t back light it, since the fiber and a sheet of mesh in the bottom layer would show up too much. However there is a subtle effect from light around the edges in the right light.
Note the effects of lighting: the first 3 images are the dark translucent resin cast under different light. In the 3rd image there is an optical illusion created by the scanner lighting. The relief appears reversed, with all the “outs” appearing to be “ins” :-). I have added a hanger & protective piece of acrylic to the back, so the piece hangs well now. It would definitely benefit from careful lighting however.
I certainly hope I do a much better job with my Moon Snail mold, coming next: the materials are on order.